50th Anniversary of the Mount Vernon Trail

The Mount Vernon Trail is turning 50 years old! Please join the Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail and our pals and partners to celebrate a truly monumental trail. We will be celebrating five decades of natural beauty, community partnership, and stewardship of one of the great public resources that makes the Washington area special.

Like the Mount Vernon Trail itself, this event will be free and open to the public.

Event Details

Date: Saturday, April 16, 2022

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Location: Daingerfield Island
1 Marina Drive
Alexandria, VA 22033 (directions)

Register today to let us know you’re coming!

Who’ll Be There?

Everyone who uses the trail is invited! This event celebrates everyone who enjoys the Mount Vernon Trail and works to keep it clean, clear and safe.

As the hosts, the Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail will be on site with giveaways, work demos, and enthusiastic greetings for our community.

Our friends at the National Park Service will bring the Junior Ranger program and Mobile Visitors Center.


Beginning at 11 a.m., we’ll hear from community leaders, including:

  • Don Beyer – Congressman – VIrginia 8th District
  • Judd Isbell – President – Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail
  • Charles Cuvelier – Superintendent – George Washington Memorial Parkway
  • Katie Cristol – County Board Chair – Arlington County
  • Sarah Bagley – Council Member – Alexandria City
  • Dan Storck – Mount Vernon District Supervisor – Fairfax County


We’ll also be joined by community members, including:

  • Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail
  • BikeArlington
  • WalkArlington
  • Capital Bikeshare
  • Go Alex – City of Alexandria
  • East Coast Greenway
  • Capital Trails Coalition
  • Friends of Dyke Marsh
  • George Washington Memorial Parkway
  • Rosslyn Business Improvement District

What Are We Celebrating?

On April 15, 1972, the first 4.5-mile stretch of the Mount Vernon Trail opened to the public. The gravel path ran from Belle Haven in Alexandria to the Memorial Bridge in Arlington and was the brainchild of two Alexandria women, Ellen Pickering and Barbara Lynch. In 1971, the two gathered over 700 signatures on a petition to create a trail alongside the George Washington Memorial Parkway. The National Park Service was sympathetic to the plea and agreed to provide the right-of-way, gravel, and tools if Pickering and Lynch could provide volunteers to do the work. So Pickering and Lynch organized 40 volunteers, and every Saturday that winter they spread gravel. In total, 400 recruits spread 4,200 tons of gravel, contributing 5,300 hours of labor to start the trail that would become a vital recreational and transportation corridor in the region.

The creation of the Mount Vernon Trail exemplified the kind of partnership among government, the private sector, and volunteers that continues to sustain it 50 years later.

Learn more about the history of the Mount Vernon Trail.


We have lots of opportunities to help out at the event. Sign up to volunteer before, during, or after!

If you’d prefer to join us for a work event, check out our upcoming events on the Trail. We welcome volunteers of all ages.

Support Us

If you would like to support this event through a financial or in-kind donation, please contact MtVernonTrail@gmail.com

To support our continued stewardship of the trail, please make an online donation. We are grateful for contributions to our work and will be giving donors a special shout-out at the party.