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
Join Sierra Club Potomac Region Outings and the Potomac Heritage Trail Association in celebrating National Public Lands Day and the 125th anniversary of Rock Creek Park, with a 10 mile hike along the new Civil War Defense of Washington Trail . A section of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, our hike traces Civil War forts from Fort Marcy in Virginia to Fort DeRussey in Rock Creek Park in Washington D.C. Highlights include Fort Marcy, Chain Bridge, C&O Canal, Glover-Archebald Park, Fort Reno, and beautiful Rock Creek Park. At the Rock Creek Nature Center, enjoy special activities planned by the National Park Service in honor of Rock Creek Park's 125th anniversary. The National Park Service will also be providing our hiking...
The blue, pink and green sections of trail in the map are now open, and the yellow section should be complete by Spring 2016. Some of this (e.g. blue, pink) could serve as the Potomac Heritage Trail route, since other options west and south from Scotts Run Nature Preserve (e.g. along Georgetown Pike and Swinks Mill Road) are impractical. Below are videos of the pink and green sections.
Pink section going east (fox appears at 7:08)
Green section going east (built via 3 Eagle Scout projects mentored by Fairfax Trails & Streams's Ed Pickens)
We regret to announce the passing of Charles W. "Chuck" Sloan. Chuck was involved with Fairfax Trails & Streams from the very beginning (mid-1990s). He participated in the early Cross County Hikes. He did pro-bono legal work for many trail groups, including the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, the Potomac River Greenways Coalition (FTAS's parent 501(c)3 organization), and the Potomac Heritage Trail Association. Chuck also played a key role in creating the American Discovery Trail (the only coast-to-coast hiking trail) and the American Hiking Society. Chuck was always there to provide a hand! We will miss him.
Chuck's Washington Post obituary can be found at bit.ly/1HQRTN0
UPDATE Oct. 26, 2015
VDOT has incorporated two of our suggestions in their latest "preferred" I-66 design (Sept 2015), which now includes:
(1) The parts of the bike trail parallel to I-66 on VDOT property
(2) A trail across the entire I-66 / Rt 123 intersection--just what is needed for our preferred Cross County trail route there.
This is great news, and means that if VDOT's preferred proposal is adopted, the above trails will be completed by 2021 with the I-66 widening.
Additionally, the remainder of the parallel-to-I-66 trail NOT on VDOT property is also included in the "preferred" design. This includes sections we proposed that serve the dual role of filling important gaps in the West County Trail. But,...
Video shows dramatic descent from Bles Park Overlook to Broad Run. At 0:08 you see an alternate route down, if the one shown induces too much vertigo. At the bottom, at 1:25, you'll see a spot where Murphy Jenkins of Loudoun Parks (Thanks, Murphy!) chainsawed a huge logjam, making passage here easier (my wife Karen is there).
This is part of the Potomac Heritage Trail, about a mile up the trail from the Bles Park entrance (44830 Riverside Pkwy, Ashburn VA). Warning--we got lots of ticks here, whereas the day before on the Cross County trail, we got none....
UPDATE June 8: The Board overrode Hyland's objections, to approve the less-scenic northern alignment at Fairfax Water, instead of the Cliffside route we advocated. Video of the depressing and rather bizarre decision process is at bit.ly/bosRejectsCliffsTrail, starting at 4:01:30. Key vote is at 4:07. There will be a trail from Rt. 123 to Occoquan Overlook Drive via the northern route. However, our dream of continuing it up to Sandy Run Park and eventually Bull Run Park (thus linking the Cross County Trail and West County Trail) now appears to be unattainable--since two landowners who had offered easements if the Cliffs trail were approved have so far refused for the northern route. We will continue to monitor the situation.
Thanks for all...