Gilberts Corner Regional Park, VA Recon
In preparation for a future hike that I am leading I went to scout out the
trails within Gilberts Corner Regional Park located between Leesburg and Aldie, VA on Saturday, December 28, 2019.
I did not have a map so I did not know which way the trails went. And there was no map posted on the signs at the trailhead. So I had to take a chance and wing it.
It appears that there are currently 2 loop trails at this park. You see the first loop, which is mowed, at the trailhead. You then see another trail at the right side of the parking lot that goes into the woods. This was the only place where I saw any trail markers. There were two of them, one at each entrance to the wooded area of this trail. After about .2 miles the trail breaks out into what looks like a former pasture. This trail is basically a lollipop loop.
Again, there were no signs or trail markers/blazes other than the two Above. But the trail was mowed recently and was easy to follow. It also looks like trees are being planted around the trail to transform this former pasture back into a wooded area.
I did see a fenced area that had some buildings on it. It looked like there were mowed side trails along the fence line and a sign of some sort along one
And I did find my way out. It felt like there were about 1.5 miles of trails at this park. Either the park manager or the land manager for NOVA Parks did tell me that they were going to expand the trails in this park. And that expansion included some boardwalk trails in wetland areas. If you look at this park on Google Maps you will see that there is a lot of land that this park sits on. And they have only utilized a small portion of that land. So I am confident that NOVA Parks will expand the trails here eventually. It is my opinion that NOVA Parks does a good job of managing their parks.
From the NOVA Parks web site and some of the trailhead signs I learned that portions of this land were a farm as well as a civil war battlefield. And various state and federal government agencies contributed the funds to make this park a reality. With the area developing rapidly we need all the park land that we can get.
I took some pictures, which are on this page. I had scheduled this hike for November, 2020 for the POPUMC Hiking Group. But after visiting this park, I think that I will postpone it until they get some more trails built here. We usually looks for 2 to 5miles to hike and prefer a loop. I think that we will be able to do this at this park in the future.
So it was a great day for a hike. 60 degrees in late December is very unusual. This was a good hike. My only concerns were a lack of blazing and signing. So, as a public service, I have drawn a map from memory and have posted it on this page. It s not perfect. But it will get you around this very nice park.
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