Pohick Bay Regional Park, VA Day Hike

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This hike occurred on Saturday, June 1, 2019. Participants were Tom O'Brien, Dave McIntyre and Mike Calabrese.

Not a big turnout but a great hike. We met at POPUMC like always and departed at 8:00 AM for Pohick Bay Regional Park near Lorton, VA. The drive only took about a half hour. We were worried about the heat, the ups and the length of this hike. All 3 worries were unwarrented.

We got to the park around 8:30. There was a long distance race of some sort just winding down. So we parked Tom's vehicle and started the hiking the Red Trail. We went around a tent camping area, a rest room and a boat storage area. We then started some gradual ups and downs while walking parallel to Gunston RD between miles .5 and 1.5. We passed a trail that had what looked like red blazes on it that were blacked out. Not sure why. Maybe it was the old trail that had been relocated. I guess that was good because we probably would have taken it by mistake.

It got a bit confusing when we went around the fire station. But we figured it out. Then we got to the Camp Wilson Youth Camping Area around mile 1.75. Here's where it got real interesting. The trail went through the youth camping area but that was not depicted clearly on the map. Then, we left the youth camp and walked through a narrow, mowed field. When we came to the end of this field, which was parallel to the service road, we turned left, then turned left again on the red blazed trail, then found ourselves back at the youth camping area!

So we again walked through the narrow field next to the service road and started looking for where the trail crossed that road as was depicted on the map. We walked up the road to the left and no trail. So we started walking right and then we found the trail. The post showing the red blaze was partially obscured by foliage. So we removed that foliage for future hikers and then continued on.

While compiling this trip log I now think I know what happened. We were supposed to turn left onto that 'loopback' trail, then turn right on it, go across the narrow field and then cross the road to continue on this trail. However, the sign within the group camping area was pointing towards the field and not towards the 'loopback' trail.

We then started hiking through some very nice forest. We had some mild ups and downs first. Then, around mile 2.25, we started a long down to what I assumed was going to be Pohick Bay. When we got to the bottom of the down around mile 2.4 we turned right and started walking through a boggy area adjacent to the bay. It got muddier and muddier and had no views as we made our way along the shore. Our shoes were caked with mud and it was slippery. The blazing through this area was not that great either.

All of a sudden, around mile 2.8, the terrain got better. We got close to the shore and started getting some better views of Pohick Bay. There were a lot of fisherman on the water that had a lot of water hyacinth on it. We kept walking on. The water seemed to be getting clearer and we started seeing kayaks, canoes and small boats on the bay. We then started hiking the same service road that we had crossed a mile or so back. We were now around mile 3.0. We would be taking this service road back most of the way to Tom's vehicle.

We passed a nice small picnic area along the service road around mile 3.3. We saw a fisherman at the shoreline here. He said that he wasn't getting any bites or nibbles. We then had a couple of steep ups, then the service road leveled out. We took the service road back to the boat storage area around mile 3.8, then turned left onto the Red and Blue Trails, which we took back to Tom's vehicle and the end of the hike. The map was not very clear at depicting this area.

We all thought that this was a good hike. The length was just right. The only issues were that the sign post within the group camp area needs to be re-alligned or the arrows on it changed, place some additional blazes between the fire station and the Camp Wilson Youth Camping Area, along the boggy, muddy area next to Pohick Bay and some additional blazing along the last mile of this loop. Other than that, we had a nice day hiking at Pohick Bay Regional Park.

Mike C
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Information about NOVA Parks


Sign @ Pohick Bay Regional Park, VA
  Sign @ Pohick Bay Regional Park, VA.
   By Mike Calabrese

Tom & Dave @ start of hike   Tom & Dave @ start of hike.
   By Mike Calabrese

Dave @ bent tree   Dave @ bent tree
  By Mike Calabrese

Trail post near mile 1.25
  Trail post near mile 1.25.
  By Mike Calabrese

1st view of Pohick Bay, VA
  1st view of Pohick Bay, VA.
  By Mike Calabrese

Tom & Dave looking @ the bay
  Tom & Dave looking @ the bay.
   By Mike Calabrese




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