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Recon of Crows Nest Natural Area,
Stafford, VA


This recon took place on Friday, July 15, 2022. Participants were Suzanne Butterfield, Steve Butterfield and Mike Coolbreeze.

We all met at the Prince of Peace rear church parking lot at 8:30 AM and car pooled over to Crows Nest Natural Area. The trip took close to an hour. We were supposed to hike here a few weeks ago. However, this facility is only open from Thursday through Sunday. We showed up on a Wednesday. So we came back again, this time on a Friday.

This natural area is about 4,000 acres and has over 8 miles of trails. It is managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. The trails, blazing and trail signs were very good. However, while the map itself

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We did another neat hike in Stafford, VA at Curtis Memorial Park in August, 2021.

was good, the distances themselves were confusing. The lengths of all the trails were listed as "Round Trip Length". However, the Accokeek Loop Trail was listed as it's proper loop length.

So we started a clockwise loop on the purple blazed Accokeek Loop Trail. It was mostly downhill and parallel to the entrance road for the first mile. The trail then crossed the road, was level at first and then started climbing the second mile. Then, on the third mile we started a steady climb. We talked about this and that along the hike. The weather, though a bit on the humid side, was pleasant.

The purple blazed trail ended at the intersection with the green blazed Crows Nest Trail. We turned right and hiked that level trail back for .5 miles to our vehicle. So the Accokeek Loop and the Crows Nest section was equal to 3 miles. We took a short break at Steve's vehicle, then did a short up and back along the white

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blazed Potomac Overlook Trail. I thought that it would be one mile up, then one mile back. But it was only .5 miles up, .5 miles back.

This trail was mostly along an old road. In some areas, they built sections of trail that paralleled the road. But the old road was better graded in most cases. Strange. And I thought that we would be treated to a view of some sort at the end of this trail. But I was wrong. The trail just ended at a kiosk telling about the birds of the park and that was it. No views (Except maybe in Winter when there are no leaves on the trees. But there were none today in July.) I was disappointed. So we returned the way that we came. I took the road when there were trail sections just because.

We got back to Steve's vehicle around 12 noon. We stopped at a yard sale on the way home. We had a nice four mile hike and all agreed that this would be a good future trip for the POPUMC Hiking Group.

Mike C

Group pic @ mile 2
 Group pic @ mile 2.
 By Suzanne Butterfield
 Big 3-in-1 tree @ mile 4
  Big 3-in-1 tree @ mile 4.
  By Suzanne Butterfield
Map of where we hiked
 Map of where we hiked.

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Posted By Mike C on 07-15-2022   |    See All Posts   |   Comments

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