Recon of High Meadows/Taylor Farm/South Valley Trails, PWFP, VA<< MIKEBLOGSV2 Home
It was supposed to be a cloudy but nice day so Tom and I decided to go ahead with this hike. As usual we met at the rear parking lot of
Prince of Peace United Methodist Church
and carpooled over to Prince William Forest in my vehicle. We noticed a lot of downed trees on the sides on the scenic drive in the park and were concerned about how that would affect our hike. We drove to parking lot H and started the hike around 9:30 AM.
This was to be a clockwise loop. We started going eastbound on the High Meadows Trail between the Scenic Drive and the Taylor Farm Road. The High Meadows Trail had some mild ups and downs, went through some very nice fields of ferns and then intersected the Taylor Farms Road. This "road" was a trail but park service vehicles drive on it occasionally.
At about .7 miles we turned right onto Taylor Farms Road. This old road again had some ups but was mostly downhill. We did come across a medium sized blowdown on this stretch. It was easy to navigate and I reported it to the Park Service and PATC afterwards. When we got to the intersection of the South Valley Trail we saw the only other hikers on the trail that day. We had probably done about 1.5 miles at this point.
Once we got on the South Valley Trail headed westbound we immediately traversed a boardwalk, then crossed the scenic drive. This stretch would be the most difficult of the trip as we had to constantly go up, then down and strattle boulders along this stretch. It seemed to last forever. Quantico Creek South Branch was swollen and there were many downed trees in the creek,.
I kept saying "Man, where is that turnoff?" It seemed like it was taking forever. Then at around the 3.2 mile mark, the white blazed South Valley Trail turned left and the orange blazed High Meadows Trail went straight (up a big hill!).
This stretch of the High Meadows Trail would have it's shares of ups and downs. But it was very scenic. We finally made it back to my vehicle around 11:30 AM. I've done this hike a number of thimes over the years but it seemed harder this time. However, I think that it would make a nice hike for the POPUMC Hiking Group.
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