Thursday, May 18, 2017

Stray dog near Hunter Mill Road

Keep your eyes out for a stray chocolate lab along the trail near Hunter Mill Road.  I saw him this morning around 8:30.  He's pretty old, with a grey muzzle, and seems very gentle, but wouldn't let me close enough to grab his collar and check his tags.  He ended up disappearing into the woods on the north side of the trail, near the backs of some houses, so hopefully he was on his way home.  I just want folks to keep an eye out just in case he's still lost.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Trail event Wednesday, April 27

The Reston Bicycle Club has gifted Fairfax County with a new automatic bicycle and pedestrian traffic counter for the Washington & Old Dominion Trail in REston
Officials from Fairfax County and the Reston Bicycle Club will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, April 27. The event will be held near the intersection of the W&OD and Old Reston Avenue at 10 a.m.
The counter, valued at $7,000, was purchased to help collect information about pedestrian and bicyclist traffic, Fairfax County officials said.
“The counter provides an opportunity to better document the usage of these modes of transportation, and will support the county’s planning and investment in future bicycle and pedestrian improvements,” said Adam Lind, Fairfax County Bicycle Program Manager.
“We really appreciate this generous donation and look forward to monitoring the growth in bicycle and pedestrian trips for years to come.”
The county is in the process of planning pedestrian and bike improvements for Reston as it morphs into a transit-oriented community. One of those improvements is to take the W&OD over the congested intersection at Wiehle Avenue via a bridge. The plan has been approved but will not open for about five years.
Reston will also welcome Fairfax County’s first bikeshare system later this year.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Tree Cutting along trail

From Paul Gilbert, Executive Director NVRPA

"Dominion Power is doing some cutting of vegetation along the W&OD in the area between Vienna and Reston. Some tail users have complained and some reporters have been asking some questions about this.
"This happens every few years. Dominion has the right to cut trees that are growing near their transmission lines. In 2005 we entered into a Vegetative Management Plan with Dominion related to the W&OD. The agreement is voluntary, but Dominion has honored it. Some of the main provisions is that we cannot plant trees that are expected to grow more than 15 feet tall directly under the lines, and they will consult with us before cutting. We are sharing the management plan with the report[er] who has asked some questions. I wanted to let you all know, since this is something you may hear about?"

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Stoddard Offers W&OD Trail ‘Green Street’ Master Plan

See Falls Church News Press Article at

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

From the archives: When the W&OD Trail was going to connect to the Appalachian Trail

The following appeared in the   It seems there were plans to extend the trail beyond Purcellville to Bluemont.  They were shelved and revived several times and are still on the books. 

From the archives: When the W&OD Trail was going to connect to the Appalachian Trail

The W&OD railroad used to run from Alexandria to Bluemont, Virginia; but the trail only runs from the Arlington/Alexandria boundary to Purcellville. At one point in the late 80's-early 90's it looked like the trail might extend along the remaining west end of the ROW all the way to Bluemont and the Appalachian Trail.
When the trail was "completed" in 1988, the park authority stated that they had "plans to extend the W&OD seven miles farther to Bluemont and the Appalachian Trail." The section from Purcellville to Bluemont was admittedly a bit different from the rest of the railroad, as it had been abandoned in 1938, 30 years before the rest of the line was. Nonetheless, in 1988 they stated that
The park authority plans to extend its W&OD Trail to Bluemont and the Appalachian Trail, which follows the border between Loudoun County and Clarke County.
Two years later, the Park Authority stated that they hoped to have the seven mile extension completed in 3 years.
Park Authority Executive Director Darrell Winslow said money may not be the biggest hurdle in making the plan a reality. Rather, finding land for the skinny extension -- an eight-foot-wide paved path and room on either side for drainage -- could be the toughest challenge, he said.
The Park Authority began trying to complete the W&OD trail by asking the Loudoun government to amend its Rural Land Management Plan to indicate that the extension might be built from Purcellville to the Clarke County line, west of Bluemont.
That request received unanimous approval from the Planning Commission on Oct. 24 and has been forwarded to the county Board of Supervisors. In addition, the Park Authority must submit detailed plans and receive a commission permit -- similar to a permit issued to a public utility -- along with any other permits required by the Loudoun zoning administrator, county officials said.
Park Authority officials first must decide where they want the trail extension to go. The linear park follows the right of way of the defunct Washington & Old Dominion Railway between Shirlington, near Interstate 395, and Purcellville. But the portion of the train line's old path that is west of Purcellville is privately owned and probably unavailable for the trail extension, park officials said.
The agency said it may try to find a new path through the rolling hills or, more likely, it may try to persuade the Virginia Department of Transportation to let it use part of the right of way along Route 7, which connects Purcellville and Bluemont.
The Park Authority has budgeted about $168,000 to acquire land and has pegged roughly $300,000 to build the extension over several years.
The agency hopes to extend the paved trail from its current terminus in the center of Purcellville through the village of Bluemont and to the top of the Blue Ridge at Route 601. Winslow said a short unpaved footpath would extend from that point to the Appalachian Trail
It's not clear what happened but obviously the W&OD was never extended. Still, there is reason to keep hope alive. The extension made it into Loudoun County's 2003 Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan and Virginia's 2007 Outoors Plan was mentioned as recently as 2012 by the County's Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Board .

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Trail Event, Sunday, August 23

Sunday August 23rd Reston Century Event from 6:30 AM to 5 PM. Approximately 1200 riders start at Reston Town Center. The portion of the W&OD used for this event is from Grace Street in Herndon to Ashburn Road (westbound leg) and returning from Leesburg to Reston Town Center via trail in its entirety (eastbound leg). 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The W&OD trail was noted as 1 of 7 great urban escapes by National Geographic.  See