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Map: What a regional bike trail network could look like in the D.C. area

The Capital Trails Coalition is out with a helpful new diagram

A cyclist along the Potomac River
Getty Images

Going west to east from Fairfax County, Virginia to Prince George’s County, Maryland, there are currently more than 430 miles of bike trails in the D.C. area. Many of these trails, though, do not directly link up with each other, meaning cyclists must find other roads and paths to reconnect with them.

At least as of now. Enter the Capital Trails Coalition, a membership organization of about 60 groups, including local biking nonprofits, government agencies, and business improvement districts. On Monday, the coalition published a new map of existing and planned trails in the D.C. area that shows how more robust cycling infrastructure could better connect the DMV.

Capital Trails Coalition

By the organization’s count, which is based on information from the nonprofit Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and the local jurisdictions, there are 436 miles of existing trails and 302 miles of planned trails in the area. Once finished, the planned trails will close gaps in the regional network by joining “spines,” or high-capacity trails, including the Metropolitan Branch Trail and the Mount Vernon Trail, according to the coalition.

Most of the planned trails are in Maryland. Throughout the area, developers have begun to build new projects along bike trails since more commuters are choosing to bike, as Bisnow recently documented.

“This map is part of our ongoing efforts to reimagine how we see the region,” the coalition’s chair, Jack Koczela, says in a statement. While the map is not interactive, it may be updated in the future, and the coalition worked with the local jurisdictions to ensure it included only viable planned trails on the map.