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Riverside Preserve, Marshall, VA Day Hike

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This 3.2 mile day hike took place on Saturday, September 4, 2021. Participants were Dave McIntyre, Tom O'Brien, Julie Turner, Jason Brue, Abby Brue and Mike Calabrese.

It was a great day to hike! The storms from a few days ago pushed out the heat and humidity. The weather was more seasonal now. We met at the rear parking of

Prince of Peace United Methodist Church

in Manassas, VA and departed at 8:00 AM for Riverdide Preserve. It took us right around 50 minutes and about 35 miles to get to the preserve. Jason and Abby were waiting for us when we got there.

We parked our vehicles at the upper parking area and walked down to the banks of the Rappannock River. We took a group pic and started off along the first of five interconnected loops that made up this trail.

This preserve is one of the few public access points to the Rappannock River within Fauquier County, VA. The river itself was not very wide nor deep at this point. The reason was that we were only about 15 to 20 miles from the source of the river near Chester Gap, VA at the Warren/Rappahannock County line. I found it interesting that this preserve had a Marshall, VA address as it was really closer to Warrenton, VA. This preserve has been open to the public since fall of 2019.

We started off hiking one of the blue loops. It was mowed grass. Wet but very easy to hike on. We then crossed a small bridge over an unnamed creek and proceeded onto the yellow loop. It was a dirt trail that went along this unnamed creek for a short stretch, then paralleled the Rappahannock River for about a quarter mile. Right when the trail turned away from the river we entered the red trail. We would continue along the river for few hundred feet and then turned away from it. We had an up as we walked away from the river but it was not bad. We walked along an old road for a short distance, jogged right off of this road and rejoined the yellow trail loop.

We then went by a large, old tree that appeared to be dying, crossed the unnamed creek on rocks, hiked a short distance, crossed the creek again on a bridge, then rejoined the original blue loop. We hiked it to where we started the hike, then took another blue loop, which was shorter. Then, it was time to tackle the final up on the orange trail.

This up was the reason that I rated this hike moderate to strenous. It paralleled the road that we originally hiked down. We took our time. It was about a quarter mile and had about 200 feet in elevation change. We made it to the top. We then turned left, hiked another quarter mile and returned to our vehicles. I took a group selfie, we said our goodbyes and we headed for home.

This was a very nice park. The river made it very peaceful. There was one blowdown on the second blue loop and the blazes needed refreshing. But other than these two minor issues, It was a great place to spend a beautiful day.

Mike C

Walking to the river
   Walking to the river.
   By Mike Calabrese
Group pic @ start of hike
   Group pic @ start of hike.
   By Mike Calabrese
Stream on Yellow Trail
   Stream on Yellow Trail.
   By Mike Calabrese
Abby, Jason & Dave on rocks
   Abby, Jason & Dave on rocks.
   By Mike Calabrese
Along the Yellow Trail
   Along the Yellow Trail.
   By Mike Calabrese
Selfie @ end of hike
   Selfie @ end of hike.
   By Mike Calabrese
Map of where we hiked
   Map of where we hiked.
   By Fauquier County, VA DPR.

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