Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Trail mostly clear from Sunrise Valley Dr to Vienna

We took a brief walk along the trail today near Sunrise Valley Dr and it appeared to be mostly clear. A cyclist coming from Vienna reported that it was clear from that direction. The photo at the right was taken just east of Sunrise Valley Dr where the trail is shaded. Even there a narrow clear area is present, where the NVRPA truck drove over the snow.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

NOTICE for Dec 2 evening trail users!

From the FABB Blog:

Open season December 2 - Fairfax County police will be conducting a "deer
culling" operation adjacent to the W&OD Trail at Clarks Crossing Road where the
soccer fields are located. According to signs posted there, the trail will be
closed on December 2 from 5pm to 5am. As we all know, the trail is officially
closed after dark but many people use it in the Fall and Winter for traveling
between Reston and Vienna.

For more information about the W&OD Trail see the W&OD Trail Report, the Friend
of the W&OD Trail site or the NVRPA W&OD Trail page.

Update - 12:30pm Nov. 30: I just spoke with a county wildlife biologist who
stated that the trail will be closed at 5pm on Dec. 2 and that police will be
using rifles to shoot deer in the area. Cyclists will not be able to get
through, from approximate Clarks Crossing Rd to Hunter Mill Rd. See the Fairfax
County bike map for alternate routes.

Labels: NVRPA, W and OD Trail
posted by Bruce Wright at 11:24 AM #

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Trail reopens west of Leesburg

The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority (NVRPA) is pleased to announce the two-mile stretch of the W&OD Trail between mile markers 36 and 38 west of Leesburg has been re-opened for public use.

This portion of the trail was closed to the public in December of 2009 to enable Dominion Virginia Power to install an underground transmission line. The Park Authority and Dominion worked together to ensure the trail would remain open during the year-long process by arranging the construction of a paved detour. The affected area started at milepost 36, approximately 3/5 of a mile west of the Route 7 trail crossing.

Trail repaving

Beginning November 30th the trail will be repaved starting in the Isaac Newton / Private Drive section of Reston and heading east to Hunter Mill Road. Total time for this project will be approximately two weeks (assuming no weather issues). The trail will be detoured onto the horse trail and signs deployed alerting trail users. As time/funds permit other sections of the trail will be addressed as well. Future projects include paving from Hunter Mill down to Vienna Train station, paving west of Reston into Herndon, and a small stretch near Broad Run Bridge (mile marker 24.5) where the pavement is sloughing off.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving day 5k run

Giving Thanks 5K Run

Date: Thursday November 25, 2010
Time: 8:00 am - 10:00 am
The run will have a maximum of 100 people. It will utilize the trail from Vienna Station to Clark's Crossing.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Construction on cut-through near Washington Blvd.

Be advised that the cut-through that links the W&OD to 19th St. near East Falls Church has ripped up pavement, down to mud. Some have ridden through, but be prepared to dismount if conditions warrant.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Optimist Club Walk

Date: Saturday September 25, 2010
Time: 8:00 am - 1:00 pm
Location: Vienna - Clark's Xing
Notes: Saturday September 25th the Vienna Optimist Club will conduct a walk from the Vienna Train Station / Caboose area out to Clark's Crossing Park and returning to the station/caboose. They will begin around 8 AM and conclude by 1 PM. There will be approximately 250 people for this event.

Friday, September 24, 2010

MS Capital Challenge Walk

Date: Saturday September 25, 2010
Time: 6:00 am - 4:00 pm
Location: Vienna - Arlington
Notes: Saturday September 25th the MS Capitol Challenge Walk will be conducted from Vienna to Arlington from 6 AM to 4 PM. The MS walk will begin off of the trail and the MS folks will enter the trail around Park Street/Talahi Road area in Vienna and walk east and leave the trail in Arlington (Lee Highway area). There will be approximately 500 people for this event.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tree work west of Leesburg

Bartlett Tree Company will be out along the trail in the area from Purcellville to Loudoun County 4H Fairgrounds to cut down dead trees, broken branches, etc. They started yesterday and will finish by late next month (September). They have been educated in trail etiquette and will have signs/flagmen stationed to guide trail users around the work area. In some areas the entire trail will be blocked; in such instances trail traffic will be detoured onto the horse trail. Forward this email along as necessary and let me know if you have questions. Thanks,

Karl Mohle
Park Manager
W&OD Railroad Regional Park
21293 Smiths Switch Road
Ashburn, VA 20147
(703) 729-0596 - office
(703) 724-0898 - fax

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pacific Blvd. Bridge Dedication

Date: Wednesday August 25, 2010
Time: 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Location: Pacific Blvd. Bridge over the Trail, just west of Rt 28.

