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Current Western Terminus of
Broad Run Trail, VA Recon

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On Wednesday, September 2, 2020 I first attempted to further recon the horse/pedestrian Trail between Waverly Farms DR and Waterfall RD near Haymarket, VA. However, I could not find a place to park close to Waverly Farms RD because all of the side streets were gated to keep riffraff like me out. So I drove over to Hunting Cove PL in Bristow, VA and attempted to recon the westernmost portion of the Broad Run Trail instead.

Things weren't going so well as far as my being able to hike somewhere today. First I couldn't do the hike that I intended to do. Then I had to put up with super muddy conditions and missing bridges and had to cut my hike short. So I will first describe my brief hike starting at the present western terminus of the Broad Run Trail in Bristow, VA, then give my thoughts about the future of this trail.

The present western terminus of the Broad Run Trail is at a cul de sac at the end of Hunting Cove PL just off of Linton Hall RD in Bristow, VA. My goal was to hike eastward on this trail to a bridge that crosses Broad Run. It wasn't a very long distance, maybe a half mile up and back. But what made it almost impossible to do was the immense amount of water on the trail from the previous night's heavy rains that occured in this area.

I was happy that there was a trailhead kiosk with information on it. And I was very happy that there were white blazes on this section of trail. Therefore I must correct a statement that I made on another blog in which I stated that there were no blazes on the Broad Run Trail.

So I started down the trail. It was very wet and very muddy. And I was wearing a pair of new hiking boots. Thank God that they were waterproof because I would be stepping in deep water and mud the entire trip. Though this was considered the Broad Run Connection Trail that I was on, it will hopefully be blazed blue and be a future side trail to the Broad Run Trail when and if it is ever extended to Rollins Ford RD about 5 miles further west. That will hopefully be the future western terminus of the Broad Run Trail.

There were some bog bridges and someone, either Prince William County or the HOA for the adjacent subdivision, had been mowing this area. I am thankful to whomever it was as this area would be impassible now if not for their efforts. I slid around and almost fell a few times while hiking this stretch. My new boots kept me dry but were very wet on the outside. When I got to a tributary of Broad Run called Rocky Branch I was supposed to cross it to get to the bridge over Broad Run. But the bridge over Rocky Branch was gone!

So I decided to loop back to my vehicle on what is called the Broad Run Loop Trail. This trail, though very wet, was mowed and had what looked like Black Eyed Susan flowers growing along one side of it. So I hiked west on this trail and came across what looked like another bridge crossing to my left with no bridge. I even saw a white blaze on the other side of Rocky Branch but no bridge. This wasn't good. So I looped back around to the intersection with the trail that I initially hiked in on, then hiked back to my vehicle.

Now for my thoughts on this trail. Prince William County wants to extend this trail westward to Rollins Ford RD and eastward about five miles from VA28 to Doves Landing Park. Now, I am all for more trails. However, there are a number of obstacles such that I don't see how they can complete this goal:
  • Flooding along Broad Run. They have already lost 2 bridges in this area and a 35 foot fiberglass bridge is off of it's mooring about 4 miles east of here. So they are going to have to rebuild these bridges to better withstand the constant flooding along this creek or build the trail further away from Broad Run.
  • Sheer Rock Walls. There are a number of areas along Broad Run that have sheer rock walls. Other than build long boardwalks along these sheer rock walls the planners would again have to build this trail further away from Broad Run.
  • Private Property Issues. There are property owners along Broad Run that believe that their property extends all the way to Broad Run. There are also property owners that are in the way of extending this trail eastward from VA28 to Doves Landing Park as well as westward to Rollins Ford RD.
All three of these factors will cost a lot of money to overcome. And these trails will have to be maintained or they will quickly become impassable. Prince William County, in my opinion, is good at aquiring parkland and building trails. But they are not very good at maintaining said trails.

I hope that I am wrong in making this statement but I feel that the Catharpin Greenway, the Broad Run Greenway and the Neabsco Greenway, all centerpieces for trails in Prince William County, VA, will not be completed unless the county either devotes more resources to building and better maintaining these trails or forges better alliances with various citizen volunteer outdoor related organizations to better help them out. At this point in time, they are doing neither.

A kiosk with info
A kiosk with info!
Actual trail blazes
Actual trail blazes!
My poor new boots
My poor new boots.
Mowed but wet trail
Mowed but wet trail.
Nice flowers on trail
Nice flowers on trail.
Blazes but no bridge
Blazes but no bridge.
Typical PWC kiosk
Typical PWC kiosk.
Another missing bridge
Another missing bridge.

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Posted By Mike C on 09-04-2020   |    See All Posts   |   View/Add Comments(1)

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