The Best Biking Trails Around Vienna, Virginia
While the hot summer months come to a close, Virginia residents are gearing up for the area’s best season: fall. Perhaps it’s time once again to dust off the old bicycle and go for a long glorious bike ride in the mellow autumn air. Here are some of our favorite bike trails that are just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Town of Vienna.
1. Washington and Old Dominion Trail
The historical Washington and Old Dominion Trail was made from the Alexandria, Loudoun and Hampshire Railroad that connected Northern Virginia to other parts of the country. Now that railroads are effectively obsolete, this well-kept trail connects 45 miles of NOVA together, making it possible for bikers to travel from Vienna to other parts, like Shirlington and Purcelville.
Shops and restaurants line some parts of the W&OD trail, particularly in the section that runs through Vienna. A brewery known as Caboose Brewing Company and The Bear Branch Tavern are accessible to the trail as well. We highly recommend stopping there on a lazy afternoon!
2. Blake Lane Sidepath
The trail alongside Blake Lane starts in Oak Marr Rec Center, in Oakton, a few seconds away from the heart of Vienna, Virginia. It ends in Old Pickett Road, but don’t worry. A few pedals away is Mantua Park, another trail where the cycling can continue. Mantua Park boasts a variety of trees and small flora and fauna. Locals rave about the canopy of trees that provide shelter during the heat of the day.
Blake Lane Sidepath has narrow sidewalks next to it, allowing pedestrians to walk while cyclists go a little faster. This bikepath also allows easy access to Jermantown Road, so if residents are looking to eliminate cars from their lifestyle, they won’t have to eliminate accessibility as well. Whether you’re a cycling enthusiast or simply looking to reduce your environmental footprint, the Blake Lane Sidepath is an easy connector to other paths, businesses, and stores.
3. Burke Lake Loop Trail
The Burke Lake Loop Trail is a part of the famous Burke Lake Park, which is just up route 123 for residents of Vienna, Virginia. The path is covered in gravel, but still just right for a biking expert with a sturdy bicycle. The path covers 4.7 miles and surrounds the gorgeous lake.
During the summer, there is a snack bar along the trail where pedestrians and cyclists alike can stop and refresh themselves. Locals say that the best time to get on the trail is early in the morning to beat the crowds that come there on a regular basis. If you do go during the midday, bring a bell to warn people that you are coming. When families and cyclists share the trail, it becomes somewhat narrow.
Picnic tables and benches dot the trail as well. If you feel the need to pull off and enjoy the shady scenery, make sure to do so at one of the lake’s little bays. Burke Lake is also a great amenity for the kids: a carousel and a train are featured elsewhere in the park.
4. Folly Lick Branch Trail
This trail starts in Herndon and goes on for two miles, making it an excellent starter trail for the blossoming cyclist. Home to the unique Folly Lick Rock Wall, anyone who uses the trail is encouraged to paint a rock and add it to the wall.
Unlike some of the previous trails, Folly Lick Branch Trail is paved, making it perfect for any sort of road bike. Kids are safe to ride on this trail which takes you through the Town of Herndon and spits you out close to the Sugarland Run Trail, for bikers who want to keep going.
5. Gerry Connolly Cross Country Trail
The Gerry Connolly Cross County Trail is a 40 mile trail that links all parts of Fairfax County together. It links the Great Falls National Park to Occoquan, just on the border of Fairfax and Prince William County.
The trail also links to other trails, particularly the Washington and Old Dominion Trail. Locals say not to use a road bike on this trail, but rather opt for a sturdier mountain bike that can handle the rough patches. While the trail is for the most part an easy ride, some parts that run through Lawyers Road and Hunter Mill Road can be bumpy, hilly, and challenging. It's perfect for cyclists who like a more robust experience while out on the trails.
Be ready to also bike through some of the lower parts of the creeks. This trail is best enjoyed when it hasn’t been raining.
6. Meadowlark Connector Trail
Meadowlark Gardens in Vienna cannot be recommended enough. We’ve mentioned this gorgeous botanical garden before several times, but we’re mentioning it again. For just a small entrance fee, you can use the Meadowlark Connector Trail to bike through the shady, vibrant park for two miles. If you find the park’s not long enough for you, then hop on the quick connector path that will take you to the famous Washington and Old Dominion Trail.
Why not plan on a jaunt through the garden? There are places to secure bicycles if you wish to get off and enjoy the incredible and lush scenery.