Beltway Bridge Construction

The NVPA reports: "As part of the Capital Beltway HOT Lanes project, the new W&OD Trail bridge over the Beltway is under construction on the north side of the existing trail bridge. The existing bridge and trail will remain open during construction. Currently, on both sides of the Beltway, bridge abutment walls are being constructed next to the existing bridge and trail. PLEASE USE CAUTION WHILE IN THESE WORK ZONES. The bridge beams are scheduled to be installed in October and the bridge deck is scheduled to be installed in November. Once the new bridge is open to trail users, the existing bridge will be removed."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Reston Bike Club Century

Date: Sunday August 22, 2010
Time: 6:30 am - 5:30 pm

Location: eastbound W&OD Leesburg-Reston
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).

Monday, July 26, 2010


The following information was provided by the Boy Scouts National Capitol Area Council thru the Trail Patrol

A heat advisory means that a period of hot temperatures is expected. The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible. Drink plenty of fluids... stay in an air-conditioned room... stay out of the sun... and check up on elderly relatives and neighbors. Never leave children or pets unaccompanied in a parked vehicle - even with the windows cracked. An excessive heat watch means that a prolonged period of hot temperatures is expected.

Watch for signs of dehydration! The simplest way to check for dehydration is to check urine color. It should be clear or very pale yellow. If it begins to darken in color, fluid intake should increase. (Note: If you've increased water intake -- but thirst, headache or other symptoms persist -- check with your doctor. It might simply be that a fluid containing electrolytes is needed to restore a normal balance. It could also be that some other underlying cause requires medical attention.) Remember: if you try to drink a large amount of water all at once, your kidneys will simply flush the excess fluid by sending you to the bathroom. It's better to drink regular amounts of fluid throughout the day. Each morning, pour the liquid you need to drink and make sure that by the end of the day, it's gone. That way, you won't forget how much you've already had.

Mild Dehydration: (increase fluid intake -- and for babies, call a medical professional): Thirst, dry lips, dry mouth, flushed skin, fatigue, irritability, headache, urine begins to darken in color, urine output decreases.
Moderate Dehydration: (call a medical professional): All of the signs of mild dehydration, plus: skin doesn't bounce back quickly when pressed, very dry mouth, sunken eyes, (in infant - sunken fontanel, the soft spot on the head), output of urine will be limited and color of urine will be dark yellow, cramps, stiff and/or painful joints, severe irritability, fatigue, severe headache.
Severe Dehydration: (call emergency number): All of the signs of mild and moderate dehydration, plus: blue lips, blotchy skin, confusion, lethargy, cold hands and feet, rapid breathing, rapid and weak pulse, low blood pressure, dizziness, fainting, high fever, inability to pee or cry tears, disinterest in drinking fluid.

Signs of Heat Cramps, Heat Exhaustion and Heatstroke

Experts say that adults with heat exhaustion should stop the activity, move into a cool environment, remove excess clothing and drink hydrating liquids (NOT coffee, tea, sodas or juice!). They say that adults with heatstroke, however, are suffering an emergency. Their body needs to be cooled with ice packs or immersion in cold water, and immediate and professional medical attention must be called. We say: Don't take chances. We believe that any sign of moderate to severe dehydration should be promptly attended to and medical professionals called -- especially in particularly vulnerable populations like babies, children, anyone with an illness, and seniors. If you're in doubt, please call for help. No competent medical professional will mind being called for help with a possible case of moderate to severe dehydration, heat exhaustion or heatstroke.

