Meadowood Special Recreation Area
On October 18, 2001 the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Eastern States acquired 800 acres of the Meadowood Farm to manage it to provide open space for recreation, environmental education, and wild horse and burro interpretation.
The Meadowood Special Recreation Area is located in Fairfax County, on the Mason Neck Peninsula, along Gunston Road in Lorton. The Mason Neck peninsula, approximately 18 miles south of Washington, D.C., is also the site of Gunston Hall - historic home of George Mason IV, author of the Virginia Bill of Rights. Additional public lands on Mason Neck include the Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Mason Neck State Park, and Pohick Bay Regional Park.
Before the BLM took management responsibility for Meadowood, the area was a working farm containing a number of old trails in varying condition. These trails were steep and severely eroding, and had many muddy sections, causing safety and water quality problems. The BLM has been working to improve the trail system to control erosion, protect water quality, improve safety and enhance visitor experiences.
Eastside Trail System -
Trails on the eastside include: Mustang Trail, Thompson Creek Trail, Chicken Coop Trail and the Wood Thrush Trail. According to the BLM, usage patterns on all of these trails are 80% horseback riders. The uses allowed in the current Meadowood Integrated Activity Management Plan (2004) are horses, hikers and trail runners. Without question, equestrian use is the predominant user group due to the boarding stables contained on the property.
Trails on the eastside have recently undergone extensive renovation to realign, rebuild new trails and to restore to a natural state old trails that have been removed. The new alignments are surfaced with 21A rock aggregate to create a durable surface for equestrian use, but have proven to be quite popular with trail runners as well. Trails on the eastside are currently only open to foot traffic and equestrians.
Westside Trails System -
The Westside of Meadowood Recreation Area lies between Belmont Boulevard and Old Colchester Road. This side of the property does not have the historically established equestrian use as compared with the eastside trail system. Trails on the Westside are currently only open to foot traffic and equestrian use, however, in the future, it may be possible to open existing Westside trails to bicycle use as dedicated hiking and biking trails are built.
New Westside hiking/biking trails –
This trail system will be implemented in two phases. First built will be the “South Branch Loop” and then the “advanced mountain bike loop”.
South Branch Loop -
This trail will tie into the existing Kiosk Trail and create a continuous 3 to 4 feet wide loop trail about 5 miles long roughly circling the west parcel. This trail will be geared to beginner and intermediate mountain bikers. Construction will start in December 2010.
Advanced Mountain Bike Loop –
Two loops would be constructed with a dense network of 3 to 4 foot wide trails designed specifically for intermediate to advanced mountain biking, with features such as banked turns, narrow log crossings, technical riprap “paved” sections, and steep climbing turns. The distance is expected to be two miles.
To reach Meadowood, From I95 S, exit 163 to Lorton. Left onto Lorton Rd at the end of exit ramp. Go under second overpass and turn right onto Lorton Market St. Go about 1.5 mile to traffic light at RT. 1. Go straight through light (road name changes to Gunston Rd) and go about 2 miles and entrance is on the right.
95N. Take exit 161 to Lorton, Rt. 1 N. Go about 1.5 miles to first stop light and turn right on to Gunston Rd. Go about 2 miles, entrance on right.
Directions to biking trail trailhead on Old Colchester Road.
Turn east onto Gunston Road from Route 1, go about a mile, turn right onto Old Colchester Road, go about a mile, parking lot on left.
Number of Trails:
Trail Map: Meadowood Map
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