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Recon of BROT between Yates Ford RD Marina and Fountain Head Regional Park, Clifton and Fairfax Station, VA


BROT is an abreviation for Bull Run-Occoquan Trail. This hike took place on Wednesday, September 21, 2022. It was supposed to be 6.5 miles but ended up being 7.5 miles. Participants were Dina Alani, Tom O'Brien and Mike Kancamagus.

As usual we met at the Prince of Peace UMC rear parking lot and, after talking to Pastor Gennie while walking her dog Charlie, we set off in two vehicles to Fountainhead Regional Park in Fairfax Station, VA. We left my vehicle there

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This is the trip log from my 1996 hike along this portion of the trail and beyond to Hemlock Overlook Park

and drove Tom's car back to the Yates Ford RD Marina parking lot. This is where we would begin the hike.

We initially passed a boarded up rest room. It was in an isolated area and probably got closed due to being vandalized. We then turned left (eastbound) on the BROT and started the hike. Immediately, it was up and down, up and down for most of the hike.

The trail was well blazed all the way through. And the weather was perfect for a hike. But the initial four miles were on very eroded trail. There were times that the trail was close to to Bull Run and then the Occoquan. And there were times when we pulled away from the rivers. There were times that the trail was level and a pleasure to hike on. But they were few.

Starting at around mile 3 and continuing until the end of the hike we would occasionally hike on an old road. This road was badly worn down and was as much as 20 feet below the ground at some points. Once we got to Wolf Shoals RD at around mile 4 we thought that we only had a bit over 2 miles left to go. We were wrong.

Once we got to mile 5 I noticed that the trail branched off from the old road that we were on. The trail then was dual track, had a nice smooth surface and then utilized the "lay of the land" method as far as trail construction went. It was a pleasure to hike on. The trail would hug the side of hills and go around them versus over them. The trail would also rise and fall while hugging these hills. This made for a better hike. But building the trail this way made it a lot longer and more meandering. I'm sure that bicyclists like this meandering very much. But for the hiker, it means the trail is longer.

We were supposed to be done with this hike by 12:30. However, with this meandering trail, which looks like it was built within the last 2 to 5 years, we didn't get done until 1:30 PM. And the All Trails app said that this hike was supposed to be 6.5 miles. A sign at the eastern terminus said that the distance to the Yates Ford RD Marina was 6.45. Dina had an Apple watch

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that recorded this trail as being 7.5 miles. I'm going to check with PATC, who maintains this trail, about this discrepancy. I think that the relocations at the eastern end added close to a mile to the length of this trail.

Tom and Dina thought that this was a good hike. This trail was a real butt kicker for me. And I can't believe that 26 years ago, I actually hiked this trail from the eastern terminus to Hemlock Overlook, a distance of about 13 miles. I don't remember it as being difficult. But today was another story. This was a good but moderate to strenous hike.

Mike C

Group selfie
   Group selfie.
   By Mike Calabrese

Plaque around mile 5    Plaque around mile 5.
   By Mike Calabrese

Dina & Tom @ end of hike    Mike & Tom along the sunkin road.
   By Dina Alani

Dina & Tom @ end of hike    Dina & Tom @ end of hike.
   By Mike Calabrese

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Posted By Mike C on 09-21-2022   |    See All Posts   |   Comments

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