Heat Cramps: brief but painful involuntary muscle spasms. They usually occur in the muscles being used during the exercise, and are a result of insufficient liquid intake
Heat Exhaustion: difficulty breathing, headache, feeling hot on head and neck, dizziness, heat cramps, chills, nausea, irritability, vomiting, extreme weakness or fatigue
Heatstroke: rapid and shallow breathing, rapid heartbeat, unusually high or low blood pressure, lack of sweating, mental confusion and disorientation, unconsciousness, physical collapse

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Temporary closures in August

DULLES CORRIDOR METRORAIL PROJECTIntermittent Closures of W&OD Trail Expected Early August as Rail Bridge Construction AcceleratesThe section of the Washington and Old Dominion Trail beneath the Dulles International Airport Access Highway and the Dulles Toll Road near Reston will be closed for short periods during several weeks in August.The closings are necessary because Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project construction crews will be ramping up work on the new bridge that will carry the rail tracks, which will run in the median of the airport and toll roads, over the trail. Crews have been working on the bridge for several months and trail users have encountered some detours.During the first week of August, crews will start site preparations for hanging and placing large steel girders on the ridge over the trail. The girder placements are currently scheduled to begin on or about Tuesday, Aug. 10.The steel girder erection work will be done during daytime hours because there are overhead power lines at this work site that would be difficult for workers to see at night.The trail will only close temporarily when the steel girders are lifted and installed. Closures are executed to last approximately 15 minutes or less for each girder.The affected section is located between Wiehle Avenue and Hunter Mill Road, where it crosses under the Dulles International Airport Access Highway (DIAAH) near the trail's mile marker 16. Because the future Metrorail line will run down the median of the DIAAH, this bridge is being built to support the tracks over the W&OD Trail.After the erection work is completed, crews will be building the bridge itself. Most of that work will be done at night and will require full closures of the trail. A schedule will be released later this fall and the work is expected to be completed before Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ride to Provid--Sunday July 18

Opening ceremony is at 11:00 at the Reston Town Center . The 35 mile ride leaves at 11:15 and the 20 mile leave at 11:30. Rides will be going from Reston to Columbia Pike and back or some portion thereof.

Civil War Hike--July 17, 2010

Civil War hike from Wiehle Avenue to Hunter Mill Road. About a dozen participants from 8 AM to 5 PM.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Friends of the W&OD 10K –July 31, 2010

On the W&OD Trail from Old Vienna Train Station to Hunter Mill Road & back
6:30 pm – 10K –Run or walk
6:31 pm – Baby Stroller Division non-competitive 10K

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Attack on Trail

There was evidently an attack on a female runner on the trail today west of the 22.5 marker in Sterling. The attacker was described as wearing a Motley Crue t-shirt and having both a ponytail and a goatee. Police were notified.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sinkhole at Brandymore Castle

There's a sinkhole on the W&OD trail at Brandymore Castle, east of East Falls Church, in Arlington.  The hole is on the east side of the hill and has been marked by cones. 

Arlington Parks and Rec is aware of the situation.  There's been maintenance work on the lights along that stretch of trail over the last few months but no word if that's the cause.

Stay safe.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

May 21 (Friday) Bike to Work Day

Note that the trail will be exceptionally busy with cyclists on Friday, May 21st. Cyclist will be gathering at "pit stops" along the trail. These are located in Leesburg, Sterling, Herndon, Reston, and Vienna. Also, cyclists may be riding in large groups. While the Bike To Work event is scheduled from 6:30 am to 9 a.m. heavy use will continue throughout the day as cyclists make return trips after work.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Recently Paved Section in Falls Church Park

Recent work paving the section of the W&OD in Falls Church Park between N.Van Buren St and the N.Sycamore extension has completed, leaving smooth fresh asphalt in place of what used to be quite a bumpy ride.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Avian Sights & Sounds

Lots of folks out on the trail for a Tuesday morning. Heard or saw following birds: Baltimore Orioles, Red-shouldered Hawks, White-eyed Vireo, Catbird (carring nesting material), Robins, Goldfinches, Indigo Buntings.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Message from Trail Manager

The staff here at the trail is gradually working our way along the trail to pick up the branches left over from the winter snows. We've been busy mowing in the meantime. When the weather is a little rainy we head out to pick up the branches. The majority of the branches have been picked up, though there are a couple of areas in Falls Church and sections west (like Simpson Circle) that remain. Thanks,Karl MohlePark ManagerW&OD Railroad Regional Park21293 Smiths Switch RoadAshburn, VA 20147(703) 729-0596 - office(703) 724-0898 - fax

