I last hiked the Warrenton Branch Greenway over 10 years ago. At the time this
rail trail started at the end of 4th Street in downtown Warrenton, VA and ended
just past the bridge over US29/15 south of Warrenton. Since I am leading a hike
there for the
POPUMC Hiking Group
in the future I decided to go back and see how this trail has progressed since then.
If you look at the map at the bottom of this page you will see that the town of Warrenton as well as Fauquier County, VA is in the process of developing an extensive trail system in and around Warrenton. The trails that I was interested in include the 1.5 mile Warrenton Branch Greenway, the .7 mile
We were finally able to hike this group of trails on March 2, 2022
Greenway extension, the 1.1 mile Stafford Farm Connector Trail and the .3 mile LFCC Connector Trail. The total distance of these trails, when completed, will be 3.6 miles. This would be the perfect length for a linear day hike.
I parked my vehicle at the parking area at the end of Old Meetze RD. I walked to the south end of the bridge over US29/15 and was pleasantly surprised to see that the extension was open. So I hiked it. I passed a nice couple near the end of this trail and asked if this trail intersected with the Stafford Farm or LFCC trails. They said no and that this trail ended in about 400 yards. So I thanked them, hiked to the end of the trail, then hiked back to my vehicle.
Next I drove over to Lord Fairfax Community College Fauquier Campus. This is one of my alma maters as I got my Associates Degree in Business Administration from their Middletown, VA campus many decades ago. I drove to the farthest corner from the campus building in their parking lot. I then saw a kiosk and two trails. One curled around the edge of the parking lot and went into the
woods. The other just went straight into the woods. According to my maps I guess that the curly trail is the LFCC connector trail. Since I was running short on time, I did not hike this trail.
Upon further study of the maps it looked like the Stafford Farm Connector Trail intersected the LFCC Connector Trail on this end. And the Stafford Farm Connector Trail currently ended on Meetze Road at a place called Fauquier Farm. So I drove over to Fauquier Farm. I did not see anything identifying the trail itself but there was a small parking area and a kiosk with nothing on it (I thought this only occured in Prince William County). So I again guessed that the Stafford Farms Connector Trail ended at the entrance to Fauquier Farm, which appeared to be county owned.
It looked like there was still a small gap in this combination of trails. So I made a few phone calls the next morning. I first called someone that I knew within the Fauquier Trails Coalition but that person was not available. So I next called the
Fauquier County Parks and Recreation Department.
A very nice lady told me that they have the funding to complete this trail and are putting out bids for it now. The missing section of trail is somewhere between a quarter to a half mile. She said that it should be built and completed within the next 18 to 24 months.
So there you have it. The 3.6 mile Warrenton Branch Rail Trail and extensions between downtown Warrenton, VA and Lord Fairfax Community College Fauquier Campus should be hikable sometime after 2022. Thats more than enough time until I lead this hike.
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