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Recon of Connolly/Fairfax Cross County
Trail between Oak Marr Park and Vale RD
Oakton, VA.

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This hike, which occured on Wednesday, September 14, 2022, was supposed to be 4.6 miles but ended up being 5 miles. Participants were Dina Alani and me.

Dina and I met at the rear parking lot of Prince of Peace United Methodist Church in Manassas, VA at 9:00 AM. We drove two vehicles to the intersection of Vale RD and Valestra Circle in Oakton, VA, dropped one vehicle off there, drove the other vehicle to Oak Marr Park in Oakton, VA and started the hike there. But wait, there was a farmers market there so we had to see it

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Our first hike along the FFX CCT was in February, 2022 and was between Pohick RD and the Occoquan River

first. We then used the facilities at the park REC center, then started the hike. It was about 10:30 AM.

The weather was beautiful with low humidity and in the 70's the entire time. The trail basically went around the rear of the park. What was weird was that there was a fence on the park side of the trail so that you could not get from the park to the trail. You had to walk out to Jermantown RD, turn left, walk about 500 feet, then turn left into the woods. We saw a side trail right after starting this hike. We weren't sure if it was the CCT or a side trail going out to an adjacent street. This would be an issue many times on this hike.

We passed a golf course that must have been part of Oak Marr Park. At around 1.8 miles we reached Miller Heights RD. We turned right, road walked for about a quarter mile, then turned left into the woods again. The trail had been all asphalt. It would now be dirt, gravel and mud the rest of the way.

At around the 2.5 mile mark we reached an intersection. Should we go straight or left? There were no trail markers present. We went straight. We guessed wrong as we came back out to Miller Heights RD. We didn't want to backtrack so we walked Miller Heights RD to the intersection with Miller RD. We then turned left onto the trail again at mile 3.0. In about .2 miles we were talking and passed the trail trurning off to the right. There were trail markers but they were confusing. So after about about a half hour of walking up and down the trail and trying a side trail that petered out we asked various people how to get to Vale RD. There were a lot of runners, hikers and dog walkers on the trail. They were all locals so they knew the way. They told us how to get back on the trail.

At around mile 3.9 we came to the Stevens Family Bridge. This area was very muddy. We crossed the bridge, then were not sure which way to go. There was a trail marker to the left but we did not see it. So we went to the right. This side trail was very muddy. I knew something was wrong because the stream next to the trail was flowing the wrong way. When we got to Samaga RD I knew that we went the wrong way. So we backtracked to the bridge, saw the trail marker, went up a small hill and proceeded.

The rest of the trail was flat and easy. After about a half hour we came to the Old Vale RD Bridge. It was the former one lane bridge for Vale RD. The new bridge was right next to it. The CCT now went over this bridge. My vehicle was just ahead at the Vale RD/Valestra CIR intersection. We then drove back to the Oak Marr REC Center, said our goodbyes and departed for home. This trail was supposed to take two hours to hike. With all of the wrong

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turns that we took, it took three hours. And instead of being 4.6 miles, we ended up hiking exactly 5 miles according to Dina's Apple watch.

Even with all of the directional issues this was a pleasant hike. We saw some nice scenery, met some nice people and completed another section of the Connolly/Fairfax Cross County Trail. I have now officially section hiked 25.3 miles of this trail. Unofficially 28.3 miles. I drove the 3 miles of this trail that went along the sidewalk of Pickett RD/Blake LA/Jermantown RD in Fairfax, VA so I consider these 3 miles completed. Now I only have 12.2 miles left to complete this 40.5 mile trail. If anyone would like to join me for this last stretch, please let me know.

Mike C

Map of where we hiked


CCT Sign
   CCT Sign.
   By Mike Calabrese

Group selfie    Group selfie.
   By Mike Calabrese



Trail marker    Trail marker.
   By Mike Calabrese

Start of the hike    Start of the hike.
   By Mike Calabrese

Around the 3 mile mark    Around the 3 mile mark.
   By Mike Calabrese

Old Vale RD bridge, end of hike    Old Vale RD bridge, end of hike.
   By Mike Calabrese

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