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Riverside Preserve, VA Recon


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Tom O'Brien and I went to scout out the trails within the new Riverside Preserve located near Marshall, VA on Saturday, January 11, 2020.

We drove out about 7 miles west of Warrenton, VA off of US211 to scout out Riverside Preserve for a future hike for the POPUMC Hiking Group This new park provides
Park Sign
Park Sign.
the only public access to the Rappahannock River in Fauquier County, VA.

The weather was predicted to be cloudy and unseasonably warm on this mid-January day. When we arrived it was warm. But the minute that we parked the vehicle, it started to sprinkle. What do we do now? Tom and I decided to start hiking until it was raining too hard to enjoy the hike. It was a warm rain so it was actually enjoyable to hike in. And it never got beyond the sprinkle level

Again I did not have a map when we arrived here. Thankfully, they had a Google satellite map with the trails drawn on that map posted on a kiosk at the upper parking lot where we parked. So I took a picture of it and we used it to hike around this park.

The trails close to the river were mowed while the trails farther away from the Rappahannock were dirt and blazed. Even though this park officially opened in the fall of 2019, it looks like the trails had been there awhile. They were well trod and the blazes appeared to have been there a long time. The colors on these blazes have faded over time. The yellow trail blazes appeared yellowish-green while the orange trail was a yellowish-orange color. The trails depicted as blue on the map were not blazed. They could all use a fresh coat of paint.

Trail map
Trail map.
The Rappahannock River was filled with fog and was spooky looking. It was also not very wide as we were only about 20 miles from it's source near the Warren and Rappahannock county line. This river heads west, then south, then southeast before it reaches the Chesapeake Bay after a 195 mile run (Wikipedia).

Tom and I passed 2 ladies walking 2 dogs. We asked about where the other trails in the park were. They told us about the yellow trail and that we were close to it. The map depicted a red trail branching off from the yellow trail at one point, then returning to it. We did not see this red trail. Probably because we were talking and not concentrating on where we were hiking. I had a difficult time using my phone to take pictures while it was sprinkling as it would not recognize my fingerprint. The reader was wet. So I had to login via the old fashion PIN method.

After hiking the yellow loop, which was very nice, we walked the mowed portion of the trail back to the lower parking lot. We then took the orange trail back to my vehicle. We passed one young man walking his dog towards the end of the hike. The orange trail is a loop but the left side of it is the entrance road.

The park was well signed. There is a port-potty and a building that will be a future entrepretive center close to the upper parking lot. Generally speaking, I think that this park was well designed and laid out. The map was a bit difficult to read but made sense after hiking the trails within this park. No animals observed (other than the three dogs) but we thought that we saw some bear scat.

I do believe that we can carve out a good 3 to 3.5 mile series of loop trails
Bridge on Yellow Trail
Bridge on Yellow Trail.
within Riverside preserve for the POPUMC Hiking Group to hike. The distance was right, the driving distance was right and the park was very scenic. The only thing working against us was the weather. And the weather could have been worse. So Tom and I had a successful recon mission. By the way, the rain stopped on the way back home and the sun came out when I got home. But it was still a great day to be out on the trail.

Riverside Preserve Faquier County Government Page

Old tree on Yellow Trail
Old tree on Yellow Trail.
Hidden farm implement
Hidden farm implement.
Spooky Rappannock River
Spooky Rappannock River.


Posted By Mike C on 01-11-2020   |    See All Posts   |   View/Add Comments(0)




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