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Day Hike at Widewater State Park
Stafford, VA

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This 2.75 mile day hike occured on Saturday, September 3, 2022. Participants were Tom O'Brien and myself.

Tom and I met at the rear parking lot of the church and left at 8:00 AM for Widewater State Park in Stafford, VA. It was about a 25 mile trip. A couple people said that they would be joining us. But they didn't. We arrived at the park

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A few months earlier we did a recon of a nice loop hike within Crows Nest Natural Area close by

visitor center around 8:45 AM. A blue Hyundai Elantra pulled into the parking lot near us. It waited for a minute or two, then it took off. I hope that wasn't someone wanting to join us on this hike. The visitors center didn't open until 9:00 AM. So we decided to start the hike and go to the visitors center afterwards.

We turned right from the park onto Brent Point RD and road walked it south for about a quarter mile. We could feel the cool breezes coming off of Aquia Creek. We then turned left onto Willow Lake LA and walked that east for about a quarter mile. The boat launch, picnic areas and paddle in campsites were here. We saw a bald eagle flying around this area. It looked very majestic. We used the rest room facilities, took the obligatory selfie image and proceeded north and west onto the Holly Marsh Trail. The map said that the paddle in campsites were next to the trailhead but we didn't see them.

The Holly Marsh Trail only opened within the last year. It was a one mile linear trail that went along the southern edge of Holly Marsh. We saw a few deer in this area. The trail was very level, well designed, blazed and signed. We came out to VA658 Brent Point RD again and crossed it.

We then traveled west along the Long Pond Trail for about a mile. This trail initially bordered Long Pond, then turned south and bordered a tree buffer that had a housing development beyond it. It is interesting in that this state park is very disjointed. There are houses and developments interspersed within it.

For the last quarter mile of the Long Pond Trail we turned east again and followed the shoreline of Aquia Creek. We could see a few boats with fishermen or women, we couldn't tell, from a distance. We then came back out to Wide Water State Park RD, our vehicle and the visitors center. We waited a few minutes for it to open, then checked it out. It was first rate. I asked the ranger there if they were planning to build any additional trails there.

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She said that they had been discussing it. I then asked if the Potomac Heritage Trail was going to go through this park. She said that she didn't know. So after a few minutes we left and drove home. We finished the hike around 10:00AM and were back at the church parking lot by around 10:45 AM.

Even though this was a relatively short hike at 2.75 miles, it was very pleasant. The trails and facilities at this park were excellent. And we got to see four different bodies of water on this hike. I was a bit sad that our hike attendence at these Saturday hikes has been just Tom and myself for the last three or four months. I hope that improves as we move into fall and winter. All are welcome to hike with us. Please let me know if you would like to join us for a future hike.

Mike C

Here is a map of where we hiked.

Potomac River view
   Potomac River view.
   By Mike Calabrese

Group selfie    Group selfie.
   By Mike Calabrese

Start of Holly Marsh Trail    Start of Holly Marsh Trail.
   By Mike Calabrese

Holly Marsh view    Holly Marsh view.
   By Mike Calabrese

Long Pond view    Long Pond view.
   By Mike Calabrese

Aquia Creek view    Aquia Creek view.
   By Mike Calabrese

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