From the Trailhead - By Jim Lynch
Welcome to the Dahlgren Trail October News!
Fall is coming in strong on the Dahlgren Trail! We have really have enjoyed some great events on the trail this past month, including the annual Big WOW and the King George Fall Festival 5K and 1 Mile races. A special shoutout to the King George Middle School Running Club, the “Running Warriors” and their sponsor, the KGHS DECA team and Mrs. Dee Strauss, their faculty sponsor, for their support at the Fall Festival races.
Speaking of the Big WOW, this was the last event to be sponsored at the national level by the Wilsons Disease Association. We have years and years worth of gratitude to express to Constantin Langa, his wife Nichole, and the many other family members and friends who have made this event possible!
Parking improvements are also a focus of ours in this season. Our improvement of the Indiantown Road trailhead is completed; we owe a huge thanks to the Community Foundation for funding this project, as well as Potomac Paving for their great work. The parking area now features a paved entrance and new gravel spread and sloped for better drainage and has more parking spaces. We are still working on a gravel laydown area near Owens, which is comprised of a small parcel at the junction of the trail and Owens Drive, which was donated to us by Roger Williams. Many thanks to Roger! And thanks to the Community Foundation of the Rappahannock River Region for their financial support of this project!
Warren Veazey and Sailor (the Veazey family Great Pyranees) installed a new boardwalk across the persistent muddy spot near mile marker 2.0. This project was made possible by a grant from the Keep Virginia Beautiful 30 x 30 Annual Grant Program. The boards are set so that a work vehicle can drive over them, but our main focus is making that area of the trail more accessible for wheelchairs; accessibility is a big objective for the trail.
Planning is underway for the 2022 King George Race Series. There will be some changes in store for the 50K and HHH Half Marathon in August. We’re planning to start and finish these races at the town of Dahlgren retail/commercial area, instead of the previous starting line at the Bloomsbury Trailhead. Also, we’re hoping to include a 5th event in the series: a ten-miler encompassing the trails at Caledon State Park and the Dahlgren Trail.
Fall is a great time of year to be out, and a nice natural surface path under the trees that are changing color is an unbeatable experience. We hope to see you out there soon!
Big WOW 2021
On September 25th, 2021, the Friends of the Dahlgren Trail and the Langa family hosted the 7th Big WOW (Walk on Wilson’s) on the DRHT. The goal of the WOW is to raise awareness for Wilson’s Disease (WD), a rare genetic disorder, and to support the WD Patient Registry for early diagnosis and treatment eﬀorts. To learn more about WD and the WD Patient Registry please click here.
A beautiful day resulted in a wonderful family event that really showcased what the DRHT means for our community. Constantin Langa, one of the many volunteers who helped clear the trail of the rail ties over 15 years ago, was aﬄicted with the neurological symptoms of WD, which turned him from a very healthy and strong young man to a person who needs 24/7 assistance for daily living. To learn more about his story, please click here. The Dahlgren Trail has been used to bring awareness to our community about this debilitating disease.
For this Big WOW, our community came together once again to support this cause. The Friends of the DRHT prepared the trail and helped to ensure a smooth event. KG Fire and Rescue had an ambulance on standby and for tours. This was a particularly fun activity for the children as the EMT staﬀ let them see the inside of the ambulance. The main event, a walk down the beautiful trail, kicked oﬀ with an endearing speech by Nichole Langa, Constantin’s Langa’s wife, and a group picture.
The attendees, including Constantin Langa riding in an oﬀ road chariot courtesy of Ainsley’s Angels of America, took a walk down the trail. As the sun beams were bursting through the trees, the signs along the trail with facts about WD and the laughter of friends and family, created a fantastic reminder of the impact that the DRHT has had on bringing our community together.
Since 2015, and in its 7th year of hosting the Big WOW, the DRHT has provided a venue for helping raise awareness of WD and bringing our community together. A BIG THANK YOU goes to the Friends of the DRHT, David Brinkley (who attended and is the owner of the trail), KG Fire and Rescue, the Langa Family, and all the attendees. Without these wonderful people the Big WOW wouldn’t be what it was, an event that illustrates the power of love and community.
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