W&OD Trail

45 miles of paved trail, in Northern Virginia, for walking,running, bicycling and skating and 32 miles of adjacent gravel trail for horseback riding.


NOVA Parks has always had a knack for providing the people of the region interesting, unique and fun activities throughout the regional park system. A big part of what defines NOVA PARKS is inclusion, the idea that the spaces and endeavors we provide can be experienced by all abilities and enjoyed by persons of all ages. Along with offering outdoor spaces for hiking, biking, swimming, fishing and boating, NOVA Parks’ recreational areas also have a history of providing traditional fun for visitors. Today, we throwback to the opening of two places that offered traditional fun for NOVA Parks visitors.

For the complete story: http://ow.ly/WPho50uxY0g

#HappinessHere #DiscoverWhatsNext #60Years #NOVAParks

Happy National Trail Day! Whether you're hiking, biking or running we hope you enjoy one of NOVA Parks many trail options.

#HappinessHere #DiscoverWhatsNext #NOVAParks #NationalTrailDay

We're setting up for the Herndon Festival today. Stop by booth #422 and say hello to the trail staff! It's going to be a GREAT day!

A quick heads up: Starting today (May 30th) the Town of Leesburg will be conducting sewer pipe renovations in the area of Lawson Road. During this time there will be a temporary sewer bypass at the Lawson Road intersection (near MM 32.5). Patrons using the trail can walk or ride over the pipe via a small ramp. There will be no other anticipated disruptions to trail traffic. This project is expected to take approximately 6 weeks to complete.


Through the years, NOVA Parks has been known for many things. One of those things is their pools, and the other is their creative innovation. Previous stories about how those pools came to be, like the ashtray drawing that became the Pohick Bay Pool, the trip to Alabama to see the wave pool that inspired Cameron Run, and the idea of building a large, all-inclusive pool at Bull Run, told us how first-generation recreational areas began. As we all know, however, time marches forward. And as it does, the need for change and innovation follows closely.

Today, we look back at the period of 2008 - 2012, when an innovation mindset and an entrepreneurial spirit aided NOVA Parks to make changes that transformed pools into popular themed waterparks.

To read the complete story: http://ow.ly/CAET50urQnQ

#HappinessHere #DiscoverWhatsNext #60Years #NOVAParks

Continuing tree update: the tree down by MM 8.5 has been cut back BUT still hanging overhead. Patrons can pass through the area however use caution in this area. Cones and flagging mark the area in question. We have met onsite with a tree contractor who will remove the top of the tree later today or early tomorrow morning at the latest.

A quick update for W&OD Trail patrons; the downed tree reported near mile marker 39.5 in Paeonian Springs has been cut up and cleared off the trail. Staff is out and about on the trail patrolling and checking for down trees throughout the trail.

[05/24/19]   We're now getting preliminary word that a tree has come down on the trail near 66 and the Beltway. While we're informed that trail users can pass single file, please be *very* careful when traveling around the curves in that area.

Please use caution when cycling or walking west of Simpson Circle in Paeonian Springs; there is another tree down, and while it isn't large it does cross the width of the trail. Cyclists please dismount before attempting to navigate the area. We will remove the blockage tomorrow by early afternoon at the latest.


Today, we rewind to the late 1970’s and early 1980s. Back then, Darrell Winslow, Capital Programs Director for the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, was tasked with finding new opportunities for parks and recreation in our region.

Mr. Winslow recalled hearing about this new type of pool.... a wave pool. After bringing up the idea in a staff meeting, he convinced his Executive Director at the time to take a trip with him. Mr. Winslow wanted to see firsthand what this wave pool thing was all about, and there was one place in the country that had already built one; Point Mallard Park in Decatur, Alabama. The trip was going to be for just one day, so when he arrived at the airport and the airline attendant asked him if he had luggage to check, Mr. Winslow simply held up a plastic bag containing a bathing suit and smiled.

In only two more days you can experience this historic wave pool for yourself when Great Waves Waterpark opens on Saturday.

For the complete story: http://ow.ly/4MK050umZIn

#HappinessHere #DiscoverWhatsNext #60Years #NOVAParks

[05/21/19]   Please be advised: There is a downed tree east of Hamilton Station Road near MM 40 that we have contracted to have removed tomorrow morning. Cyclists should be able to navigate around it by dismounting.

Join us Satruday, May 25th, on our W&OD Trail Spring Bike Ride.

We'll explore history and nature along a six mile section of the W&OD trail by Vienna, VA. Ages 8 and older. Bike helmet and water bottle required. This program will be led by NOVA Parks Roving Naturalist, David Garcia.

To register: http://ow.ly/44kE50ulqD1

#HappinessHere #DiscoverWhatsNext #WODTrail #NOVAParks

Our thanks to everyone who stopped by the Herndon station this morning for Bike-to-Work Day!

We're setting up for Bike to Work Day at the Herndon Town Green by the old train station. The sun is coming up and it's going to be a GREAT day!

