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