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Recon of Long Branch Stream Valley Trail, Fairfax, VA

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This recon took place on Wednesday, April 27, 2002. Participants were Dina Alani, Steve Butterfield and Mike Calabrese.

On the morning of this hike I discovered that there was an additional 2.1 mile segment of this trail immediately to the north and west of the 2.5 mile segment that we were going to hike today. That would be a potential 4.6 mile linear trail that would be a great hike for the POPUMC Hiking Group. I was excited about this. But it would only be temporary.

I met Steve and Dina at Prince of Peace UMC at 9:00 AM. We proceeded to drive two vehicles over to the southeast end of the Long Branch Trail at the corner of Braddock and Wakefield Chapel RDS. We left Dina's car there and drove mine back to the end of Marley RD near a swimming pool where we would start this hike around 10:15. Traffic was slow.

The weather today was fantastic! Sunny and in the 50's with a slight breeze. We hiked along Long Branch and downstream. The trail was asphalt about 60% of the way and gravel for 40% of the way. It looked like a portion of the trail had been rehabbed recently. We got the 2.5 miles done by 11:05.

We drove Dina's vehicle back to Marley RD. I wanted to see if we could hike to the section of the Long Branch Trail just to the northwest of Ollie LA. So we hiked out to Ollie LA, we saw the pond across the street, then we started walking up and down Ollie LA trying to find if the trail crossed the road and continued on. At one point we crossed the road and Steve walked along the edge of a yard bordering the pond that had a No Trespassing sign within it. Within a minute we heard a voice say "Can I help you?" It was the landowner. I couldn't hear the gist of the conversation but Steve had to leave the yard. We walked up the side of Ollie LA but could not find access to the Long Branch Trail west of Ollie LA.

I checked Google Maps when I got home and it shows that the person that told Steve to leave his property was within his rights as his property line went right up to the pond so he was justified in kicking us out. See the image with the red oval below) This same map shown below does show what looks like two paths from a street called Outlet that appears to go to the pond. However, The green parkland designation stops before the pond and continues after Ollie RD. So unfortionately, this trail is not continous to Whitacre RD further to the northwest. One has to respect the rights of private property owners. And since these broken trail segments are only 2.1 and about 2.2 since we could not start the hike at Ollie LA, we all agreed that this would not be a good hike for the POPUMC Hiking Group. Bummer.

Mike C

PS- I plan to go back and hike in from the northwest to this pond and see if I can get out to Ollie LA. If you look at the green circle in the image below there appear to be 2 easements going from the Outlet to the pond. That may be the way to connect these two segments. If so, then this hike is again back on the POPUMC Hiking Group hike list.


Group selfie
 Group selfie.
  Map of where we hiked
  Map of where we hiked.


Steve and Dina on the trail
 Steve and Dina on the trail.
Break in the trail
 Break in the trail.
 By Google Maps





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