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

On the road again

Out patrolling yesterday- seem like Spring is almost over and Summer is sneaking in. Most wildflowers are already past the blooming stage. Wild Pinkster Azaleas in full bloom along trail near Hunter Station Road and perfuming the path. Skunk Cabbage has reached full growth several weeks early along Difficult Run. Saw first Brown Thrasher of the year fly across the path and dive into the bushes. Construction for Metro extension has got paved trail west of Toll Road torn up and traffic diverted to bridle path, which has been re-graveled (is this a word?) and well tamped down. Looked like crew was ready to lay asphalt down as Jeff and I went back east after turning around. Traffic on trail was very light for a beautiful Spring day- hardly anyone out.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Trail Event

Please note the following event will concentrate large numbers of trail users.

Saturday April 24, 2010

Paul's Ride for Life begins at Reston Town Center and heads west for 10 & 30 mile options between mile markers 10 and 25. http://paulsrideforlife.org/

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

2010 Bike Show Featuring Extraordinary Rides (Reminder)

Just one last reminder, and thanks to John for letting me post these.

Just a reminder that the Phoenix Bikes' 2010 Bike Show is tomorrow, April 8 at 7pm.  It's a great time for a great cause, no spandex required.

Tickets are $20 now, $25 at the door.  Further details below.

Buy tickets here

Event Details
WHO: You, your friends, family, and Phoenix Bikes
WHAT: The Bike Show featuring - Extraordinary Rides
WHERE: NRECA (National Rural Electric Cooperative Association) 4301 Wilson Blvd, Arlington VA
WHEN: APRIL 8, 2010 from 7-9pm
HOW: Get here by Bike, Metro, Foot or Auto (bike parking available)

More info here

See you at the show!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Trail Patrol Seeks New Members

Any responsible adult of any physical ability who walks, runs, skates, skis, cycles, rides a wheelchair, sits astride a horse, pushes a carriage, or just strolls on the trail is welcome to become a trail patrol member. The Patrol operates under the sponsorship of the Friends of the W&OD, whose purpose is to support and enhance the Trail. The basic responsibilities of a patrol member are to: (1) Promote the safe use of the Trail (2) Provide information about the Trail to the public(3) Assist Trail users when help is needed. Volunteers should be willing to commit a few hours each month to the Patrol's on-going effort to keep the W&OD Trail safe, to maintain and, hopefully augment the luster of this bright jewel of the region. Volunteers may choose to serve on the trail or behind the scenes in support of the patrol -- or both. Even a small contribution of your flexibly arranged time will be helpful, and the experience should be both rewarding and fun. If you wish to help in these capacities there is a role you can perform.For further information please contact the W&OD Trail Office at (703) 729-0596 or WOD@nvrpa.org. To apply on line go to www.wodfriends.org and go to the trail patrol tab.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Trail work

Notice from Town of Herndon
On Monday we will close SB lanes on Van Buren St. (see attached news release) for approximately 6-8 weeks. There will be one line of traffic crossing the trail in each direction (see MOT). Pedestrian signal will be turned off for the duration of closure and temporary stop signs installed for the trail users. We anticipate the town contractor to mobilize in mid April. http://www.herndon-va.gov/Content/Town_Services/Streets/Street_Closures_Detours/default.aspx?cnlid=2108

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Arlington Flasher Update

Subject: ARLINGTON COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT NEWS RELEASE: Arlington Police Advise Bike Trail SafetyFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEMarch 23, 2010MEDIA CONTACT: Det. Crystal Nosal, 703 228-4331; 571 221-1492Arlington Police Advise Bike Trail Safety;Indecent exposure suspect still at largeARLINGTON, Va. - The Arlington County Police Department's Special Victim's Unit is investigating eleven incidents of indecent exposure that have occurred periodically since mid-January 2010, on the Washington and Old Dominion bike trail. A white male subject has been exposing himself to woman at various sections along the bike trail. Detectives are looking for more information from the public regarding these exposures.Anyone who uses the W & OD Bike trail and observes any suspicious activity is asked to contact police. Police have significantly increased patrols on the bike paths. They also urge people who frequently spend time on bike trails and other secluded areas to be cautious and aware of their surroundings. Women should avoid walking or running alone, and they are encouraged not to use devices such as headphones that prevent hearing someone approach. Police recommend that bike trail users carry cell phones so that they can call police as soon as incidents occur. People should report anyone observed acting in a manner not consistent with other bike trail users, such as loitering in the wooded areas, as suspicious behavior.Anyone with any information about this case is asked to contact Detective Comer at (703) 228-4243 or Detective Austin at (703) 228-4241.Detective Crystal L. Nosal #1187Media Relations/Legislative AffairsArlington County Police Department1425 N. Courthouse RoadArlington, VA 22201703-228-4331cnosal@arlingtonva.us

