Journey of Discovery bicycle tour



August 23: The last 50-miles of my journey that began in Turlock, California, was along the W & OD Trail and Custis Trail leading into Washington, D.C. The 100-foot wide Washington and Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park (W&OD) is one of the skinniest parks in the commonwealth of Virginia, but also one of the longest — 45 miles in length. The W&OD takes its name from the railroad whose trains ran along the right-of-way from 1859 until 1968. The entrepreneurs who founded the rail line dreamed of bringing coal and other riches from the Appalachians to the Port of Alexandria, but those dreams were never fully realized. Less than a decade after it was built, the railroad was almost destroyed during the Civil War. Although the W & OD trail is a great facility, it does not quite get you to downtown DC. Instead, it ends in Shirlington, VA, which is about 6 miles (as the bike rolls) from downtown. As a result, the Martha Custis trail provides a very useful connector for area cyclists.

© Ted Phelps * * * Photos captured using an Olympus C-5500Z
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