Bike to Work Day | Town of Herndon, VA

Please stop by and see us tomorrow morning at the Herndon Bike-to-Work Day stop!


herndon-va.gov Herndon hosts a pit stop for the Bike to Work Day.


Throughout the years since its inception in 1959, Northern Virginia Regional Parks (now NOVA Parks) has done well to understand what the people of the Northern Virginia region enjoy when it comes to outdoor recreation. While the park authority works continuously to meet goals of land conservation and preservation of historic sites, the enjoyment of parkland assets also remains a top priority.

One of the best loved activities of the region’s population is golf. The park authority has built and maintained three beautiful courses over the years, offering both the opportunity for the avid devotees to play the game as well as perpetuate participation from new enthusiasts. Looking back to the past reveals when these courses were added to the authority’s parkland and also sheds light on a few other fun forms of the game.

For the complete story: http://ow.ly/PYRt50uez61

#HappinessHere #DiscoverWhatsNext #60Years #NOVAParks

Our thanks to the Potomac Conservancy, Arlington County Dept of Parks & Rec, and dedicated volunteers who worked with NOVA Parks to make Saturday's tree planting event along the trail at S Four Mile Run Dr in Arlington a great success! Approximately 200 trees and shrubs were installed in a new oasis of native flora...

Loudoun County Sheriff's Office

Final Update: The riders are now on the W&OD trail headed to Alexandria and Route 15 is clear.

2nd Update: ‪The riders are now traveling through Leesburg to the Washington & Old Dominion Trail from King Street. ‬


Traffic Advisory: Due to the weather, the Law Enforcement United The Road To Hope ride is traveling Route 15 from the Maryland line at Point of Rocks.

The ride will impact travel southbound along Route 15 to King Street in the Town of Leesburg, Virginia.

The riders are currently traveling from the Maryland line and are nearing Lucketts.

The group of approximately 40 riders and associated support vehicles will continue to travel south along Route 15 to the Washington and Old Dominion Trail in Leesburg. They will continue on the W&OD Trail trail to their final destination in Alexandria.

Expect delays on Route 15 south if you are traveling in this area.

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office is providing an escort for the riders to the W & OD Trail. Please follow all law enforcement direction.

Traffic Advisory: On May 12, bicyclists from the Law Enforcement United The Road To Hope ride will travel through part of Loudoun County and will impact travel along Route 15 between White’s Ferry Road and King Street in the Town of Leesburg, Virginia.

The riders will travel from White’s Ferry with an anticipated arrival time in Loudoun after 8:15 a.m. on Sunday. The group of approximately 40 riders and associated support vehicles will then travel south along Route 15 to the Washington and Old Dominion Trail in Leesburg. They will continue on the W&OD Trail trail to their final destination in Alexandria.

Motorists who plan to travel Route 15 on Sunday between 8:15 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. should expect delays in this area.

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office will provide an escort for the riders from Historic White's Ferry to the W & OD Trail. Please follow all law enforcement direction.

In the event of the closure of White’s Ferry due to weather or river level conditions, the route of this event may change. Updates will be provided as necessary.

Most NOVA Parks properties are large. Even over 1,000 acres is not at all uncommon for a regional park. However, significance is not measured in acres. Sometimes even a half acre can have a giant impact.

For the complete story: http://ow.ly/wCMj50u3PZt

#HappinessHere #DiscoverWhatsNext #60Years #NOVAParks

Just a quick note that starting around May 13 the section of trail from Cochran Mill Road to Ashburn Road will be repaved (mile marker 30.5 to 27.5 approximately). Whenever possible trail users will be detoured onto the horse trail. The park staff have cleared back the vegetation and the contractor will regrade the horse trail. The work is expected to take about one week to complete. Please use caution in this area and observe construction signs in the work zone.


As NOVA Parks (formerly the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority) celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, looking to the early days can reveal some very interesting things. Today, we do just that, throwing it all the way back to that time and discovering how the first regional park, Bull Run, incorporated an already existing business into its grounds. And the amazing part is, the asset has been in continuous use since then and is just as popular as it ever was.

For the complete story: http://ow.ly/AqIy50tAKuw

#HappinessHere #DiscoverWhatsNext #60Years #NOVAParks

In a recent article featured on MDLinx and based on a study by U.S. News & World Report and the Aetna Foundation--Falls Church (#3) and Loudoun County (#4) were named the third and fourth healthiest communities in America.

The article specifically mentioned the W&OD Trail “which offers 45 miles of paved path that was once railroad line. The trail provides an endless expanse of area for visitors to walk, skate, and bike. Along the trail, there are numerous work-out stations and benches.”

To read the entire article: http://ow.ly/Xr2450rOtzJ

#HappinessHere #DiscoverWhatsNext #WODTrail #NOVAParks


NOVA Parks has always been excited to help preserve the history of Northern Virginia. In doing so, the Park Authority has become stewards of many historic and cultural sites in the region. Being able to use these assets as a teaching tool for park visitors is a great joy to NOVA Parks, because within the history that is passed on at these places is an even greater story - the story of America.

