The Washington & Old Dominion ( W&OD or “Wad”) is a great rail-trail between Shirlington and Purcellville, Virginia. The 45-mile trail is paved with nine-foot wide asphalt and has a painted yellow line in the center. There’s also an adjacent 32-mile gravel horse trail.
The Washington & Old Dominion Trail is heavily used by commuters and recreationists alike and is especially popular for biking, walking, running, and roller skating. The trail has numerous access points with parking and users can simply walk on or off at a point of their choosing. The trail is very well-marked with posts indicating every half a mile.
On the Washington & Old Dominion Trail from Shirlington, the trail runs through the urban area for a few miles but soon enters into the countryside. Along the way, it passes through quaint villages like Falls Church and Leesburg, and high-tech centers such as Reston and Herndon. There are several food stores and a brewery along the way. You will also find a water fountain at the trailhead during the summer months.