Get Around the Custis Trail During Closures

erin potter bikearlington
Erin Potter Tweet Us @BikeArlington@BikeArlington July 26, 2018

Erin Potter is the former Program Manager for BikeArlington.

Facebook Tweet us @BikeArlington

Starting July 30, the Custis Trail between N Adams St and McCoy Park will be closed for repairs. There are great ways to get around the detour, depending on your mode of travel and comfort.

The Custis Trail improvements in McCoy Park have been completed. Safety improvements to the Custis Trail in Rosslyn will begin the week of December 10, 2018. Learn more about the transformation and how to safely navigate the trail while work is happening.

If you’re a regular user of the Custis Trail, you’ve probably noticed a series of bumps, or undulations, on the trail surface near the pedestrian flyover bridge over I-66. They have been there for years, tripping runners and throwing your lunch out of your basket.

Arlington Parks and Recreation is working with a contractor to repair the damaged substructure of the trail, which will provide a better trail experience. No more tripping and no more shaken lunches!

What to Expect During Repairs

This part of the Custis Trail is too narrow (between a retaining wall and I-66) to allow repair work to happen while the trail is open, so a section of the trail, from N Adams St to McCoy Park, will be completely closed from July 30 until the end of August. Arlington Parks and Recreation’s contractor will be signing three different detour routes and the one right for you depends on how you get around.

Detour for People Walking and Running

Heading east, people walking can stay on the trail the longest. After crossing the bridge over Spout Run Pkwy (right after the Italian Store) keep walking past the two large apartment buildings. On the right, use the staircase to get to North Adams St. From there, hang a left onto the sidewalk along Route 29 and walk until you get to the Custis Trail again and follow the same route on the way back.

This route will have directional signage and is what Arlington Parks and Recreation calls the “Main Pedestrian Route”. If stairs don’t work for you, look at following one of the routes below.

Detours for People Biking, Scooting, or Rolling

There will be two routes marked for people biking and rolling, and a third recommended by local riders.

1. Comfort Route

This route has riders getting off the trail earlier and following a North Arlington comfort route, utilizing neighborhood streets and Key Blvd. There are major crossings at N Kirkwood Rd and at Veitch St as it crosses Route 29, but otherwise, is relatively low stress.

This route will have directional signage and is what Arlington Parks and Recreation calls the “Main Bike Route”.

East Route

West Route

2. Short & Sweet

If you don’t mind a few blocks of riding quickly with traffic or very carefully along sidewalks on Route 29, this detour is better for you.

This route will have directional signage and is what Arlington Parks and Recreation calls the “Secondary Bike Route”.

East Route

West Route

3. Local Rider Approved

For folks who want a comfortable route that is a bit shorter than the first, the Bicycle Advisory Committee recommends this route.

Heading east, stay on the trail a bit longer and get off at Calvert St, which is the first left after the Spout Run Bridge. It has a punchy little climb and crosses 29 twice (with traffic lights both times) but also travels mostly along low-stress neighborhood streets.

East Routes

West Routes


  • ND says:

    Thank you for taking the time to put all these options together.

  • Michael A. Shea says:

    Photo at top of story is a section of the trail not anywhere close to the affected area under repair. Causes confusion. The photo is from the Westover/Bluemont part of the trail.

  • Bobbi J says:

    Thanks for heads up on the trail on Monday!
    All the detour signs were easy to follow and helpful.

  • Sarah Cummings says:

    Thanks for this, really very useful. I always enjoy your blog!

  • J Rose says:

    Can you please give an update on the Custis Trail closure? Thank you

    • Suzanne Patel says:

      HI J Rose! We are working on updating this posts with the latest information. We currently have those most recent trail updates posted on BikeArlington’s Facebook and Twitter channels, too.


To prevent spam, comments will be approved before appearing on the post. If you have a comment or question, but do not want it to be published, please email BikeArlington.