A few weeks ago we rode the west end of the Washington and Old Dominion Trail, and made it almost to the end of the trail in Purcellville. My goal for this weekend’s ride was to make it to the end and get my own version of the sign at the old Pucellville train station–especially after seeing Cynthia’s!
We started at the parking lot near CarMax off Route 28 in Sterling, Virginia, at about mile marker 24. The weather was unseasonably cool for July–in the low 70s–and the sun was just burning off the morning fog. Still, I was glad to be dressed for a summer ride with my short-sleeved top, sunglasses and sunscreen, because it warmed up quickly.
This section of the Washington and Old Dominion trail is so scenic. One of my favorite sights is this old silo, just west of Leesburg.
I had just passed the silo when I saw my husband stopped on the other side of the trail. He had discovered that the trail was lined with wild raspberry bushes that were at peak ripeness.
After we’d had our fill, we continued on, pausing every few miles for more raspberries (my husband) and more pictures (me).
There aren’t too many road crossings on this section of the trail, but there are a few places where the trail crosses highways so you must come to a full stop and check for oncoming traffic. It also crosses Route 7 twice, sending you over or under the highway and across entrance/exit ramps that also require caution. (For a section-by-section breakdown of the Washington and Old Dominion trail, check out this Bike Washington website.)
When we got to the end of the trail, I got my picture and was thrilled to learn that the train station has indoor plumbing that is open to the public. 😉
There’s also this gem–Trail’s End Cycling Company, in a building dating to 1874!
On the way back, my husband insisted on stopping for more raspberries, while I wanted to stop oat Old Ox Brewery again. (Read about my first visit to this bike-friendly place at mile marker 25 here.) The food truck wasn’t there yet, so we made do with chips. The Dill Pickle flavor hit the spot like nobody’s business!
The elevation profile shows that the hard work of this ride is on the way the out, but it’s a steady climb that you don’t really notice until you realize how much easier it is on the way back. After my recent falls on the Mount Vernon trail, I also appreciate the lack of steep, twisty curves, although there is one twisty climb right at Clark’s Gap.
We like this end of the Washington and Old Dominion trail because it is wide, less crowded, and has fewer road crossings than the eastern end. On the other hand, it’s a 45 minute drive (with $3.50 in tolls) each way to get to this starting point, so we can’t ride from here every weekend.
See what others have been up to at Jill’s Fitness Friday link up.
Did you do anything fun this weekend?