about the FOWOD
information on the trail
trail pursuits
access to the trail
map of the trail
trail mileages
safety on the trail
trail patrol
history of the trail
contact the FOWOD
join the FOWOD
links to other sites
home page
Safety on the W&OD

W&OD Trail Rules and Guidelines
The W&OD is a multi-use trail. Please use common sense and courtesy when using the trail. Here are some rules and regulations to make the W&OD a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone:

Wear a helmet. While required by Viriginia state law only for those under 15 years old, the wearing of a helmet very often protects the cyclist, skater, etc. from serious or fatal injury if s/he is involved in an accident.
Click here to review the laws concerning helmet wearing, state by state, and related safety issues.

No mopeds or other motorized vehicles are allowed on the trail.

Pets must be kept on a leash and under control at all times.

Please place all trash in receptacles.

The trail is open only during daylight hours.

When on the trail, please travel in the right lane only, and pass on the left.

Give an audible warning when passing.

Move off the trail when stopped.

Unless otherwise posted, pedestrians have the right of way.

Travel at speeds that are safe and appropriate to trail conditions and usage.

Racing and competitive speed training are not allowed. Permission for footraces, however, may be obtained from the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.

Some additional suggestions for your safety:

Let common sense and courtesy be your guides when you use the W&OD Trail; please remember that this is a multi-use resource.

When the trail is heavily trafficked, users are advised to proceed in single file.

Cyclists and horseback riders should dismount and proceed cautiously across intersections. Be alert to obstacles that may impede vision.

Be alert for steep embankments where the roadbed has been built up.

Watch for barricades and other potential hazards.

Keep off of private property bordering the trail.

For your safety, use the trail with a partner.

Please report all hazardous conditions to the trail office (703-729-0596, or by e-mail). Emergencies and suspicious activities should be reported to the police immediately.

Tips for running safety, by the Road Runners Club of America

Mileage and location markers, and reporting problems
Starting from the southeastern terminus in Arlington, mileage markers have been placed every half-mile along the W&OD Trail. Arlington County has placed an additional set of numbered and color-coded markers every 1/4 mile along the W&OD Trail and the connecting trails in Arlington. Please refer to these markers when reporting to the office on trail conditions, etc., and also when reporting (promptly) to the police any suspicious activity or emergency that you may happen upon.

Alert the W&OD about vandalism
Please assist the W&OD Trail in its effort to control vandalism by promptly either e-mailing or calling the office at 703-729-0596 if you see any graffiti spray-painted on the trail, bridge abutments, retaining walls, or electrical towers. The park staff itself will remove or cover most graffiti. If an electrical tower has been defaced, we will pass along the information to Virginia Power so they may cover the graffiti with gray paint. Be as specific as possible about the location, including the town, nearest mileage marker, nearby streets and, in the case of the power poles, the number on the metal plate attached to the tower. Also, tell us whether it is a round or a steel beam tower.
Studies have shown that a location from which graffiti is quickly removed is much less likely to attract additional defacement.
With your help, we may eliminate -- and can certainly minimize -- unsightly and sometimes obscene vandalism along the W&OD.

 • The W&OD Trail is owned and operated by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority