I’ll never forget riding the W&OD trail with my father and sisters as a child. My mother dropped us off at the beginning in Purcellville and we pedalled along much of the day until we reached Leesburg. There wasn’t much to see in Ashburn back then, but we knew if we kept at it, we could make it all the way into Washington D.C.
Referred to as “the skinniest park in Virginia,” the W&)D stretches 45 miles from Purcellville, Virginia all the way to Shirlington. There is a 32 mile gravel path available to equestrians and many parking lots along the way to enable travelers to jump on and off the trail. From Ashburn, you can head out to Purcellville for a day trip and check out the restaurants and shops located at the very end (or beginning!) of the trail. You can also head east and explore many different areas on the way to DC.
The Ashburn section of the W&OD runs about 6 miles with entrances at Smith Switch Road off Gloucester Parkway, Farmwell Station Middle School, Trailside Parkway, Ashburn Road, and Belmont Ridge Road. The Belmont intersection was notoriously a dangerous one, however recent widening of Belmont Ridge Road has created an underpass for cyclists and travelers along the W&OD. One of our favorite parts of the trail is the Ashburn Road entrance which is home to the greatest barbeque for miles around, Carolina Barbeque Brothers.
To help plan your trip, you can check out a map of amenities located close to the Loudoun County parts of the trail here. This was a crowd-sourced project from 2013. I’d recommend double-checking to make sure a business still exists before planning your route around it!