Washington and Old Dominion Trail

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Trail Distance: 45 miles
Time Estimate: 18 hr +
Elevation Gain: 469 feet
Leash Rule: On Leash
Difficulty: Moderate
Parking: Free
Route Type: Point-to-point
Restroom: Limited
Description

The Washington and Old Dominion Regional Park and Trail is furrifically long, just like its name. To avoid the mouthful, this trail is just the "W&OD" in local lingo. It follows the old route of its namesake rail line, disused since the late 1960s. Thanks to a prime location in Washington DC's densely packed suburbs, this may be the nation's most pawpular after-work adventure. 

Because the park housing this hiking and biking trail is only 100 feet wide but almost 45 miles long, the W&OD Regional Park is often dubbed "the skinniest park in Virginia." Skinny indeed: if you make a habit of such long walks, you'll probably find it hard to keep the pounds on, too!

This 45-mile trek begins in Shirlington in Arlington County, a mere 7 miles from the US Capitol Building. This urban environment continues for several miles, and you'll find places to exit for a snack on the patio of a dog-friendly eatery or a pit stop at a park restroom. Interpretive panels help you bone up on local history. 

Bluemont Park in Arlington has more parking; it's a great hop-on point with plenty of creature comforts. You can also access the trail on two Metrorail lines via the East Falls Church Station.  You'll experience a slow, steady uphill grade heading west, manageable for even your short-legged buddies. As you pass through Reston and Herndon, the trail becomes increasingly leafy and suburban. The hills will also increase as you pass over I-495 and emerge from the metro area into rural Virginia. 

Earlybirds and nightowls, take note! The 5 AM to 9 PM trail hours only apply east of Herndon in Fairfax County. In the more rural western half of the trail, hours are dawn to dusk. That rule is for your own protection, as the wooded surroundings are teeming with wildlife. Squirrel! Don't be surprised if deer, rabbits, groundhogs, and other woodland creatures make an appearance, so keep a firm grip on Fido's leash.

Trail Features
Forest, Diverse Landscape, Urban
Wildflowers
Cautions & Considerations
With so many friendly neighbors around, you're unlikely to run into serious trouble on the W&OD. However, the pawpularity itself can pose a challenge for some anxious pups: make sure your buddies are feeling social. Bring plenty of water, as drinking water is only available intermittently along the trail, especially in the western half. Ticks and mosquitoes might also try to crash your party.
Address
601 N Manchester St
Arlington, VA 22203
Hours
Mon 5:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Tue 5:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Wed 5:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Thu 5:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Fri 5:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Sat 5:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Sun 5:00 AM - 9:00 PM
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Address
601 N Manchester St
Arlington, VA 22203
Hours
Mon 5:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Tue 5:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Wed 5:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Thu 5:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Fri 5:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Sat 5:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Sun 5:00 AM - 9:00 PM