Like its famous and older German namesake, but on a smaller scale, Vienna, Virginia has a charm to it.  Becoming increasingly more cosmopolitan, foreign restaurants, bagle and coffee shops line Maple Avenue, the main street through the town.  Of course, good-old American restaurants are healthily represented too.  The town=s is a nice size.  It=s not too big to have a personable Forth of July celebration on school grounds.  Running east-west, the Washington and Old Dominion Trail (W&OD), runs through the center of town.  At Maple Avenue, the distance east to Rosslyn on the trail is 11.4 miles.  Going the other direction Purcellville is 33.2 miles away.  Nearby however, is one of the nicer sections of the whole W&OD Trail.  For the almost three miles from Ayr Hill Ave. to Hunter Mill Rd. the trail is uninterrupted by auto traffic as it parallels Piney Branch, a tributary to Difficult Run.  The park land also runs wider through this area than is in most of the rest of the places that the W&OD Trail passes through. 


Getting There


From the Capital Beltway, I-495

Take Exit 9, for I-66, west.  After 2.5 miles, exit onto Nutley Street, headed toward Vienna.  Go 1.2 miles, then turn right on Maple Ave.  You=ll cross the W&OD Trail after 0.75 miles.  Another tenth of a mile ahead, turn right on the aptly named Park St.  A quarter mile ahead, turn right, into the Vienna Community Center and park next to the W&OD Trail. 


Area Routes


Clarks Crossing (6.7 or 8.4 miles, VI, or IX)

Go right to the nicest of the nearby trails by heading west on the W&OD Trail.  The most popular thing to do is to go out and back to Hunter Mill Rd.  After getting out of Vienna, the trail gradually descends while paralleling the Piney Branch.  At Difficulty Run, almost to Hunter Mill Rd, the trail starts climbing again gradually.  That=s it for the obstacles.  There=s just nice park land to watch as you go.  The route is measured on the paved trail, however beginning after leaving Vienna, a gravel horse trail parallels very closely and can be used for variety.  The horse trail is more hilly but is a little quieter.  Cyclists and in-line skaters tend to get-up goods speeds on the paved downhill sloping W&OD Trail. 


An option for those looking for something with much more variety, is to turn off the W&OD Trail at Clarks Crossing Rd.  By going through suburban streets for a way you can make a lollipop route to and around Meadowlark Gardens.  The loop is hilly however.  Part of the loop is on street sidewalks, and part is on a wide gravel trail.  This loop circles the gardens.  To really see them however, you must pay an entrance fee. 


Vienna (11.3 miles, X)

With Vienna being on the W&OD Trail, and it being close enough to the Accotink Stream Valley and City of Fairfax Connector Trails you can make a grand loop if you=re in shape for the distance.  First head east on the W&OD.  There=s a slight uphill grade and the paved W&OD is partly shady at first.  After two miles and reaching Gallows Rd. turn right, passing Dunn Loring Park, crossing I-66, and passing the Dunn Loring metro station.  The next two miles (the worst is really one mile long) through Merrifield is the least palatable part of the route.  The industrially zoned section still has sidewalks to get through on, but the close-by traffic including bridges over Lee Hwy, Rte. 29, and Arlington Blvd., Rte. 50, can start you wondering what you=re doing there.  The bright side of reaching rock-bottom aesthetically is that things only get better.  Turning off Gallows Rd. at Woodburn Rd. go another mile on much nicer suburban streets.  Upon entering Eakin Park, one and a half miles of quiet woods that gradually climb to Arlington Blvd, Rte 50, are your reward. .  The next half mile isn=t very nice, being on the shoulder of the road, but soon you can cross over and start up the City of Fairfax Connector Trail.  Paved at first, the trail rises, then falls to Lee Hwy, Rte 29.  Cross over it, then continue the trail climbing again through the woods on a partially paved trail toward the Vienna Metro station.  End the connector trail in Nottoway Park, then use roads and sidewalks getting back to the community center. 


