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Farms to Forest Trail, PWFP Triangle, VA

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This roughly 2.7 mile loop hike took place on Saturday, June 4, 2022. Participants were Tom O'Brien and Mike Calabrese.

It was a beautiful morning for a hike. I didn't hear back from anyone confirming that they were going to Riverbend Park in Great Falls, VA. I was ready to go by myself. Then Tom O'Brien showed up at the rear parking lot at the church. He wasn't keen on the long drive and the possibility of not being able to get into this park. He suggested something in Prince William Forest. I then suggested the 2.7 mile Farms to Forest Trail and extension. He agreed so we set out to PWFP.

When we got to Prince William Forest Park in Triangle, VA there were still a

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Our first successful hike in PWFP was in December, 2020 and was a 5 mile loop.

good number of blowdowns on the side of the scenic drive. And we saw a large number of people along the bike lanes on the scenic drive. We had to drive all the way to the far western end of the park and the Oak Ridge Campground. We parked at the parking lot at the entrance to the campground and started the hike.

This was a counter clockwise loop hike that was blazed green for the FTF portion and yellow for the extension. The foliage was very thick so we did not have a lot of scenic views. The first half of this hike was basically a downhill walk to the North Branch of Quantico Creek. Once we got to the creek we turned left, walked about 250 feet along the side of the creek, then turned left and started the mile or so ascent.

During the winter you can see across the creek but since the folige was at or near peak we couldn't see the other side of the creek. Also, long range plans call for the North Valley Trail to be extended from it's present terminus at Burma RD to the Farms to Forest Extension. This will increase the distance of the NVT from 3.1 miles to somewhere between 4.25 and 4.75 miles.

Back to our hike, we started the mile or so ascent on this trail back to our vehicles. We took it a bit slower going back up then we did coming down on this trail. We took plenty of breaks. I remembered it being more difficult in the past at this point on this trail. Maybe losing 11 pounds has helped me to better conquer these ups. As we were doing the long ascent and the final

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mile we started seeing other hikers coming the opposite way. I don't see any advntage of either doing this trail clockwise or counter clockwise. It's a long down and then a long up. We got done around 10:30 and were back at POPUMC by 11:00 AM. That was about two hours sooner than if we would have gone to Riverbend Park in Great Falls. So now we would have more time to do all of those dreaded chores around the house. Whoopie! Anyway, this was a good last minute hike which I will categorize as moderate to strenuous.

Mike C

Group selfie
   Group selfie.
   By Mike Calabrese

Map of where we hiked    Map of where we hiked.
   By NPS

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