On Thursday, September 16, 2021 I did a double recon of the half mile missing link of the Warrenton Branch Trail and a half mile of the Timber Fence Trail in Warrenton, VA for upcoming hikes for the

POPUMC Hiking Group  .

I had business in Warrenton, VA so I decided to check out a section of the Warrenton Branch Trail in Warrenton, VA. They were supposed to complete a missing segment of the Warrenton Branch Rail Trail near Fauquier Education Farm in Warrenton, VA by the end of 2021. So I drove to the parking lot of the farm on Meetze RD. When I arrived at the farm I was shocked to see a brand new trail between the farm and Meetze RD. It had been recently paved and there were poles and holes on each side of the trail where they were planning to erect fences. "This is great!", I thought. So I got out of my vehicle and proceeded to hike it.

The initial problem that I encountered was that they had built a fence between the trail and the farm. I walked north for about a quarter mile, then back again. I finally had to walk down to where the trail ended and started hiking it there. There were two ladies hiking the trail ahead of me. When they got to US29 the bridge there was blocked so they turned around and walked back past me. I said hello and that it was great to be hiking on a new trail. They agreed as they passed me.

It turns out that the missing link was a small bridge that they built over an unnamed creek. They also paved the area just south of US29 that opened a few years ago. So I hiked the half mile from Fauquier Farm to US29. The bridge over US29 was blocked. So I turned around and started walking back to my vehicle. I got half way back and had just crossed a small road when I heard a vehicle pull up behind me. A voice then said that I was not supposed to be hiking on this trail.

It was the construction foreman. He looked mad. So I said that I was sorry and didn't know that the trail was closed. I also said that my vehicle was parked a quarter mile down the trail and asked if I could proceed. He reluctantly said OK. I then told him that I thought that they did a great job on this trail and that this was the centerpiece of the future trail ring around Warrenton, VA. He smiled a bit then and told me that this trail was not complete yet as they had to install fencing on each side of the trail. I asked when they expaected to open it? He then said that a ribbon cutting was planned for late September or early October.

He also asked me to please not tell anyone about this trail until it was officially open. I said OK. That's why I have held off publishing this post until the end of September. Below are some images of this new trail. What follows afterwards is a description of my ongoing quest to explore the Timber Fence Trail between The WARF and Timber Fence PKWY.

South  view of new trail
  South view of new trail.
Closed bridge over US29
  Closed bridge over US29.

New benches & Trash Cans
  New benches & Trash Cans.

Selfie along trail
  Selfie along trail.
N end of new trail
  N end of new trail.

After my appointment in Warrenton I drove over to the intersection of the Timber Fence PKWY and Reins LA in Warrenton. Here was supposed to be a future trail that would go southwest to the WARF in Warrenton and northeast to Rady Park. There was an alternative trail a block east of here. But alot of it was on roads. I had read that the locals were not in favor of the proposed Timberfence Parkway between Reins and Waterloo RDS. And the area that the parkway was supposed to go through was now a wooded area. So I wanted to explore it and see if there was a way to get from Reins RD to Waterloo RD and the WARF.

I parked my vehicle at Timber Fence and Reins and walked the asphalt trail until I got into a wooded area. There, I came across a mowed trail that appeared to go around the perimeter of this wooded area. Someone took the time to paint all of the roots on the trail white. I assume that the high school is using the loop in these woods for track or cross country practice runs. I went left on this circular trail and took it clockwise starting at the six o'clock position and took it around to about the eleven o'clock position. The trail then dumped me out onto the practice field of Fauquier High School.

At this point I probably could have walked out to Waterloo RD. However, since school was in session I didn't want to trespass on school property. And I was needing to get home. So I retraced my steps back to my vehicle. I plan to come back here sometime between now and our November hike and hike this loop trail in the woods counter clockwise and see if it comes out somewhere not on school or private property. If it does, then I think that I can get to Waterloo RD and the WARF. More to follow...

Mike C

Paved trail on Timber Fence
  Paved trail on Timber Fence.
Entering wooded area
  Entering wooded area.

Mowed trail, painted roots
  Mowed trail, painted roots.

Practice field, Fauquier HS
  Practice field, Fauquier HS.

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