For the complete story: http://ow.ly/8laO50rqCmK

#HappinessHere #DiscoverWhatsNext #60Years #NOVAParks

Spring on the trail in Reston...

Just a reminder that the section of trail between Little Falls Rd and Lee Hwy in Arlington is now closed and the separate pedestrian and bicycle detours are in effect.



In 2006, Aldie Mill became the 20th park in the NOVA Parks system. The 200-year old mill processed grain using the waters of the Little River, and it is one of the best-preserved mills in the entire Mid-Atlantic region. Prior to NOVA Parks’ ownership, the mill was owned by the Virginia Outdoor Foundation (VOF) and restored with a generous gift from the Mellon family.

For the complete story: https://www.novaparks.com/about/nova-blog

#HappinessHere #DiscoverWhatsNext #60years


66 Inside the Beltway - About the Project - W&OD Trail Bridge

Please be aware that as of this Friday, April 19th, there will be a new traffic pattern along the trail near Lee Hwy in Arlington. Detours will be in effect until the fall of 2020 as construction on the Lee Hwy overpass continues.



Our thanks to the many volunteers who helped make the trail beautiful on Opening Day for Trails!

Getting setup for the Opening Day for Trails event here at Barcroft Community Center.

Ashburn Village Neighbors

#TBT Aerial view of Ashburn, facing south along Ashburn Road, circa 1945*.

[ * Post update: Several observant people noticed that the train station is not present in the photo. Since the station was demolished in 1969, this photo was taken sometime afterwards.]

W&OD Trail

THROWBACK THURSDAY--NOVA PARKS--ow, row, row your boat...

During the 1960’s, NOVA Parks acquired over 20 miles of river frontage on the Bull Run & Occoquan, including the Occoquan reservoir. This block of over 5,000 acres protects the source of drinking water for over 1 million people in Northern Virginia. With control of so much shoreline, recreational uses were needed that were also compatible with the conservation goals. One of those uses was scholastic rowing.

To read the complete story please visit: http://ow.ly/5X2H50pLMBc

#HappinessHere #DiscoverWhatsNext #60Years #NOVAParks

The warm weather is getting all kinds of trail user in an active frame of mind. New Year's resolution: burn off that last big meal of 2018!

W&OD Trail

Some spring sights from the east side of Leesburg...

Throwback Thursday--The Power Plant That Never Was.

The story of Algonkian Regional Park may be one of fate or simply just one of luck. However one may think of it is up to them because in the end the park itself is simply a great gift to the Northern Virginia region. The park spans 838 acres next to the Potomac River, a swath of land that was once set aside for a coal burning power plant.

For the complete story: http://ow.ly/IK3A50oZUzq

#HappinessHere #DiscoverWhatsNext #60Years #NOVAParks

Our staff has begun de-winterizing water fountains along the trail. Currently working fountains include those at: MM0 in Shirlington, Wedderburn near Cedar Lane in Vienna, Buckthorn Lane in Reston, Lawson Road on the east side of Leesburg, and the one at Smiths Switch Rd in Ashburn.

During his travels, a member of our staff snapped these photos of another Rails-to-Trails park, the High Line in New York City!

The W&OD Trail is partnering with Arlington County, Washington Area Bicyclist Association, Rails to Trails Conservancy, and Walk Arlington for the "Opening Day for Trails" event on Saturday, April 13th. For more information check out the following link:

#HappinessHere #DiscoverWhatsNext #WODTrail #NOVAParks

Four Mile Run bridge along the W&OD Railroad in Arlington (present day Glen Carlyn Park) in 1958. Photo courtesy of David Marcham.


Events | Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

A quick FYI that we're partnering with Arlington County, Washington Area Bicyclist Association, Rails to Trails Conservancy, and Walk Arlington for the "Opening Day for Trails" event on Saturday, April 13th. For more information check out the following link:


Looking forward to a GREAT day!! 😎😎😎


Some brave runners getting ready for the Friends of the W&OD Trail 5k run at Bluemont Park.

Oh deer! This was a herd of 9 deer crossing the W&OD at MM3.

Thank you Duane Gabor for the photos!

Arlington Historical Society

On this day in Arlington history: January 16, 1860. The Alexandria, Loudoun, and Hampshire (AL&H) Railroad is running and here is the schedule. The railroad departed Alexandria at 10:00 AM and stopped at Arlington Mills at 10:15 and Carlinville (the future Glencarlyn) at 10:25.
Construction of the AL&H railroad began in 1855. The line was initially intended to cross the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah River to reach the coal fields in the western part of Hampshire County, Virginia, that are now part of West Virginia, By 1859, the line began operating to Vienna from a terminal station near Princess and Fairfax Streets in old town Alexandria. In 1860, the AL&H reached Leesburg in Loudoun County. This schedule could be marking that opening. The rail line saw much use and much disruption during the Civil War. After the war, the name of the line was changed in 1870 to the Washington and Ohio Railroad and extended from Leesburg to Hamilton in 1870 and to Round Hill in 1874.

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