Bill's Blog

News and progress along the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail

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William P. Niedringhaus

William P. Niedringhaus

William P. Niedringhaus was the first to envision the Fairfax Cross County Trail ( He led several Cross-County Hikes from Lorton to Great Falls in 1998-2001 to promote the idea. The trail officially opened in 2007. Bill won an Elie Doyle award in 2001 for Cross-County Trail advocacy and shared one in 2007 with five others (including PHTA board member Robin Rentsch). He is currently president of the PHTA and Fairfax Trails and Streams. Bill designs, builds and maintains many miles of trails.
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Continuing our posts of lesser-known scenic loop trails, here is the Laurel Crest Loop, and its link under I-95 to Lorton VRE station and the Pohick Stream Valley Trail.    ...
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Fairfax County's larger parks have well-known scenic loop trails, but other such loops are "hidden gems". In a series of photo albums we'll post some of our favorites. Much of the 1.75-mile CCT/Browns Mill/Beulah Loop is along roads--usually what we try to avoid or minimize at Fairfax Trails & Streams. But along the "starred" sections the trail is well-separated from the road, and the traffic is relatively light if you avoid rush hour. First photo shows wonderful Christmas decorations along the trail near Beulah Road's big bend. The next 10 photos are snapshots from a video (we'll post it separately) ending at the corner of Browns Mill at Beulah. The next six photos are of the Browns Mill trail ending with...
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Please join "Walk On" Ray Smith for a 5-mile scenic hike along a mostly-wooded portion of the Potomac Heritage Trail on November 19 9am. Much of this route will be hiked for the first time as a public event. Meet at the Lorton Workhouse at 9am (corner of parking lot nearest Workhouse Road at Rt 123) See  for late details .  Contact info:   ...
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Many studies document the positive impact of trails on their communities. The Trails Benefits Library provides easy clickable access to 120 such studies. They are accessible by date, region, trail user group, and benefit--e.g. to property values, health, safety, and more....
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On July 23, 2016, Eagle Scout Tanner Lofgran and his crew of 17 refurbished a badly-overgrown and wet section of the Sugarland Run Trail. They had to deal with 90+ temperatures and angry yellow-jackets (one volunteer was stung 6 times and had to be evacuated--but he is OK). Tanner designed the drier route and coordinated a team effort to lift a huge log up from the stream bed to anchor a section of trail . Here are some photos of Tanner's team at work! ...
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On June 18, 2016, Jack Whitehead completed his Eagle Project to improve the PHNST at Bles Park. Jack improved 500 feet at the western end of the park. This hilly, rocky section was badly in need of widening and leveling of tread. Jack obtained permission from the nearby homeowners association to access the site--this made it much easier to bring tools and supplies.   A second Eagle project is in the works to improve the trail from Jack's area eastward toward the main part of Bles Park. Jack's project stops at the end of the Loudoun County Parkland. There is a sign there indicating where the park property ends. Below are photos from Jack's team as they did their work.  ...
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