This is the second in a three part series of places to ride. We all love to ride with our families, partners and many of us enjoy road riding. All of these recommendations are based on personal rides from the staff. These recommendations have been made to riders just like yourself and have received lots of positive feedback.

Of course all of us in the store love to learn what your riding needs and preferences are and then we can make recommendations based on your needs and riding preferences. Just come on by.

I hope you enjoy these rides. Let us know what you think and what other rides are your favorite.

When thinking about couples rides we were thinking about rides that would make for a fun date or a weekend adventure. Riding is fun but making a weekend out of riding with other activities is even better.

Great for a day trip or a weekend St. Michaels won’t disappoint.

The St. Michaels town limit sign is almost exactly 60 miles from the center of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Make a day of it or check into one of the many Bed and Breakfasts in the area and create a weekend of cycling and sightseeing.

What is so special about riding in the area is that the shoulders are generous and eight feet wide in most places. Yes there are areas where there are no shoulders like in town itself and on some of the back roads but the pace of life is slower and cyclists love riding on the Eastern Shore.

A ride you don’t want to miss is approximately thirty miles is the St. Michaels Oxford Loop with the Bellevue Ferry.

If you are making a day trip out of it there are public parking lots in town. There is also a lot just outside of town for the St. Michaels Nature Trail. Another great location is the Elementary school just in town off Seymour Ave. If you prefer you can park at one of the shopping centers on the Easton Bypass (322) and start here. I like to park in town so after the ride we can walk around some or grab a bite to eat if we aren’t spending the night.

You can ride the loop in any direction as it is all flat. Or if you prefer you can just ride to the ferry take it to Oxford, explore and then ride back the way you came for a shorter 15 mile ride or so.

I typically like to take the longer ride to Oxford then spend as much time in Oxford and have a shorter trip back to St. Michaels. To do this you will ride back out RT 33 the way you came into town. Take this all the way back to 322 which is the bypass. Just before you reach the bypass there will be a large shopping center on your left if you need to grab anything. (Also an optional location to start the ride.) Make a right on 322 for a short ride to 333. Just continue on 333 all the way into Oxford. The Oxford Bellevue Ferry is right at the end of 333. Take some time and explore all that Oxford as to offer.

Then take the ferry across the Tred Avon River to continue your ride back to St. Michaels. This is the oldest privately owned ferry route and it dates back to 1683. Make sure you have cash the trip across is about $4 a bike. The ferry runs about every 15 – 20 minutes and is closed sometime in October till Oxford Day in April. Be sure to check the schedule before you leave.

One on the other side you can follow the signs back into St. Michaels.

Pro Tip: Wait a few minutes for the ferry traffic to clear so you can enjoy the backroads all to yourself.

You’ll leave the ferry and head to Bellevue Road. Take Bellevue road to 329, take a left and follow back into town. (If you parked out by the bypass you would make a right onto 329 if you don’t want to head into St. Michaels.)

This section of the ride has no shoulders but once the traffic clears riding is good. When you get back to 33 make a left to head back into town. Enjoy the rest of your day in town, check out the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, eat crabs on the water and enjoy the many shops.

Knapps Narrows and Back

Another classic St. Michaels ride is out to Tilghman Island. This ride takes you out of St. Michaels on 33 heading the other direction. You’ll follow 33 and enjoy eight foot wide shoulders all the way to Knapps Narrows. Here you can grab a bite to eat and watch the boats traveling through the narrows and waiting on the draw bridge.

Don’t stop your ride here. Cross the bridge onto Tilghman Island and explore the little town, Check out the Waterman’s Museum and then continue to Black Walnut Point where there is a great view of the Chesapeake Bay. If you continue all the way in you will see the Black Walnut Point Inn a great B&B that offers rooms and cabin rentals along with some stunning views.

When you are done exploring just reverse your route to head back to St. Michaels. Reload your water and food needs in Tilghman as there are no stores between there and St. Michaels. Depending if you go all the way to the end this ride is about 30 miles.

While there are other ride options in this area such as riding down to each point and exploring around the two mentioned are the most popular.

Mount Vernon Trail – Explore the Mall

The Mount Vernon Trail is an 18 mile paved multi use trail that runs from George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate to Theodore Roosevelt Island. Some of the trail is on road as it passes through Alexandria. I have found this very easy to follow and it is well marked. The trail offers a variety of scenery and lots to see along the way. Side trips abound from the trail as it follows along the Potomac River.

A rider enjoying the Mount Vernon Trail

If you want you can hop on the Four Mile Run trail to connect to the W&OD Trail to ride all the way out to Purcellville. It also connects with the Potomac Heritage, Rock Creek, Custis and Woodrow Wilson Bridge. This last one might be the most exciting.

When I have ridden the trail we have parked on the street in Old Town and then ridden to the trail. There is also parking at Jones Point Park and many other areas. Now however there is a bike trail from National Harbor and the MGM Hotel across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge that connects into the Mount Vernon Trail. This would make for a fun weekend. Grab a room and explore the area on your bike. Of course there are hotels to choose from in Alexandria.

There is lots to see on the Mount Vernon Trail yet there are also lots of places to use bike trails to cross the Potomac River and explore DC such as the Mall, the monuments or link into the Capital Crescent Trail or C&O Canal.

As you ride the trail you’ll likely forget that you are riding in a city in some areas. You’ll ride on a boardwalk over marshes and pass through parks. Then you’ll be jolted back to reality as you come up on an airport or ride along a busy road. Yet this is the charm of the trail, you move in and out of these environments wondering what you will see next. The portion south of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge is much more park like where the section north of the bridge traverses in and out of the different landscapes.

The trail offers lots of different places to have a picnic lunch but if you prefer you could grab a meal at one of the restaurants in Alexandria.

From the trail there is easy access to Arlington National Cemetery and Theodore Roosevelt Island to name just a few. (There are just too many to mention.) If you want to explore the island be sure to bring a lock to secure your bike as bicycles are not allowed. The Mount Vernon Trail ends at the island but this is where the Custis Trail starts so you can continue riding into Rosslyn.

On the other end of the trail sits its names sake, George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Be sure to make time to explore Mount Vernon during your ride or plan to come back to learn more about this National Treasure.

This Trail would also be a kid friendly ride. Just use caution if you are riding the portion that is on the roads of Alexandria. There is plenty for children to see and do. They will likely enjoy the park that is on the approach to Reagan. Check out our kid friendly ride ideas here. Why we included this in the Couples rides are because of all the possibilities and different ways to make a weekend out of this. Check Out our Blog about riding this trail.

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