On Tuesday, July 20, 2021 I did a recon of the 4.4 mile Sugarland Run Trail between Reston and Historic Dranesville, VA for a future

POPUMC Hiking Group     hike.


It had been awhile since I had done a trail recon. So I set out after rush hour to recon the Sugarland Run Trail between Reston and Historic Dranesville, VA. This would primarily be a driving recon since it was very hot that day.

Sugarland Run starts as a spring just north of the Dulles Toll Road/Greenway and travels north about 10 miles to the Potomac River according to

Google Maps .

However, I was only interested in the 4.4 mile section between Reston and Historic Dranesville, VA. So I drove the Fairfax County Parkway all the way to the end, got on VA7 west, then made the first left onto Dranesville RD. About a quarter mile on the left I saw a spot to park 4 or 5 cars. So I stopped there and proceeded to hike the trail from that parking area. The trail crossed Sugarland Run and intersected the main trail in about .2 miles. I then walked up and down the main trail for a short stretch. As I was heading back to my vehicle I was thinking that the parking area was too small and would probably get filled up on a Saturday morning before we got there.

As I was walking this trail I was asking people if this was the Sugarland Run Trail, was there additional parking, which direction was the best to hike it, etc. I was talking to a nice young lady that had a golden retriever dog that was splashing around in Sugarland Run. I mentioned that I was leading a hike there in the future for a church group and there wasn't enough parking on the west side of Sugarland Run. She then replied that there was a good parking area further up the trail on the east side of Sugarland Run and to get there, I had to get back on the Fairfax County Parkway and take the first right onto VA604, also called Sugarland RD. I thanked her and wasn't even upset when her dog splashed dirty creek water all over me as it was shaking water off of it's coat. The water dried eventually and only left minimal dirt.

So I drove over to where she told me to go. It looks like the official north terminus of the Sugarland Run Trail is on the portion of VA604 to the right of the trail. Sugarland RD exists on bothsides of the trail but was blocked by the park and trail itself. So I found the northern terminus where we will end this hike.

Next I went back out to the Fairfax County Parkway and drove to Wiehle AVE. However, the trail goes under the Wiehle AVE Bridge and there is no access to it. I wanted to see the short stretch where it travels along Herndon PKWY and crosses Eldon ST. However, I was running out of time. So I drove directly to the Herndon Police Department and asked them if it was OK to park in their parking lot while hiking the Sugarland Run Trail. They said absolutely. So this is the southern terminus where we will start this hike. Further south the trail splits, then proceeds another 500 feet or so. The left side is a bridle trail and the right side is the Sugarland Run Trail until it intersects with the W&OD Trail. But there is no parking there. So the police station is your best bet as far as parking close to the southern terminus goes.

What's interesting is that

alltrails.com

describes this hike as an 8.8 mile up and back hike. I originally thought that it was 8.8 miles total. Until I read the hike description again. Since Sugarland Run flows from south to north, the elevation graph on this website verifies that it is mostly downhill if you hike it south to north.

So there you have it. We'll have to drive two cars to the northern terminus, drive one back to the southern terminus, then hike back to the northern terminus. I look forward to doing this hike with the group. The possible issue will be COVID-19 since we are not car pooling right now. But we will deal with this when the time comes. This looks like it will be a good hike.

Mike C

Blazed northern terminus
  Blazed northern terminus.
Cement stepping stones
  Cement stepping stones.
Along Sugarland Run Trail
  Along Sugarland Run Trail.
East side N terminus
  East side N terminus.
Herndon PD sign
  Herndon PD sign.
Couple on trail
  Couple on trail.


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