Friends of the W&OD Trail
W&OD FAQ

W&OD FAQ

What are the rules regarding  e-bikes and other e-devices on the  W&OD?

Virginia law allows the use of electrically powered bicycles (e-bikes) skateboards, scooters, e-skateboards, hoverboards, e-scooters, electric personal assistive mobility devices, and electric personal delivery devices wherever regular bicycles are allowed.

NOTE: Virginia codes sections 10.1, 15.2, and 46.2 regulate electrically powered bicycles (e-bikes) skateboards, scooters, e-skateboards, e-scooters, and hoverboards with a top speed of 20mph; electric personal assistive mobility devices with a top speed of 15mph; and electric personal delivery devices with a top speed of 10mph as bicycles that can be used on trails and shared use paths.

NOVA Parks Guidelines:

For the purpose of these guidelines, NOVA Parks will define e-bikes as an “electric power-assisted bicycle” (e-bike), meaning a wheeled vehicle equipped with (i) pedals that allow propulsion by human power and ii) an electric motor with a top powered speed of 20 mph that reduces the pedal effort required of the rider. This applies to both road and mountain style (e/MTB) e-bikes. They are not, and do not function like a motorized bicycle, moped, motorcycle, or all-terrain-vehicle.

Also allowed are skateboards, scooters, motorized skateboards, motorized scooters, and hoverboards with powered versions capped at 20 m.p.h., electric personal assistive mobility devices are limited to 15 m.p.h., and electric personal delivery devices are limited to 10 m.p.h.

If your e-device can operate in excess of 20mph, you must limit your speed to 20mph while on the W&OD Trail.

As a matter of law, NOVA Parks cannot regulate the use of these devices within the parks (Virginia Code § 15.2-5704).  If you see any device operated in an unsafe or reckless manner, please contact the police department of the county, city, or town this occurs in (if an emergency, call 9-1-1).

I see people wearing yellow vests. What is that about?

The W&OD is lucky to have a crew of dedicated volunteers who serve as the eyes and ears for trail management. They observe the conditions of the trail and report problems to staff and assist trail users. Riding, walking, running, or scootering on the trail is their joy, and they give back to the trail by donating their time this way. If this sounds like something you’d enjoy doing 4 hours per month May – September, see W&OD Trail Patrol.

How can I donate to support the W&OD Trail?

There are three easy ways to support the trail. First, you can join us as a member. There are several different levels of membership so you can choose what suits your annual budget. Membership Link Second, you can donate through the NOVA Parks website any amount you choose. Note that if you donate at that site, only 50% of your donation will go directly to support the W&OD trail. Third, you can donate directly to the W&OD by sending a check to the trail office at 21293 Smith Switch Rd., Ashburn, VA 20147.

And finally, if you are interested in including a gift to the W&OD via your estate planning, please contact wod@novaparks.org to connect with the people who can help you do that.

Are horses allowed on the  W&OD?

We enthusiastically welcome equestrian trail users. Remember that they always have the right of way. For more information about how to safely share spaces with horses, see this article: https://www.americantrails.org/resources/safe-encounters-with-horses-on-multi-use-trails And, just in case you wondered, the horse apples they leave behind degrade quickly, so we don’t clean it up.

What is FoWOD doing about the invasive plants on the  W&OD?

For many years volunteers, local jurisdictions, corporate partners and NOVA Parks staff have been battling invasive plants. Almost all of the species listed on the Virginia Department of Conservation and Research site are present to some degree on the W&OD. There are a couple of very active groups along the trail involved with this volunteer work. If you’d like to join one of the existing groups or start a group in an area that needs help, please contact wod@nvrpa.org

I put up a sign for my lost dog/cat/bird on the trail and someone keeps taking it down. Why can’t it stay up?

Generally, no signs will be allowed except for permitted events. For more information, please contact, the Trail Manager at wod@nvrpa.org

My organization/club/friends would like to have an event on the trail. What are the rules for that?

All events involving 25 people or more, whether one time or recurring, require a permit. You can apply for a permit by contacting the Trail Manager at wod@nvrpa.org

Why are there Dominion electrical and/or tree crews working on the trail?

Dominion Energy has an easement within the W&OD Railroad Regional Park to maintain the power lines. This maintenance includes replacement work of the lines & poles and managing the trees and growth underneath the lines. This work is done in collaboration with park management to ensure the trail is open as much as possible and detours are kept to a minimum. They often hire contractors so trucks may say Dominion or other companies.

Other contractors that you may see on the W&OD include Loudoun Water Company and construction/landscape companies working on contracted projects. If you see any contractor operating in an unsafe manner, please immediately contact trail staff via email or voice at 703-729-0596.

What do I do if I see graffiti or vandalism?

If you notice graffiti or vandalism, please email wod@nvrpa.org. Please send a photo of what you see and describe the location as specifically as possible.  If you see active vandalism or graffiti occurring, please call 911.

My child wants to run a lemonade stand on the trail. What do we need to do? OR My business wants to give away promotional items on the trail. What do we need to do?

All commercial activities, no matter how small or large must have permission from the W&OD Railroad Regional Park Manager. To discuss your idea, contact trail staff via email.

Geocaching in the W&OD Railroad Regional Park

While in the past park management allowed geocaches to be placed in the park, our policies have changed and new caches are not permitted. Safety is the #1 priority on the trail. Because NOVAParks rules require caches to be placed 50 feet away from adjoining property, and the W&OD is only 100 feet wide, a cache would have to be on or near the paved surface. That doesn’t work from a caching viewpoint or a safety viewpoint. Therefore, no new caches will be permitted and existing caches will be phased out.

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