In addition to all of the capital recommendations included in the Park Service's Trails Study, the also spend considerable time on the National Capital Trail concept. This is not a unique trail or even a single trail
The concept designates four distinct loops that each offer between 18 and 45 miles of diverse trail experiences, linking NPS parks and area destinations.
A similar idea was included in the 1990 plan, but other than the Arlington Loop and the Little Falls/Rock Creek Loop (also known as the Zoo Review), not much has been done to make these happen.
But this time, things are going to be different, or as NPS puts it "This plan proposes a refined and simplified loop concept, completing critical connections to establish the National Capital Trail." Here's the simplified plan
With four loops
- Central 10 Mile Loop – The Central Loop includes a connection from the National Mall south and east to Poplar Point and back across the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers to the Mount Vernon Trail and Arlington Memorial Bridge.
- Southern 18 Mile Loop – The Southern Loop includes the portion of the Mount Vernon Trail from the 14th Street Bridge to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, connecting to the Oxon Hill Trail and South Capitol Street Trail north to Poplar Point, then tying into the Central Loop.
- Northern 30 Mile Loop – The Northern Loop includes the Capital Crescent Trail connecting to the proposed Purple Line Trail, Sligo Creek Trail, and Northwest Branch Trail reaching south to the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail and tying into the Central Loop.
- Perimeter 45 Mile Loop – The Perimeter Loop includes the outer extent of the Northern, Central, and Southern Loops for a total of 45 miles.