Trail Safety

The Washington and Old Dominion (W&OD) Trail runs approximately 45 miles through Northern Virginia. The section of the WO&D Trail that passes through the City of Falls Church is only one and a half miles long, but the path crosses 7 busy intersections.

Managed by the NOVA Parks (Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority), the trail is shared by bikers, walkers, runners, and skaters of all ages and ability levels. NOVA Parks offers a trail map on their website.

Before you head out - check out our Trail Safety Video with tips on sharing the path.
Below are some tips from NOVA Parks' Trail Guidelines.

First Prepare
  • Plan your W&OD trip with weather and your physical abilities in mind.
  • Know how your equipment works and how to make simple repairs, carry a repair kit.
  • Carry a map, always know where you are.
  • Wear a safety helmet when riding.
  • Use the trail with a friend.
  • Carry water and high-energy snacks when traveling long distances.
  • Wear gloves and kneepads to prevent injury.
  • Stretch before and after exercising.
  • Wear a hat and sunblock.
Show Your Care
  • Be courteous to other trail users.
  • Self-monitor and control your speed; faster users always yield to slower users.
  • Give a clear, polite signal with voice, bell or horn at least 2-3 seconds before passing.
  • Children, animals, and other trail users may act unpredictably, pass with care.
  • Horses, then pedestrians, have the right-of-way, cyclists must yield to both.
  • Allow maximum distance between you and other trail users when passing.
  • Do not block the trail when stopped, move all equipment to the side away from traffic.
  • Keep pets on a short leash and under control at all times, the best place for pets is on the right shoulder of the trail, next to their owner.
  • Do not stop on or fish from bridges.
Be Aware
  • Always travel to the right of the center line.
  • Slow down and use caution when approaching or overtaking other trail users.
  • Cross roads only at designated crossings; stop and look both ways before crossing.
  • Travel slowly when the trail is congested.
  • Be sure to look for trail users approaching from the opposite direction before passing.
  • Be alert to changing trail conditions.
  • Abide by all posted trail and stop signs.
  • Headphone use, while not recommended, should be with one ear bud and at low volume.
  • Do not approach wildlife; obtain permission from pet and horse owners before approaching.