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Phoenix Bikes 2010 Bike Show

This doesn't really have anything to do with the W&OD Trail but its a fun bike-related event for a good cause. Also, the Phoenix Bikes shop is right off the W&OD trail at 4200 S Four Mile Run Dr, so it's kinda related.  (Full Disclosure: I am a volunteer with Phoenix Bikes and am on the 2010 Bike Show marketing committee)

Phoenix Bikes, a non-profit bike shop in Arlington, is holding their third annual Bike Show on April 8th, 2010 and they would like to invite you, your friends, and your family to come out and take part.

The event will include an art show, a silent auction, a raffle for awesome swag (like free bikes donated by local shops and other goodies), and speeches by local movers and shakers in the bike world. Plus, there will be plenty of free food and libations to go around. 

The Bike Show is a celebration of bikes and bike culture and every year Phoenix Bikes chooses a theme as the focus of their celebration. This year the show will highlight “Extraordinary Rides” experienced by riders from the DC Metropolitan area.

There will be seven rides featured.  In one, a cyclist biked across Southern Sudan to help treat the crippling effects caused by the Guinea worm. In another, three women biked from DC to Montreal to learn about community gardens and to make a documentary film on the issue. As part of the event, local artists will display artwork inspired by these and other Extraordinary Rides.

Tickets are $20 per person and two raffle tickets are included with the purchase.

You can buy tickets or find out more about the show here.

And if the promise of free booze, food, and prizes isn't enough entice you, here are some more highlights:

Special guests at the show will include: Chris Eatough, a six-time 24-hour Solo world champion mountain biker and the Director of Bike Arlington; Eric Gilliland, outgoing Executive Director of the Washington Area Bicycle Association and newly appointed Executive Director of the National Association of City Transportation Officials; and Jay Fisette, Chairman of the Arlington County Board and passionate cycling supporter. Jay will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the show.

Some items up for auction include: an R.E.Load Bag, jackets from Patagonia, Swobo cycling apparel, free admission to Madame Toussands, a One-year free membership at Arlington County fitness centers, a family package bike tour of Mount Vernon from Bike and Roll, and dozens of gift certificates from local and national companies. And there is still have more stuff coming in!

So if you're interested, make sure to buy your tickets early.

More info on Phoenix Bikes can be found here.

Event Details
WHO: You, your friends, family, and Phoenix Bikes
WHAT: The Bike Show featuring - Extraordinary Rides
WHERE: NRECA (National Rural Electric Cooperative Association) 4301 Wilson Blvd, Arlington VA
WHEN: APRIL 8, 2010 from 7-9pm
HOW: Get here by Bike, Metro, Foot or Auto (bike parking available)

Trail work west of route 28

PACIFIC BOULEVARD EXTENSION ACROSS W&OD TRAILBEGINNING TUESDAY, APRIL 6, 2010WEATHER PERMITTING• From 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. April 6th – 8th, trail traffic can expect flagging operations and intermittent stoppages (30 minutes or less) as crews erect bridge beams for the Pacific Boulevard Extension over the Washington & Old Dominion Trail. The future overpass and trail connection for Pacific Boulevard is about 1/8 mile west of the W&OD trail bridge over Route 28.• On weekdays throughout the months of April, May and June, trail traffic should expect flagging operations and intermittent stoppages (no longer than 10 minutes) for construction on the bridge deck. • During construction of the bridge, no access will be provided between the W&OD Trail and existing Pacific Boulevard to the south.• In observance of Bike-to-Work Day on Friday, May 21, 2010, no construction will be performed that would interrupt trail traffic.On behalf of the project team, we appreciate your cooperation during construction and look forward to a major improvement in traffic congestion and public safety once the project is complete.For more project information, visit www.virginiadot.org.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Oh what a great day to cycle

