Submit Content

Regional park plan calls for expanding capacity of the W&OD Trail in Arlington

The W&OD Trail in Green Valley on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019 (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority is looking to expand the W&OD Trail in Arlington, potentially by 2027.

The organization, also known as NOVA Parks, released its five-year strategic plan on Tuesday. The plan includes proposed upgrades to Arlington’s section of the Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Trail, including the addition of a dual-use trail.

Sometimes called “the skinniest park in Virginia,” the old railroad-turned-trail actually starts in Arlington, with mile marker zero in Green Valley near the intersection of S. Four Mile Run Drive and Shirlington Road. It extends about five miles running northwest through the county to Benjamin Banneker Park, continuing into Falls Church, and beyond.

About 2 to 3 million people use the trail each year.

NOVA Parks says it is aiming to “design and expand the capacity of the W&OD Trail in congested urban areas” including the Arlington section of the trail. That could mean a widening of the trail.

The design work for this expansion is expected to be completed within the next two years, per the plan. The work will be done in collaboration with the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority.

Plans will also be developed for sections of dual trail along the W&OD in Arlington, like what was completed in Falls Church last fall. Dual trails allow for separate pathways for bicyclists and pedestrians.

The idea was first brought up at the Falls Church ribbon-cutting in October 2021 and was embraced by many who bike, run and walk on the trail, which can get crowded during peak usage times.

There was some opposition to expanding the trail, however, including from current County Board candidate Audrey Clement, who decried a “massive uprooting of vegetation” and runoff from additional paved surfaces.

The expanded W&OD Trail, with separate cycling and walking paths, in Falls Church (courtesy of NOVA Parks)

NOVA Parks Executive Director Paul Gilbert told ARLnow in an email that there’s grant money available to design something in Arlington that is similar to what’s now in Falls Church.

“The goal would be to do like we did in Falls Church and, where possible separate cyclists from walkers with parallel paths,” Gilbert said. “There may be areas where we just have room to make the single existing trail a little wider and other areas where users can have separate paths.”

In terms of when this might be built, that’s not clear with design work still needing to be completed. The hope is to bring those designs back to the community for feedback by 2024 and begin construction “when permits are approved.”

Overall, NOVA Parks is pledging to spend more than $6 million on creating and improving trails across the region over the next 5 years.

As the only regional park authority in Virginia, NOVA Parks encompasses 34 parks and manages 12,335 acres of land in six Northern Virginia jurisdictions, including Alexandria, the City of Fairfax, Falls Church, Fairfax County, Loudoun, and Arlington.

The strategic plan also promises a number of improvements, big-ticket projects, and expansion of Northern Virginia parkland over the next half-decade.

NOVA Parks is committing to planting 50,000 more trees, restoring native plantings to at least ten new areas, reducing parks’ carbon footprint by 2%, and expanding solar energy to three additional parks, all by 2027. The plan is also to start introducing electrical vehicles and mowers into its fleet by 2024.

Additionally, there are several big money items on the agenda. NOVA Parks is looking to acquire at least five new properties by 2027, as well as build a W&OD Trail Visitors Center.

The center is likely to be built in Loudoun County, Gilbert told ARLnow, near where a trail maintenance facility is currently located.

Recent Stories

A local chainsaw artist made his buzzy debut on a new reality TV show last night. Ashton Heights native Andrew Mallon is a contestant on the Discovery competition show “A…

Police are investigating a pair of so-called “mob” assaults by groups of teens. Both occurred Friday evening along separate sections of Langston Blvd. It’s unclear whether there’s any connection between…

Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that highlights Arlington-based startups, founders, and local tech news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1515 Wilson Blvd in…

A new Laotian restaurant has moved into Cherrydale. Tuna Restaurant opened in early September at 3813 Langston Blvd, two doors down from historic Cherrydale Hardware. It’s taking over the former…

INF Care Virtual Concierge is a new and inviting option to remote assistance that leverages the best of what technology should encompass with quality interaction.

For the busy individual that needs a way to reduce stress and tackle caring for an older family member that lives alone.

or

For the maturing adult that just needs help with everyday tedious tasks, connectivity, and access to data on their everyday habits to pinpoint areas that need more attention.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Looking for a more convenient way to work out?

On the Go Fitness Pro offers in home personal training. We bring the gym to you, so you can save time and skip the hassle of going to the gym. Plus, our trainers are certified and experienced, so you can be sure you’re getting the best possible workout.

We provide all the equipment needed for a great workout or we can use the equipment that you have.

Schedule a free consultation today and see how we can help you achieve your fitness goals.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Mini Photo Sessions for Family & Pets

Mini Family & Pet Photo Sessions
Beat the rush and sign up to get your holiday photos now!

Bring your kids! Bring your dogs!

Check out the DeSilva Studios website. Look at the images and see if you like them

Vini Franchetti Wine Dinner

Join us as we explore Vini Franchetti & their two sister vineyards Passopisciaro (Sicily) and Vini Franchetti (Tuscany) for our Sicily/Tuscany Wine Dinner!

Sunday, Oct 9 @ 6pm

Special Guest: This wine dinner we will be hosting the wine maker

×

Subscribe to our mailing list