A Capital Trails Network Model for the Nation

Anacostia Riverwalk Trail | Washington, D.C.


The Capital Trails Coalition (CTC) seeks to create a world-class network of multiuse trails that are equitably distributed throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region. The regional trails network will transform public life by providing healthy, low-stress access to open space and reliable transportation for people of all ages and abilities.

A well-connected regional trails network promises to help transform public life by linking diverse communities, promoting personal and environmental health and building sustainable local economies—providing opportunities for quality active-transportation opportunities that work for everyone across the region’s diverse cities, suburban corridors and rural communities.

There is no better place than D.C.—which gets the attention of millions of tourists each year, as well as national leaders—to create a model of success to be replicated in other communities.

Mount Vernon Trail | Photo by Milo Bateman


Explore the Network Footprint

Though the full trail-network route is still in development, the geographic footprint currently includes more than 800 miles of existing and planned trails and connections in Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia. Urban corridors such as the 11-mile Capital Crescent Trail from Georgetown to Maryland and the 18-mile Mount Vernon Trail from Alexandria to Mount Vernon will work in tandem with urban-suburban-rural Northern Virginia connectors like the W&OD to create a world-class trail network in the country’s capital.

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A Regional Impact

By building a world-class trails network in Washington, D.C., the CTC seeks to deliver smart transportation, strong economic growth, healthy people and social equity throughout the region, and to create a national model for other communities. Read more about how the project will make a lasting impact.

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Mount Vernon Trail | Photo by Milo Bateman


Achieving the Capital Trails Vision

The CTC formed in November 2015 with a mission to move the 800-mile trail network vision forward to completion and held a public launch in October 2016 on the Mount Vernon Trail in Washington, D.C. The coalition also developed a steering committee and three working groups, and established governance structures and a regional brand identity.

The coalition has begun to define the trail system footprint and establish criteria for inclusion in the network. Over the next few years, the coalition will continue to identify trail funding sources, broaden its base of support and establish the project as a regional priority.

Capital Trails Coalition Logo

RELATED: Capital Trails Coalition Begins Creation of World-Class Trail Network in DC

A Broad Regional Partnership

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Logo
Washington Area Bicyclist Association
National Park Service Logo

Founding partners for the CTC include the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and the National Park Service. The coalition also includes more than 40 public and private organizations and agencies—as well as citizen volunteers—and is supported by REI, who has committed $500,000 through their Rewilding Projects initiative.

Get Involved

Local, regional or state level (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) organizations—nonprofit, private sector or public sector—are encouraged to join the coalition’s efforts. For updates on the project or to learn how you can help make the project a reality, join the Capital Trails Coalition mailing list.

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