Recon of Stafford Civil War and Government<< MIKEBLOGSV2 Home
Island Parks, Stafford, VA
This recon occured on Wednesday, June 29, 2022. Participants were Steve
Butterfield, Tom O'Brien and Mike Whatever.
Our Wednesday hike started OK but then ran into issues. But in the end, it
all worked out OK. Tom, Steve and I met at the church at 8:00 AM. Our
original destination was Crows Nest Natural Area in Stafford, VA. First we
went to the Brooke RD Access Area by mistake. This was a canoe launching
area. It was very nice but we needed to find the Raven RD entrance. We
finally got to the correct entrance to Crows Nest. However, it was gated.
I first reconned Stafford Civil War Park in February, 2019. It was cold that day. Read all about it here.
According to a sign at the entrance the Crows Nest Natural area was only open
Thursday through Sunday. Today was Wednesday. We were out of luck.
So I suggested that we go to nearby Stafford Civil War Park and hike there.
We arrived at this park in about 10 minutes. We first we checked out the civil
camp remains on the southeastern side of the park. We saw indentations on the
ground that were once rifle pits, cabins and other vestiges from the past. By
the way, the map for this park shown below is an older version. The picnic
area shown on it was not built (yet). And the many new trails here that are
part of this 3 mile loop are not shown.
Next we walked across a power line right of way or ROW, then started a
counterclockwise loop around the perimeter of this park. We passed a
former union camp complete with replica cannons. We walked back to Accokeek
Creek, saw the remnants of a former bridge and would be following this trail
for the next mile. There were numerous side
trails heading to the main road of the park called General Howard AVE. There
are definitely more trails here now then there were when I last reconned this
park in early 2019.
At the southwest corner of the park the trail split with one fork crossing a
creek and the other turning left and climbing a hill. There were no
directional signs at this intersection. Tom and Steve crossed
the creek, I started up the hill. After seeing that the trail that crossed
the creek was veering away from the park, Tom and Steve returned and we all
hiked up the hill to what is called Battery 3.
After reading the historical signs we started the return trip along a former
cordouroy road. This is what old roads were that had tree trunks laid across
them so that wagons would not get stuck in the mud while traversing them.
This trail ended half way back to my vehicle and along General
Howard AVE. We used the rest room facilities at this juncture
and talked to the park maintence man for awhile. He told us that the trail
that we didn't take went by another former union camp. You could see the
cabin platform indentations as well as small fragments of glass in the soil
that would glisten in the afternoon sun.
We thanked the maintence man for the info, walked back to my vehicle and then
drove the 8 mile trip over to Government Island Park. The "claim to fame" for
this island was that a good deal of the large rocks on this island were
quarried and the stone used to construct a number of federal government
buildings in Washington, DC. The lollipop loop around the island was about
1.6 miles. There were a good deal of people on this trail for a weekday
to no one observed at Stafford Civil War Park. We finished this trail by
twelve noon and were back at POPUMC by 12:30. And we agreed that these two
hikes would make a good future outing for the POPUMC Hiking Group.
Sign for Crows Nest NAP.
Other sign, Crows Nest NAP.
Tom &Steve near Battery 3.
Looking @ cabin repro.
Plaque for Cordouroy RD.
Sign for Government Island Park.
Other Sign, Government Island
Map of Stafford Civil War Park.
Government Island Trail Map
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