From the Trailhead, by Jim Lynch
Welcome to the Dahlgren Trail November Newsletter!
We'd like to begin our newsletter with a special acknowledgement and thanks to the owner of the Dahlgren Trail, Mr. David Brickley. in addition to his work with the Dahlgren Trail, he has been working for 20 years to lead an effort to create a trail system linking all three September 11 sites: The National September 11 Memorial in New York City, where the twin towers of the World Trade Center once stood, the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, PA., and the 9/11 National Pentagon Memorial. That work culminated last month when President Joe Biden signed legislation to designate the “September 11th National Memorial Trail,” linking the the sites with a trail of remembrance. Learn more about David's amazing accomplishments on our website, here.
In case you didn’t know, our goal for the Dahlgren Trail is to become part of Caledon State Park and the Virginia State Park system. But we still see trail users who are surprised amazed that it’s not already a public park. These things seem to move at a snail’s pace, but we are encouraged by the acceptance by the public for the trail, and we are so grateful for the many expressions of appreciation for the trail.
There are two Friends groups who advocate for our goal: Friends of the Dahlgren Trail and Friends of Caledon State Park. There are many wonderful people who serve on both groups work cooperatively on many projects. One of those projects was an event which was hosted couple of weekends ago: the Caledon Art & Wine Festival. This festival is one of the premier events in King George. Friends of the Dahlgren Trail was delighted that the Friends of Caledon asked us to host a table at the event to showcase the Dahlgren Trail. At the event, we have the opportunity to talk with hundreds of people about the trail.
In addition to our website, many trail users have discovered us through these great websites and information sources:
All Trails: AllTrails is a website deigned to foster happy, healthy communities by connecting people to the outdoors and to each other. The Dahlgren Trail is featured within their site, and users give the DRHT a 4.1 rating out of 5. Here’s a recent comment: “I really liked the trail. I took my pups for a walk. It’s a long, flat gravely trail, perfect for taking a walk. If you start on the west entry point off of Bloomsbury Rd, you'll see the train and tracks for maybe 1.5 miles, after that it's gravel and pebbles. You need a permit to go on this trail, they have a QR code posted to make it easy to complete. It a beautiful place.”
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy: Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is all about building a nation connected by trails. They reimagine public spaces to create safe ways for everyone to walk, bike and be active outdoors. On their website, the Dahlgren Trail is listed as one of the top ten trails in Virginia. To quote their website, “The rustic route stretches almost across King George County on the former Dahlgren Branch Line—an important rail line during World War II—showcasing the wildlife and natural beauty of the region along the way.”
Mid-Atlantic Gravel, Travel and Dirt: A group of dedicated bikers who created an awesome video about traveling the trail by bike. Their website explains, “In March 2019 the team at Gravel Travel & Dirt took off to the Dahlgren Railroad Heritage Trail in King George, VA. It’s safe to say that over here at GT&D we love a good rail trail. And when that trail is natural surface it’s all the better. Natural surface trails tend to have a character and history that is all their own. The Dahlgren Railroad Heritage Trail in King George, VA first came on our radar several years ago. We were not disappointed. The trail is managed by a group of dedicated, hard-working volunteers with a vision for something great.”
We continue to try to expand parking for our trail community. The latest parking news comes from our friends at Little Ark Baptist Church. They have generously offered to allow trail users park in the back of their parking lot; from there it’s a short walk to the trail along an access driveway (about 100 yards). The address is 15681 Owens Drive, King George VA. There are two driveways side by side; the left-hand driveway belongs to Little Ark Baptist Church, and the right side is a private residence driveway. Please do not park at the church overnight nor trespass in the private drive.
Thank you so much for reading!
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