Public Art on Trails & Paths

Page updated on Apr 6, 2021 at 2:20 PM

Alexandria’s off-street trail network covers 15.4 miles and connects the City’s major parks as well as a wide variety of communities, from Arlandria and Potomac Yard to Old Town, from Cameron Run to Landmark and the West End. Four Mile Run, Potomac Yard, Old Cameron Run, Eisenhower Avenue, Backlick Run and Holmes Run are the major trails in Alexandria, and the Mt. Vernon Trail runs along land managed by the National Park Service.

Currently, the trails welcome a diverse group of users: commuters, recreational bicyclists, walkers, joggers and people out to use exercise equipment along the way. Public art along the City’s trail network will draw more attention to these trails as a resource and will attract more users.

Learn more about Alexandria’s trail network.

Winter Passages

The City of Alexandria invited artists from Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia to create original, temporary artworks for installation along key stretches of its off-street trail network to provide a sense of respite, discovery, and fun during the dark, cold winter months for the hundreds of people who use these trails every day. 

Three artists were selected to install public art works along three of Alexandria's trails: Holmes Run Trail, Potomac Yard Trail, and Four Mile Run Trail. Installations will be in place through May 2021.

Flock by Cristina Fletcher

materials: polycarbonate wrapped in dichroic film, copper foil

Homes Run Trail

Winter Passages - Flock

Flock is an installation of 100 origami-shaped birds (7 different styles) that hang overhead in the trees down the Holmes Run Trail. The birds are laser etched with names and messages from community members and hung in groups so they can "flock" together. As sunlight passes through the dichroic film, colorful shadows flicker on the path as the birds swing in the breeze. 

rock cairn BY alexander rudd

concrete, foam
Please Note: This installation has been removed

Four Mile Run Trail

Rock Cairn - Rudd

A cairn is a man-made pile of stones used for memorials or landmarks. In this series, three cairns have been created to represent activities that happen along Four Mile Run Trail.

The first cairn is a recreation cairn with stacked rocks alternating with items representing sporting equipment. The second cairn represents the different species of wildlife found along the run. The third cairn includes forms one may find on an afternoon stroll through the park including architectural elements like the cubic lanterns lining the trail, picnic items, a dog leash/collar, and a cell phone to name a few.  

life of a seed BY thomas sterner

stainless steel, cast concrete 

Potomac Yard Trail

Life of a Seed - Sterner

The sculpture represents hope, transformation, growth, perseverance, strength, and purpose. The piece is meant to be experienced in several ways: viewed from a distance at a scale appropriate to the site, enticing the viewer to investigate more closely, and contemplate the transformation of a seed from germination to sprout, flower and seed formation, continuing the cycle of life. Each sculpture can be appreciated individually for color, texture, gesture, and shadow.