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  1. #1
    Dumpster Diver
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    Bike Paths Near Fairfax, VA

    I am trying to map out a route between Fairfax and McLean, VA, and am wondering if there are any good paths or bike-friendly roads or sections betwen the two. I will be visiting my sister in a couple weeks and would like to show her that she can make it to and from work on a bike. If I have a route, I will ride it with her while I'm down there.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Calamari to go cc_rider's Avatar
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    No direct paths, but there are several good roads or path / road combinations.
    What part of Mclean? There are different routes depending on if she is near Arlington, near Falls Church, near Tyson's Corner, inside the beltway or outside the beltway. Post the road she is on or near.
    Do you mind hills, or do you need a flat route? This area tends to be hilly, but there are ways around.
    Do you want most direct or scenic?
    Low traffic?
    Weekend or weekday and what time?
    Last edited by cc_rider; 06-22-06 at 04:24 PM.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the response. I believe she works near the 695 intersection with 309. My primary goal for the route is to avoid car traffic. Hills are preferable to traffic any day. The ultimate plan would be a daily commute, mornings and evenings.

  4. #4
    Calamari to go cc_rider's Avatar
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    I had to look up the route numbers. That's around the intersection of Old Dominion Drive and Kirby Road. Near Arlington.

    You will have to deal with some traffic.

    Forgot to ask, Fairfax City or somewhere in Fairfax County?
    Where are you starting from?
    Last edited by cc_rider; 06-22-06 at 07:39 PM.

  5. #5
    Calamari to go cc_rider's Avatar
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    Assuming from Fairfax City.
    Take either: Little River Turnpike to Picket Road if you are on the east side of town, or from downtown use Old Lee Highway and Old Picket Road (near the Home Depot) to Picket Road
    north on Picket Road
    cross route 50 /Arlington Blvd and turn right on Lee Highway (at the IHOP)
    at the next light at Circle Woods, cross to the left / north side of the road and take the path thru the woods (going north, not the right hand path south). This is the Fairfax Connector Trail.
    The trail ends at the Vienna Metro. Take the straight ahead road, crossing I-66.
    Straight at the light onto Vader.
    At the end turn-around, take the path thru the woods on your left.
    Go thru the parking lot and take the road to the entrance to Nottaway Park.
    Right on Courthouse Road. Straight thru the light at Nutley Street.
    Right on Locust at the stop sign.
    Right at the T on Center St, then left on Cherry to the W&OD trail (other side of the Community Center)
    Take the W&OD east / right to Falls Church.
    (biggish hill crossing I-66)
    After the bridge over route 7, go left on West Street (the second street you cross)
    West Street turns into Williamsburg Blvd
    (bike lane) (big hill)
    At the messy intersection with Sycamore Street, go left to continue on Williamsburg.
    (other big hill)
    To sneak in the back way (I've never biked these but I'm guessing it will work) turn left on Kensington St (if you get to Old Dominion you've gone a half mile too far)
    Then either:
    A) Third right on Valleywood. Left on Vermont Ave. Continue onto Old Dominion (of left on Park, avoiding Old Dominion, up the hill and right on Kirby, depends on exactly where you are going)
    or B) Stay on Kensington to the end, then left on Massachusetts, right on Franklin and right on Kirby.

    Traffic in Fairfax City, some on Picket, on West Street and that's probably most of it. Traffic on Williamsburg is usually light.

    I ride that way several times a year. The way I would take (shorter with more traffic):
    turn off the W&OD at the top of the biggish hill, going left onto Virginia Lane (do not cross over I-66)
    quick right on Hurst, then right onto Idylwood Road
    (really big downhill, make sure your brakes work and you might want to use a different route back)
    Cross route 7 and continue on Idylwood.
    Turns into Kirby Road at Great Falls Street, continue straight.
    Gets "interesting" (narrow road and traffic) past Westmoreland, but it takes you straight there.
    Last edited by cc_rider; 06-22-06 at 07:43 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cc_rider
    Assuming from Fairfax City.
    Take either: Little River Turnpike to Picket Road if you are on the east side of town, or from downtown use Old Lee Highway and Old Picket Road (near the Home Depot) to Picket Road
    north on Picket Road
    cross route 50 /Arlington Blvd and turn right on Lee Highway (at the IHOP)
    at the next light at Circle Woods, cross to the left / north side of the road and take the path thru the woods (going north, not the right hand path south). This is the Fairfax Connector Trail.
    The trail ends at the Vienna Metro. Take the straight ahead road, crossing I-66.
    Straight at the light onto Vader.
    At the end turn-around, take the path thru the woods on your left.
    Go thru the parking lot and take the road to the entrance to Nottaway Park.
    Right on Courthouse Road. Straight thru the light at Nutley Street.
    Right on Locust at the stop sign.
    Right at the T on Center St, then left on Cherry to the W&OD trail (other side of the Community Center)
    Take the W&OD east / right to Falls Church.
    (biggish hill crossing I-66)
    After the bridge over route 7, go left on West Street (the second street you cross)
    West Street turns into Williamsburg Blvd
    (bike lane) (big hill)
    At the messy intersection with Sycamore Street, go left to continue on Williamsburg.
    (other big hill)
    To sneak in the back way (I've never biked these but I'm guessing it will work) turn left on Kensington St (if you get to Old Dominion you've gone a half mile too far)
    Then either:
    A) Third right on Valleywood. Left on Vermont Ave. Continue onto Old Dominion (of left on Park, avoiding Old Dominion, up the hill and right on Kirby, depends on exactly where you are going)
    or B) Stay on Kensington to the end, then left on Massachusetts, right on Franklin and right on Kirby.

