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Saturday, April 5, 2014

#15 - Occoquan Reservoir

Occoquan Reservoir - Bull Run Marina to Fountain Head
A beautiful Spring day at the Occoquan reservoir, and while I got a late start, I managed to explore a new trail that I really enjoyed! One word that defines this hike is "Hills!" My initial goal was to hike 12.6 miles, but due to my late start, I settled for eight very interesting, very hilly, miles.

It is always a pleasant surprise to hike a new trail, and happen upon the various landscape and landmarks along the way. One of the surprises today was the number of creek and stream crossings I came across. I was expecting more trail along the reservoir, however, the trail cut inland often, cutting through beautiful forest. The trail is very well maintained by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club.

Occoquan Trail

Occoquan Trail
Occoquan Trail
 As I wound through the forest, back along the reservoir, and up and down hills and switchbacks, I was happy to come across Wolf Run, which allowed me a place to walk some flatter land, slow my pace for awhile, and enjoy the area.

Wolf Run

Wolf Run

Crossing Wolf Run

While I wanted to continue to Fountain Head Park, my late start kept me a couple of miles short. I made it up to Wolf Run Shoals, where crossings of the Occoquan have occurred for centuries (now replaced further downstream by I95). At this point, I found a small family cemetery and a transition in terrain. This would be as far as i would go today.

A bumpy ride - Crossing the Occoquan

Fairfax-Buckley Family Cemetery

Abandoned house at the end of the Wolf Run Shoals road
At this point I turned back to complete my hike. A great day, indeed. I just touched on 4 miles out of 20 miles of trails. I'll be back to this area, as there is much more to explore.

Garter Snake I came across

Happy hiking, my friends!


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