An Easy Side of Moderate 8.7 Miles On The Cross County Trail in Fairfax County, Virginia
Colvin Run Mill to Potomac River!
The northernmost section of the Cross County Trail (CCT) in Fairfax County follows a lovely and leafy stream valley through upscale suburbia from a historic mill to the Potomac River.
Much of Fairfax County's Cross County Trail lies within green, shaded stream valleys. Off limits to developers, the county's stream valleys support biodiversity and wildlife. It offers a rough Appalachian Trail-like experience. Some of it is stone dust. In some places there is a lot of mud. "People call and complain that there's snow on the trail. Well, we don't plow the trail. Get your cross-country skis or snow-shoes out. It's a natural, outdoor environment. It's maintained, but it's not groomed. That's the beauty of it. That's why it's great!
So, Come out and hike along a scenic stream to Great Falls, VA and see for yourself this wonderful tucked away gem that is most convenient! This hike meanders along a little used portion of the Cross-County Connector Trail in Fairfax County along Difficult Run Stream - starting at a historic working water-powered mill at Colvin Run Mill, which is owned and operated by the park service.
We'll see special sites along the way such as the operational mill and miller buildings, an old style general store, mill race, a trestle for the old train tracks, and beautiful trails along the streams leading up to the Potomac River. We'll continue along Difficult Run to where it empties into the Potomac River, then head back.
Click here for more information on the Mill!
Pace Option 1 : A "walk in the woods" or "social" pace which is great for those who want to soak up the nature and will be about 2.0mph and great for people who take tons of pics or just looking for a peacefull walk in the woods but this is not a stroll.Kellie leads this pace.
Pace Option 2: A moderate pace of about 2.5mph-3.0mph and the average hiking pace used as a baseline in most hiking books. (most common pace).
Pace Option 3: A VERY vigorous paced group of at least 3 mph (often referd to as "The Justin Pace") so no complaints about this pace being too fast because you know what you are getting into. The hike leader must be able to keep up a good pace becuas she has to get to the airport after the hike so pretty please only go on this pace if you are a brisk or faster hikers.
PLEASE put your pace preference in your RSVP so we can plan accordingly. Keep in my your capabilites and not just your preferences...
Nearby City: Great Falls, VA
Length: 8.7 Miles
Scenery: River views, stream valley, woodlands
Skill Level: Easy Side of Moderate
Trail Surface: Dirt or dirt and gravel, with some muddy stretches after recent rain; short stretch of pavement near the mill; gravelly old road north of pike
Time to Hike: Estimate is between 3.5-4.5 hours but depends on group pace.
Trail Type: Out and Back
Facilities: Toilets, water, phone at mill; toilet at Georgetown Pike parking lot.
Trail Notes for Leaders
We hike rain or shine! Click here for up to the minute weather information for the trailhead
Click here for carpool locations that are frequently used by members, complete with detailed directions for several carpool locations scattered all around so thee should be something convenient for everyone.
If you can drive or want to carpool from additional locations, please post your location in the comment section below. For those who need a ride, reach out to the drivers. Make friends, and support the environment - by just offering a ride!
Directions to the Trailhead
Click Here for Directions to Where We Meet.
Hike Meetup Time is 9:00 a.m.
Please remember we are a social hiking group that values fellowship and camaraderie and practice good hike etiquette. We take breaks as necessary and have at least one guide in the front in addition to a "sweeper" in the back which means that no hiker is left behind. If you get upset because someone has to rest at the top of a hill etc. then find another group! We are very supportive, encouraging, and focus on safety while getting or staying fit on the trail and practicing Leave No Trace outdoor ethics.
Fido is welcome on this hike!
Let's have good times and see you on the trail! PLEASE take a leaders phone number with you in case you have any difficulty locating our group!
Don't forget to come visit us on Facebook