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Recon of Trails within Caledon State Park, King George, VA

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This hike was delayed for about two weeks because of vehicle issues. There are still some vehicle issues but I finally got to do this roughly 3.4 miles in, 3.4 miles back out linear hike on Wednesday, January 11, 2023.

As usual, traffic was bad leaving Manassas, VA. I left at 7:00 AM. I took US 1 south to Stafford, VA. Waze then took me on a series of backroads diagonally between Stafford and the park. So I got to Caledon State Park in King George, VA by about 8:30 AM.

The visitors Center there was only open on weekends. Since the rest rooms were

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In February, 2019 I did a recon of the nearby Stafford Civil War Park

in the visitors center I had to use the woods. I then started the hike. The goal was to walk 3.4 miles to the primitive campground at this park, then walk back out. I started off on a short stretch of the Boyds Hole Trail for about .5 miles, then turned right onto the Hampstead Road Trail, which I would be following for the next 2.4 miles.

It was a cloudy, chilly morning. Temps were around 29 degrees when I started and would climb to about 45 degrees at the end. The path that I would take was basically a service road for the campground. It was dual track, graveled and was mostly flat except for a few hills along it. I saw no other hikers during this hike. But there was a group of hikers at the parking lot that were planning a loop hike of some sort when I got there.

According to

wikipedia.org

this 2,579 acre park was originally owned by the Alexander brothers, who founded Alexandria, VA, as a plantation in 1659. It became a natural area in 1974 and later a state park.

The Hampstead Road Trail ended at the Jones Pond Loop Trail. I took this trail counterclockwise for about .5 miles and got to the primitive campground at around 10:15 AM. I thought that, for a primitive campground, it looked pretty good. There were six sites here that included firewood, portapotties and most sites had a sand base to camp on. One had pebbles. There were fire pits/grills as well as lantern poles. The only issue was that there was no potable water there. You either had to carry in your water or filter it from the Potomac River. I don't know if I would want to filter Potomac River water and I definitely would not recommend drinking or even cooking with Potomac River water.

I did pass a state park vehicle on the way to this campground. It was probably a park employee checking on things and collecting the money from the self service metal posts. It costs $20 to camp here. I believe that if you have a state parks pass, you get a discount on camping. At least I got one at Sky Meadows and Guest/Shenandoah state parks a few years ago.

There was a nice pavillion between the campground and the river so I rested there and had some nourishment. At around 10:30 AM I started back to my vehicle. It was a relaxing walk on the way back that seemed shorter than the walk there. Why is that? My mind wandered on the way back as I was thinking about all sorts of stuff. That probably made it seem shorter.

So I got back to my vehicle at around 11:45 AM. I let Waze take me home via backroads, the Centreport Parkway and I95. I liked the US 1 route that I took in the morning much better. I got back home around 1:00 PM.

So I have now visited 13 of 41 Virginia State Parks as part of the Trail Quest program. I have the feeling that I will have to do overnights to the

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majority of the remaining 28 Virginia State Parks that I have to visit. I look forward to that. Now I have to decide if I want to come back to Caledon State Park and backpack in for an overnight. Since I will have to haul in about 3 liters of water, which weigh over six pounds. I'll have to think about that. But I do believe that Caledon State Park in King George is a nice place to spend a day. Also, nearby is the 15.7 mile Dalhgren Railroad Heritage Trail, which would also be a great hike.

Mike C


Entrance sign
   Entrance sign.
   By Mike Calabrese

Plantation House    Plantation House
   By Mike Calabrese

Trailhead    Trailhead.
   By Mike Calabrese

Selfie    Selfie.
   By Mike Calabrese

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Hampstead RD TR    Hampstead RD TR.
   By Mike Calabrese

Campground sign    Campground sign.
   By Mike Calabrese

Bring water    Bring water.
   By Mike Calabrese

Primitive campsite    Primitive campsite.
   By Mike Calabrese

Potomac River    Potomac River.
   By Mike Calabrese

Map of where I hiked
   Map of where I hiked.
   By VA DCR



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