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Gilberts Corner Regional Park, VA Recon

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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 had spoken to the park manager recently about this relatively new park and was told that it had between 1 and 2 miles of trails within it. So I decided to go and check
Regional Park Sign
Regional Park Sign.
it out. The park is located at a traffic circle at the intersection of US 50 and Watson Road. There was parking for about 25 vehicles and I believe that the lot was lighted.

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
Wooded Area
Wooded Area.
of those side trails. I did not explore this area. So I took a right turn at an intersection, which looped around and eventually led me back to this intersection. The views to the west were nice in that you could see the mountain chain stretching from Aldie, VA to Throughfare Gap, VA. I was a bit concerned about getting lost. But I kept my eyes on the mountains to the west and the hill that the parking lot was on to the south along with the road noise of US50. So I was confident that I would find my way out at some point.

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 look 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.
Westward view.
Westward view.
For now this hike is a great leg stretcher. And there is the historic Mount Zion Church historic property across the street. This Baptist church was built in 1851. It was restored and is now also managed by NOVA Parks.

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.

Mowed trail
Mowed Trail.
Festive Plants
Festive Plants.
Hand drawn map
Hand drawn map.

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Posted By Mike C on 12-28-2019   |    See All Posts   |   View/Add Comments(0)

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