I started at route 28 and headed west. I wanted to experience the "horrible" bypass that was put in just west of Leesburg to accommodate work by Dominion Power. Well, the bypass is probably as hilly and twisty as you have heard BUT, I liked it. It made cycling that section more interesting and fun. I suppose if you want to pound out the miles on your drops you will not like the bypass; but that is not me. Anyway the trail is in good shape all the way to Paeonian Springs where I turned around.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Flasher Incident on W&OD near Bluemont Junction

From Arlington Now:
A man exposed himself to a jogger on a section of the W&OD trail near Ashlawn Elementary School Sunday morning. Arlington police are investigating whether this incident is related to a series of five indecent exposures that occurred in January.
In this latest incident, a woman was running on the trail around 9:15 a.m. when a man exposed himself, according to police. The man was wear a ski mask over his face at the time. He’s described as a white male, between 5′8″ and 5′10″ with a slim build.
Police are asking anyone with any information about the case to call Detective Comer at (703) 228-4243 or Detective Austin at (703) 228-4241.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Trail Conditions

Got out today on trike for first ride of year on trail between Gallows and Hunter Mill- looked pretty good- one or two narrow spots because of piles of snow, but with the next few days weather forecast that won't be a problem. It was interesting feeling the temp. drop a few degrees when next to the snow. Very few people out today- more runners than bikers. Daffodils near Hunter Mill up about 7" and budded, heard first Towhee of the year calling.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Falls Church/ North Arlington Update

I guess somebody with a plow reads this blog:

All trail obstructions I discussed on Monday, including lingering ice/ snow patches, downed trees, etc, have been cleared. The trail between Gallows Rd in Vienna and S. Walter Reed Dr. in Arlington is completely clear and ready to use.  Thanks to whoever took it upon themselves to plow/ clear that stretch.

Also, the last of the construction equipment on the east end of the Rt. 7 bridge has been cleared and the bridge at Little Falls Rd has also been refurbished and is back in action.

The temp is going to get up to a down-right balmy 50 today and (dare I say it?) might even reach 60 tomorrow.  Light winds expected all weekend.  Welcome to Spring folks, now get out there and ride!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Route 7 overpass in Falls Church

The resurfacing has been completed and both the east and west bound lanes are open . However, some of the construction equipments still needs to be removed--most importantly is the dumpster that blocks part of the trail on the east side of the bridge.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Public Map of Icy Patches on W&OD

To put the following updates in context, there is a publicly editable map on google maps. Please feel free to update.

View Greater DC Trail Snow Conditions (2010) in a larger map

Monday, March 1, 2010

Falls Church/ North Arlington Update

The trail is starting to clear up but there are still some patches where shade has stymied the melting process.

Working east from Gallows Rd, the significant trouble areas are as follows:

 There's a tree down on the section of the trail between Idylwood Park and I-66 but it only covers about half the trail and there's more than enough room to get around.

The trail parallel to Virginia Ln is still essentially impassable with large mounds of snow still piled on the trail.  For cyclists, I would suggest just hopping on the road until the County Rd 703 intersection.

The paved section for about 100 yards past Chestnut St is covered to about 4 inches, there's a dirt path next to it that is clear.

It's pretty dicey between Great Falls St and Little Falls St.  It's only about 2-4 inches, but there are ice patches mixed in with the slush that can be hazardous.  If you're on your bike and feeling very adventurous, have fun.  People on foot shouldn't have too much trouble so long as they don't mind getting their feet a little wet.

After Little Falls St. the trail clears up significantly until just past Falls Church park.  The hill going up Brandymore Castle has a cleared path about a foot wide.  If you're on a bike, I would suggest walking the hill, especially if there are others there.  The chance for collision is just too great.

After Brandymore, the trail clears up at least as far as the Custis intersection where I turn off. 

All in all, the trail is in pretty good shape along this section.  I'd say another week of above-freezing temperatures should clear away most of the rest of the hold-outs.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Snow and downed trees in Reston area

The trail is still snow-covered in the Reston area as you can see in this photo taken at Buckthorn Lane looking west. Looking east from this same location, there are some big trees down across the unpaved trail. These will take a while to remove.

