This roughly 2.7 mile loop hike took place on Saturday, June 4, 2022.
Participants were Tom O'Brien and Mike Calabrese.
It was a beautiful morning for a hike. I didn't hear back from anyone
confirming that they were going to Riverbend Park in Great Falls, VA. I was
ready to go by myself. Then Tom O'Brien showed up at the rear parking lot at
Prince of Peace United Methodist Church.
He wasn't keen on the long drive and the possibility of not being able to
get into this park. He suggested something in Prince William Forest. I then
suggested the 2.7 mile Farms to Forest Trail and extension. He agreed so we
set out to PWFP.
When we got to Prince William Forest Park in Triangle, VA there were still a
Our first successful hike in PWFP was in December, 2020 and was a 5 mile loop.
good number of
blowdowns on the side of the scenic drive. And we saw a large number of
people along the bike lanes on the scenic drive. We had to drive all the way
to the far western end of the park and the Oak Ridge Campground. We parked at
the parking lot at the entrance to the campground and started the hike.
This was a counter clockwise loop hike that was blazed green for the FTF
portion and yellow for the extension. The foliage was very thick so we did
not have a lot of scenic views. The first half of this hike was basically a
downhill walk to the North Branch of Quantico Creek. Once we got to the
creek we turned left, walked about 250 feet along the side of the creek, then
turned left and started the mile or so ascent.
During the winter you can see across the creek but since the folige was at or
near peak we couldn't see the other side of the creek. Also, long range
plans call for the North Valley Trail to be extended from it's present
terminus at Burma RD to the Farms to Forest Extension. This will increase the
distance of the NVT from 3.1 miles to somewhere between 4.25 and 4.75 miles.
Back to our hike, we started the mile or so ascent on this trail back to our
vehicles. We took it a bit slower going back up then we did coming down on this
trail. We took plenty of breaks. I remembered it being more difficult in
the past at this point on this trail. Maybe losing 11 pounds has helped me
to better conquer these ups. As we were doing the long ascent and the final
mile we started seeing other hikers coming the opposite way. I don't see any
advntage of either doing this trail clockwise or counter clockwise. It's a
long down and then a long up. We got done around 10:30 and were back at
POPUMC by 11:00 AM. That was about two hours sooner than if we would have
gone to Riverbend Park in Great Falls. So now we would have more time to do
all of those dreaded chores around the house. Whoopie! Anyway, this was a
good last minute hike which I will categorize as moderate to strenuous.
By Mike Calabrese
Map of where we hiked.