Fountainhead Park White and Blue Trail: Fairfax, Virginia

March 23, 2005

Let me start out by saying that THESE ARE NOT TRAILS OPEN TO MOUNTAIN BIKES! Let me state that again. These trails are not mountain biking trails. They used to be. Occasionally and under special circumstances, some group rides may be lead on these trails as night rides with the permission of the park rangers. Those will be very occasional and done in conjunction with the local mountain bike club, MORE.

I did a trail recon for my afternoon workout since it had rained and I couldn't really ride anything. I put on hiking boots, gators and grabbed a pack with water, cliff bars, a few other woodsy type things and my camera rig and headed into the woods. I ended up running just over 5 miles and managed to get a pretty good GPS plot of the trails.

The altitude plot is still doubling. I don't know why. The run was 5.2 miles and had approximately 770 feet of climbing.

This map, while fuzzier, gives a better idea of the trails.

The loop to the upper right of the above map is the white trail. This is called the "Nature Trail" at Fountainhead. The blue trail was an out and back that I did on the left side of the map. That is the trail that connects Fountainhead with Bull Run Marina, Hemlock Ridge, and Bull Run Park.

Trailhead

Twisties on the White trail.

The sign that leads back to the parking lot

More twisties

OHhhhhh A downhill with two switchbacks

And the climb up the other side

Creek crossing #1. This was a bit swolen. It was up over my knees. I'd guess it was close to 3' deep. Very ridable

The climb up out of the creek bed

Creek crossing #2. Faster, shallower, really rocky.

Looking from the other side. It is about 18" deep in the middle. There is a line to the left of this photo.

The climb up out of that creek crossing

Looking back down the hill. Yup. Its steep.

Creek crossing #3. Somewhere between the first two. 2' deep but there is a line to the left.

The climb out of that creek crossing.

Further up the same climb. Lots of roots to BZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzp upon.

Looking back down the trail from the top of that climb.

Cub scout bridge and climb that follows. It also is pretty steep.

I wanna be a cub scout when I grow up.

Here's a better look at the climb out from that bridge.

And looking back down on the bridge

The left half of the climb from the bridge.

Here's the top of it. YUM!

Looking down at the next creek crossing. This one was newly bridged.

Looking at a V in the trail.

If you don't make it through the white loop, there's a place to burry you on-site

Some of these graves are pretty dang old

This is the start of the Blue Trail

Can you see why I hope this is open to us for the night rides????

Can you see why I don't hold much hope for that ever to happen????

Looking at the approach to one of the recent reroutes

Panning to the right from the previous photo

Looking at the switchback on the reroute. This looked like it was a year or two old. It may be that trail work was done on it a year or two ago

Here's the bottom of that trail.

This is the trail that was replaced. I remember charging up that 15 years ago when the trail was open to bikes.

These new bridges are cute. They won't survive the first flash flood. The creek was slightly swolen today and the water was 3' below the bridges. Looking at the debris from a past flood on the tree to the right of the photo shows that at least the first bridge to the right will be under water. Probably both will.

The trail right up the middle is the way horses go through. It will be the way hikers do too if the bridges wash out.

Just further down from those bridges

Stair steps up. A tough ride up for sure. It is steeper than the photo shows.

Looking further up the same climb. Not something IMBA would build, but it is a derived from old plantation roads and trails that were here 150 years ago.

Further down the blue trail.

Looking out towards Bull Run Marina. It is still 4.5 miles away.

 

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