2/25/10. Snow Blankets W&OD

This photo shows the W&OD Trail from Maple Avenue looking east. The
Whole Foods store is on the left.

Temperatures are forcasted to hit highs in the 40s next week. This
will clear much of the sunny areas, but shady areas stay ice coated
for extended periods.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Progress in clearing snow

Karl Mohle reported (Tuesday, February 23) on the trail patrol Yahoo group "that...
Our maintenance crews have cleared the snow (mostly) off of the trail. We went from our office here in Ashburn (Smith Switch Road) out to the detour trail (Loudoun County 4H Fairground). This area is fairly clear of snow. Tomorrow we will head east and clear snow off the trail as well. As we go we are cutting down the broken tree limbs etc that we encounter (like what we did today heading west). We'll chip the limbs sometime next week...."

Monday, February 22, 2010

Snow Update: W&OD to be plowed this week

Great news trail users!

Paul McCray, Operations Director for NVRPA, just posted this comment yesterday to WashCycle:
The W&OD Trail staff will begin clearing snow during the week of February 22 to speed up the melting process. This is in line with our policies of the past which included leaving snow for cross country skiers and then clearing intersections and plowing deeper accumulations.

When we plow, we won't put the blades right on the pavement but will leave an inch or so which will melt off fairly quickly. If we were to scrape right down to the asphalt, we'd do just as much damage as road plows do on the streets and then the W&OD would have rough, patched sections throughout the year. We don't have the funds to pave the trail more often than every 15 years so it's important to preserve the surface any way we can.
 I for one will be sending a note of thanks to Mr. McCray for this action.  IF you'd like to do the same, his contact information is below:

Paul McCray
Park Operations Director - NVRPA

Trail conditions in Vienna (between Church and Maple)

Thanks to the mystery snow plow man, the trail is clear in Vienna between Church St and Maple Ave. A small crew spent a couple of hours Sunday morning clearing about a 4 foot wide path along this stretch. Some sections of the trail get much more use than others, and we think those sections should be cleared for trail users after a snowstorm. The infamous cross-country skiers, snowshoe users, and others who like a snow-covered trail can either use the other W&OD Trail that is unpaved, or in those few areas where there is no parallel trail, they can use the unplowed sections of the trail. We think local communities could be recruited to help with this plowing.

Trail Conditions in Arlington

Trail conditions in Arlington aren't much better than Vienna.  I tried taking the cyclocross out this afternoon to see if I could ride out to work and ended up carrying the thing most of the way. One bright spot: there is a half mile stretch of trail between N Patrick Henry Dr. and Madison Manor Park that is clear enough to ride on.  Of course, you have to carry your bike through a half mile of snow in either direction to get there.

Other than that, between the Custis Trail intersection at Bon Air Park in Arlington and Gallows Rd in Vienna, there's anywhere between 6 in to a foot of snow still on the trail. Basically, if you own a dogsled now is your time to shine.  For everyone else: see you in April.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Trail conditions in Vienna

Well, I'm guessing nobody is too surprised, but the trail isn't much good for bicycling these days. I haven't tried it with my studded tires yet, but given how chopped up the surface is, and how deep the snow is under the crust, it's probably not much fun. Here's a shot taken near North Side Park in Vienna.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Trail Patrol seeks new members

Any responsible adult of any physical ability who walks, runs, skates, skis, cycles, rides a wheelchair, sits astride a horse, pushes a carriage, or just strolls on the trail is welcome to become a trail patrol member. The Patrol operates under the sponsorship of the Friends of the W&OD, whose purpose is to support and enhance the Trail. The basic responsibilities of a patrol member are to:
Ø Promote the safe use of the Trail
Ø Provide information about the Trail to the public
Ø Assist Trail users when help is needed

Volunteers should be willing to commit a few hours each month to the Patrol's on-going effort to keep the W&OD Trail safe, to maintain and, hopefully augment the luster of this bright jewel of the region. Volunteers may choose to serve on the trail or behind the scenes in support of the patrol -- or both. Even a small contribution of your flexibly arranged time will be helpful, and the experience should be both rewarding and fun. If you wish to help in these capacities there is a role you can perform.

