The Mount Vernon Trail is managed by the National Park Service and runs 18 paved miles from Theodore Roosevelt Island to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate. The trail is popular with commuters, athletes, and recreational pedestrians alike, which can oftentimes make for crowded conditions. Runners are advised to keep to the right, except when passing, and to run single file. Given frequent traffic on the trail, runners should avoid using headphones while exercising—or, if nothing else, should keep the volume of those headphones to a minimum. Runners should also exercise good discretion when attempting faster workouts on this trail.
The Mount Vernon Trail is well-maintained and is generally in excellent condition. The trail is essentially flat, with some modest rolling hills scattered throughout it. Though the majority of the trail is protected from motor traffic, there are a handful of at-grade intersections in the vicinity of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, and portions of the trail do run directly on busy side streets in Alexandria, VA, so the appropriate caution is advised. Runners can conveniently use this trail to connect to Four Mile Run Trail, Rock Creek Trail (via the 14th Street Bridge), and the Potomac Heritage and Custis Trails.