National Park Access Free

2014 National Park "Free Entry" Dates!! January 20th Martin Luther King Jr. Day; February 15-17th Presidents Day weekend; April 19-20th opening weekend of National Park Week; August 25th National Park Service Birthday; September 27th National Public Lands Day; November 11th Veterans Day

Friday, January 17, 2014

#4 South Valley Trail

A few days after being knocked down and out with some sort of bug, both my appetite and desire to get back outside returned. Knowing I should stay relatively close to home, I chose to hike a 5.2 mile stretch of the South Valley Trail in Prince William National Forest. It was a stretch I had yet to hike, and I was pleasantly surprised with the views and dynamics of the trail.

Riley was my hiking partner today - and as she jutted down the path, tail wagging, it dawned on me that I was just as happy as she was to get out and explore this new section. Riley ran after some deer she had no chance of catching, and I soaked in the bright sunshine that was just warm enough to take the chill out of the air.

 Mawavi Road towards South Valley Trail

I wasn't aware of it, but in the 1930's the Civil Conservation Corps built a dam on Quantico creek that allowed for a lake to form. The quietness of the lake made it seem quite the place for wildlife to gather; and the deer, beaver, and geese in the area seemed to attest to that.

You would think with the trail running parallel to the creek, the land would be flat, but this is hardly the case. The trail winds back and forth along the creeks edge, then dives further into the woods. The area is hilly and somewhat rocky, and you get to take in many different facets of nature.

I also came across areas where assistance has been provided to the park, such as the footbridge below, which crosses Quantico creek. It was built by the Sierra Club as part of a bridge-building demonstration.

Footbridge built by Sierra Club
All in all it was a great day, at one of my favorite nearby places. If you haven't been to Prince William Forest Park, and you're in the area, be sure to give it a try. I think you'll enjoy what you see!


No comments:

Post a Comment