Also known as Horsepen Creek, Horsepen Run is a simple Northern Virginia stream spiraling through Fairfax and Loudoun Counties. Positioned nearby in the neighborhood of Oak Hill– between Interstate-66 and Dulles Toll Road– The Horsepen Run Trail flows together with the creek for less than 2 miles. To be truthful, there’s not much this place— the stream, while quite and soothing at times, does not have the stony crags and waterfalls of a few of its next-door neighbors. But in a fairly featureless location where the most significant sight is Dulles Airport.
The Simplest Hike In Fairfax County
The walk starts and ends at rural Lake Shore Drive, just off Centreville Road near Floris. From the Centerville Road side, you can access parking by finding the asphalt covered path that is off on the right of the woods. The asphalted path dips right away and escalates up over a number of little bulges, then passes over a tributary of Horsepen Run.
Around 1/4 mile the path the path edges towards the creek bank, where Horsepen Run flows at a reasonably fast pace. To learn about the vegetated area near the streams, walk about 100 yards and take a moment to pause at the edge of the path to read about riparian buffers, compliments of the Fairfax County Parks department.
At around 4/10 mile, the now-level path divides, with a little rural play area and a set of picnic tables left wing. Stay right and follow the course around a bend to the first of three creek crossings. The reasonably uncomplicated traverse is assisted by 16 concrete stepping stones.
Outside the limits, the Horsepen Run Trail carries dramatically left, passing on the right a thick pine grove. The path also crosses a brief wood bridge. Then less than a mile from the beginning, the course climbs up relatively elevated to about 15 feet above the Horsepen Run drain. If you continue on the right, a clear meadow shows up on the hill.
But when reaching 3/4 miles in the journey, the path goes back to creek level and intersects Horsepen Run once again. This is possibly the most beautiful part of the nature walk: the swift-moving water shines in the sun, and a little bamboo stand is viewable on the right. From there you can take a sharp right at the next path fork and travel through the dark (however light adequate) tunnel under a road called McLearen.
Once you go past McLearen, the path starts crossing Horsepen Run for the last time, once again in complete sunshine. At 9/10 mile, an access path appears from the right, and a fascinating roadside at the crossing maps out the different watersheds of Fairfax County. Be aware that this is the Horsepen Creek watershed that streams into Broad Run, and ultimately the downstream of the Potomac River.
For the next 1/4 mile, the path runs directly like an arrow, with left wing featuring s narrowing creek and two-story homes on the right hand side. Just past 1.2 miles, Horsepen Run dams up naturally and a spur route crosses the creek flowing on the left. From that point you’ll want to stay right, passing behind a yellow colored bench. Soon beyond that, the paved course begins thinning to about two-thirds its initial size– but remains leveled as it flows southeast. From there remain left at the next path fork.
With the sound of State Route 286 (Fairfax County Parkway) approaching onwards, the Horsepen Run Trail stops quickly, one mile and a half from Lake Shore Drive. A social path extends down to the creek (currently about 4 feet broad and a couple inches deep), however progressing onward is dissuaded. The underpass below the Parkway is extremely dim, moist, lengthy, and confined, with meager expectation of satisfying landscapes ahead..
For that reason, start reversing at this moment and come back the path you entered. Overall the a round-trip should last 3 miles and take you about an hour to an hour and a half to complete it. Note that these estimates are based upon casual pacing.
Read about Stratton Woods Park