If you are passing through the DC area via I-95 and wish to break up your drive with a great bike ride, then this is a perfect parking location. From here, it is about a 45 minute bicycle trip into downtown DC. On the way, you can stop for lunch in historic Olde Town Alexandria, take in the great views along the Potomac River, and even do some plane spotting at National Airport.
Note that this parking lot does fill up quickly on nice weekends. If the lot is full, look for street parking along Belle View Blvd, which is just a few hundred yards south of the parking area on the right side of the parkway.
1. Follow Mount Vernon Trail: The trail is located between the parking lot and the river. Head north, keeping the river on your right.
2. Right at Capital Beltway: At the second traffic light, make a right turn to follow the trail along the retaining wall. Continue on the marked trail as it passes under the Capital Beltway (I-95)
3. Right towards the river: Immediately after crossing under the Beltway, turn right and head straight toward the river, along side the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.
4. Left along the river: Once reaching the river, bear left into the small parking area and rejoin the Mount Vernon Trail.
5. South Union Street: The trail empties onto South Union Street in Olde Town Alexandria, VA. Follow Union Street all the way to the end, at which point you will be forced to make a left onto Pendleton Street.
6. Right on Mount Vernon Trail: Immediately have turning onto Pendleton, make a right turn to rejoin the Mount Vernon Trail. After a few street crossing, the trail will cross to the other side of the railroad tracks. From this point on, it is very easy to follow the trail all the way up to Washington
7. Cross 14th St Bridge: After passing under the Railroad, Metrorail, and 14th Street Bridge Spans, look for the side trail on the left. This will take you up to and over the 14th Bridge
8. Basin Dr: Cross over to the sidewalk side of Basin Drive, and then follow it counter-clockwise around the Tidal Basin
9. Wallenberg Place: Bear right at a traffic light to continue north on Raoul Wallenberg. The National Mall is one block north of this location.