Nearby and Connecting Zones


Eakin Community Park

Idlwood Park



What to do Afterward


Food and Drink

Nizam=s Restaurant - Turkish food - 703 938-8948

Marco Polo=s Restaurant, Inc. - 703 281-3922

Aarathi Indian Cuisine - 703 938-0100

Bertucci=s Brick Oven Pizzeria - 703 893-5200

Paya-Thai - 703 883-3881

Phillips Seafood Grill - 703 442-0400

Narita Japanese Restaurant - 703 893-8008


Entertainment and Edification

Hunter House at Nottoway Park - built in 1890 - 703 938-7532/703 938-8835

Meadowlark Gardens Regional Park - 703 255-3631

Wolf Trap Barns - indoor music and performance arts - 703 938-3405

Wolf Trap Farm Park - outdoor music and performance arts - 703 255-1820

Clarks Crossing

Distance:          6.7 or 8.4 miles

Rating:  VI or IX; paved trail on the shorter route; roads and hill on the longer one; sunny


6.7 Mile Route


R     0.0   from the community center parking, head west on the W&OD

       0.1   trail X on L to school

       0.25 Maple Ave (TL)

       0.4   Vienna station (water)

       0.95 Mile Marker 12.5 and leave Vienna


       2.0   Clarks Crossing Rd & park on R

       2.3   wooden bridge over Piney Branch

       3.0   end of wooden bridge over Difficult Run


U    3.35 Hunter Mill Rd

       3.75 end of wooden bridge over Difficult Run

       4.4   wooden bridge over Piney Branch

       4.75 Clarks Crossing Rd & park on L


       5.75 Mile Marker 12.5 and enter Vienna

       6.3   Vienna station (water)

       6.5   Maple Ave (TL)

       6.7   community center parking



*8.4 Mile Route


R     2.0   Clarks Crossing Rd & park on R


L     2.05 Batten Hollow Rd

       2.65 trail X on R


L     2.7   Abbey Oak Dr

       3.0   Meadowlark Rd


R     3.4   trail X on R; paved at first then bluestone

       3.5   cross creek


S     3.65 trail ends; S on Asoleado La


L     3.85 Lozano Dr; up steep hill


R     4.3   Beulah Rd; (use shoulder)


R/L 4.35 Perimeter Trail (gravel)

       4.6   Meadowlark Gardens entrance

       4.75 gate on L

       5.15 gate on R to gardens

       5.3   gate on trail


BR  5.35 end of trail; bear R on Meadowlark Rd (unmarked)


L     5.4   Abbey Oak Dr


R     5.65 Batten Hollow Rd

       5.75 trail X on L


R     6.35 at T; Clarks Crossing Rd


L     6.4   on W&OD Trail at end of road (pick-up cues at mile 5.75 on 6.7 mile route)

Carks Crossing


Distance: 11.3 miles

Rating:           X; paved and unpaved trails, sidewalks; some rolling hills


L     0.0   from the community center parking lot; head east on W&OD Trail

       0.05 Park St

       0.45 trail X on R to Talahi Rd

       0.95 trail X on R to Adahi Rd

       1.7   trail X on R to Jackson Pkwy


R     2.05 Gallows Rd

       2.3   trail X on R into Dunn Loring Park

       2.4   trail X on R into Dunn Loring Park

       2.6   begin bridge over I-66

       2.7   Dunn Loring Metro station on R

       3.25 Lee Hwy, Rte 29

       3.85 begin bridge over Arl Blvd, Rte 50

       4.5   Fairfax Hospital on R


R     4.65 Woodburn Rd


R     5.05 Tobin Rd


L/R 5.95 into Eakin Community Park


L/R 6.0   gravel trail on L; take R fork


R     6.1   Accotink Stream Valley Trail

       6.4   Prosperity Ave

       7.0   Barkley Dr


L     7.65 Arl Blvd, Rte 50; use sidewalk, then shoulder (!)


R     8.1   cross Arl Blvd at Pickett Rd to City of Fairfax Connector Trail (CFCT)

       8.3   road X (unmarked)

       8.35 trail X (paved)


R/L 8.6   at Circle Woods Dr to cross Lee Hwy, Rte 29


R/L 9.25 at Saintsbury Dr; follow CFCT along Vaden Dr; cross I-66 ahead

       9.5   Virginia Center Blvd

       9.75 CFCT head at end of Vaden Dr


S   10.05 trail ends at parking lot


R   10.15 onto park road toward exit (water)


R   10.35 asphalt trail along Courthouse Rd


XS 10.65 at Nutley St


R   11.25 Locust St


S   11.5   at Center St; trail goes along the side of the school


R   11.65 W&OD Trail

     11.75 parking at Vienna Community Center