    Traffic in Fairfax City, some on Picket, on West Street and that's probably most of it. Traffic on Williamsburg is usually light.

    I ride that way several times a year. The way I would take (shorter with more traffic):
    turn off the W&OD at the top of the biggish hill, going left onto Virginia Lane (do not cross over I-66)
    quick right on Hurst, then right onto Idylwood Road
    (really big downhill, make sure your brakes work and you might want to use a different route back)
    Cross route 7 and continue on Idylwood.
    Turns into Kirby Road at Great Falls Street, continue straight.
    Gets "interesting" (narrow road and traffic) past Westmoreland, but it takes you straight there.

    Agree w/ everything. The end of that ride is part of my commute (going the other direction) and/or part of my drive to work when I take the car. Westmoreland and Great Falls are a little hairy for bikers during rush hour, so eyes open and she should be fine.

  7. #7
    Dumpster Diver
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    Wow! Thanks for all the detail. I'll lay that course over some google maps and adpat as needed when I'm down there.

  8. #8
    Calamari to go cc_rider's Avatar
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    Here's a gmap of the main route I described for you.
    http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=256181.
    (note - close up of the map at the end of the route shows the roads different from my paper map)

    And another for the one I would take
    http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=256197.

    Only about a mile (and several hills and some traffic) difference,
    Last edited by cc_rider; 06-23-06 at 06:43 PM.

  9. #9
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    I just read online that a bridge on the W&OD trail is closed. Is there an easy way to circumvent this?

  10. #10
    Calamari to go cc_rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikenstein
    I just read online that a bridge on the W&OD trail is closed. Is there an easy way to circumvent this?
    There are two main road detours around where the trail is closed.

    From Vienna train station, either -

    1) Church Street south/west, R on Lawyers Road, http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=268973.

    2) Church Street north/east, L on Beulah Road http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=268959.

    I haven't tired either detour yet, but I may this weekend. Beulah Road is probably more bike friendly.
    A temporary bridge is supposed to go in next to the damaged one, but I don't know when they will have it ready.

    edit - My maps routes show Maple Ave / 123. DO NOT TAKE MAPLE AVE. Instead take Church Street, the next street parallel to Maple. That stretch of Maple has claimed the lives of several cyclists, as recently as a few months ago.

    edit - Rode out the W&OD this weekend. The Beulah Road detour wouldn't work because it puts you on the wrong side of the bridge. But with the temporary bridge in, road detours are not necessary. Since the temp is low in the creek, just watch out for flash floods.
    Last edited by cc_rider; 07-03-06 at 07:43 AM.

  11. #11
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    Thank you CC Rider, this is a VERY HELPFUL ROUTE to get to my parents house. I can bike to there place now :-)

  12. #12
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    ADC Bike Map of Washington Region will be helpful, too. bike shop or bookshop

  13. #13
    Senior Member jabberwocky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikenstein
    I just read online that a bridge on the W&OD trail is closed. Is there an easy way to circumvent this?
    The NVPRA opened a temporary bridge today. You do not need to detour around.

  14. #14
    Because I thought I could ks1g's Avatar
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    Piney Branch Bridge Temporary Fix?

    According to the latest info in this thread: Update on W&OD Piney Branch Bridge Closing in Vienna and Potential Detours , a temporary bridge may already be in place! According to the Park Auhtority at http://www.nvrpa.org/, a temporary bridge should be ready by Saturday July 1st.

    In any event, things should be sort of back to normal by the time the OP visits hot and muggy (mid-late July) NoVA.

    Although if I understood the original poster's question, they're looking at routes from somewhere in Fairfax up into McLean. They'll stay well to the east of the bridge closure (which is west of the town of Vienna)

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