For further information please contact the W&OD Trail Office at (703) 729-0596 or WOD@nvrpa.org. To apply on line go to www.wodfriends.org and go to the trail patrol tab.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Update for Lights out on the trail in Arlington

The Trail Report received the following response from Arlington Country regarding the light situation between N. Sycamore St and N. Patrick Henry Dr:

Thank you for sharing your observations about the lights on the trail! Your observations reflect the monthly report that Arlington submits to Dominion for repairs. They are aware of the issue and are making efforts to repair the lights. They are laying new cable through this section. Dominion’s work order is 7273292. Unfortunately, I do not have information about how long the repair will take. If I receive additional information I will share it with you.

I'll follow up with Dominion on Monday about when they expect to have the work done.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lights out on the trail in Arlington

"I wanted to let you know all of the street lights along the trail between N. Sycamore St and N. Patrick Henry Dr in Arlington are out and it gets really dark along that stretch at night. Anyone running or riding there definitely needs a light.  Incidentally, that's also the area where the flasher incidents occurred which you reported on Jan 18.  I thought that might warrant an update."

This message came from a bike commuter who travels from Ballston to Tysons Corner using the W&OD Trail.  This is good information to share.  That's a long stretch along the sound barrier next to I-66.  It is an area with lots of walkers and runners. I'll try to sign him up as a contributor because this is good information to know.

It's possible to contribute using a cell phone and sending an email message or a text message.  Think about how you could be a contributor.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

W&OD Trail Photo Contest

This posting is about fun and creativity. We are going to have a photo contest focused on the W&OD Trail until the end of February. With so many people carrying phones with photographic capabilities this could be a hoot. To get the creative juices flowing I'm posting photos of our winner of the helmet decorating contest we held in conjunction with ViVa! Vienna! in 2008 which had a W&OD theme..
As you can see from these photos our winner was highly creative and had alot of fun with this contest.  Now apply this same creativity to photos relating to people, animals, and scenery along the W&OD Trail.  Many of the photos will be posted on this blog and on the bikes@vienna blog and Facebook Page.  The winner will receive a new helmet, one of our Nutcase models.

Send your entry as an attachment to an email message to john.brunow@draisin.us.  Please keep the size of the file smaller (under 100K).  I'm directing the entries to an email I have that has quite a bit of capacity, but lots of entries could swamp it.  Understand these photos will be used in multiple ways to promote the W&OD Trail and bikes@vienna.

Let the fun begin.  Let's see what we capture.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Route 7 overpass in Falls Church

The resurfacing of the east bound lane has been completed and opened. The west bound lane is now closed for its resurfacing.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Suggestion about incidents on the trail

The recent posting about the incidents on the W&OD brought a suggestion from a reader.

"Here’s a posting it would help to add since you mentioned the two incidents/attacks

on trail because it may show that ALL these attacks are linked as well as

help warn women who use the trail."

Washington Post August 4th article

In addition you will find a composite picture and a news release from the Vienna Police Department in this blog back in August of 2009.

Let's work together to make the Trail safer. Report suspicious activity to the police.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Trail Safety

From: Frantz Desamour >Date: Fri, Jan 15, 2010 at 4:02 PMSubject: ExposureTo:First District: There have been four recent incidents where a male has beenexposing himself to female joggers along the W&OD trail duringafternoon/evening hours. He is described as a White Male wearing a hood ormask with a protruding belly and pale legs. Since he is nude when theexposures occur he either lives nearby or stashes his clothing somewherealong the trail before the exposure. The latest incident occurred lastnight at 1950 hrs in the area of 1900 Sycamore St .As a reminder, please call the police non emergency 703-558-2222 should yousee the suspect or suspicious activity.ThanksCaptain Frantz DesamourArlington County Police Department1425 North Courthouse RoadArlington , Virginia 22201

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Trail Information

The September 2006 issue of SPOKES contained an informative article on this trail. It can be found at http://yellowbiketales.blogspot.com/2008/02/washington-old-dominion-trail-in.html

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Trail conditions in Reston

The trail is mostly clear in Reston. Where there is ice, there is usually a narrow asphalt section that can be ridden. Today we rode from Sunrise Valley Dr in Reston (around mile 15.5) to Sterling Blvd and we didn't need to walk the bikes. Didn't get a chance to check the stretch of trail just west of Hunter Mill Rd which is usually the last to be clear.