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The exciting 40 mile route of MORE's NOVA Epic, exploring the trails of northern Fairfax County

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439' 134 m


150' 46 m


1,959' 597 m


1,963' 598 m



Avg Grade (1°)


Max Grade (8°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown


The Northern Tour is a great way to learn some of the lesser-known trails in Fairfax County, get some great views of some of the last wild spots in Northern Virginia, and to see the connections between our trail systems in the county. Its a great adventure route right in our backyards that takes advantage of trail systems managed by Fairfax County Park Authority, NVRPA, and the NPS.

Need to Know

Portions of this route are on paved bike path and cross busy roads, so please take extra care when coming up on intersections, no matter how cross eyed you are from the hills!

The crossing of VA 193, Georgetown Pike, is particularly busy, but is only a temporary detour until the NPS's repair work on the Difficult Run Trail is complete.


The Northern Tour kicks off with a loop around Lake Fairfax Park in Reston, Virginia, where riders will be treated to classic northern Virginia trails and MOREs newest work alike.

From Lake Fairfax, riders will head out the Washington and Old Dominion Rail Trail (WOD) to the primitive singletrack behind the scenes of Restons residential communities. The next stop is Fred Crabtree Park, one of the county's hidden gems, for a ride through the best Fairfax trails youve never heard of.

Then its back to the WOD to Clarks Crossing, a park MORE spent time developing for the 2013 NOVA Epic. Just off the bike path, between Vienna and Reston, its a great spot to squeeze your after work dirt fix, and after taking this tour, youll know the way straight to the goods!

Once you wipe the grin off your face you'll be headed north through the Cross County Trail and Difficult Run trail into Great Falls National Park for a taste of Virginia history as you ride past the site of Matildaville and the Patowmack Canal.

A portion of the Difficult Run trail inside Great Falls is currently washed out, so we'll be detouring across Georgetown Pike to enter the National Park. Watch for traffic here!

On your way north through the park, don't forget to take in the views of the Potomac running through Mather Gorge along the way, a breathtaking and wild spot, you'll hardly believe is nestled right in our metro area. You'll have another dose of singletrack and river views on a hot lap of Riverbend Parks trails before you hit the turnaround point and start heading back towards home.

After a return trip through Great Falls, you'll be rolling back to Lake Fairfax Park to the Difficult Run and Colvin Run trails for your last taste of singletrack before arriving at the park proper, venue of MORE's NOVA Epic.

History & Background

This route is one of the route options for MORE's 2014 NOVA Epic, and was developed to link up and show off northern Fairfax's best riding spots by MORE's staff and volunteers.

For more event details (and to register!) check out


Shared By:

MTB Project Staff

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 14 votes


  4.0 from 14 votes
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in Virginia


71 Views Last Month
21,954 Since Jul 10, 2014
Intermediate Intermediate



Biking Bad at Difficult Run Trail
Dec 4, 2018 near Reston, VA
Half way to Great Falls
May 7, 2019 near Great F…, VA
Difficult Run creek crossing, just south of the Old Dominion underpass.
Aug 11, 2017 near Great F…, VA
Small fun drop.
Dec 11, 2018 near Reston, VA
Shredding the Trails with Mario & Won
May 7, 2019 near Great F…, VA
Through the trees
Sep 21, 2013 near Reston, VA


Current Trail Conditions

Add Your Check-In


Feb 4, 2024
Chris Adams
Jun 25, 2022
Ali Shams
Oct 3, 2020
Gina Dietz
4mi — 2h 30m
Jul 27, 2020
Jeff Neiman
Unbelievable. Truly an epic ride!!!! I saw two water stations: one on the CCT between Difficult Run Stream Valley Park and Tamarack Park & Great Falls 46.6mi
May 30, 2020
Ted Procter
Bailed halfway through due to huge time sink trying to follow many non-existent trails south of the W&OD. 21mi — 4h 00m
Apr 12, 2019
Kari Nichols
Feb 16, 2019
jacob Myers
Oct 13, 2018
Lane Blumenfeld

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