In Northern Virginia's suburban community of Springfield, Lake Accotink Park provides a wilderness escape amid the city surroundings. The 500-acre park features picnic areas, miniature golf, an antique carousel, a 55-acre lake with canoe and kayak rentals and, of course, trails. The Lake Accotink Trail follows part of the former rail bed of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, along which soldiers and materials were transported during the Civil War. Historical markers outline the railroad's history and help mark the entry to the park.
At the trail's start, it's impossible to miss the still-operating trestle bridge running high above Accotink Creek. The creek's dam, constructed more then 50 years ago, created a popular fishing hole. As you leave the picnic and boat-rental area behind, the trail shoots up a short, steep hill toward the woods surrounding the lake. The first half of this route hugs the lake's curves as it travels deeper into the small woodlands preserve that provides shade and wonderful views of marshland and the lake.
When you reach the fork in the road at the trail's midpoint, either continue straight to get another 0.75-mile jaunt on the rail-trail before it dead-ends at Rolling Road, or follow the trail marker indicating a right turn to loop back to your starting point. This 4.5-mile option takes you down a short hill and onto neighborhood sidewalks for three or four blocks and past an elementary school before you return to the park. On the main route, several stairs lead downhill to a bridge and back to the Lake Accotink Trail, which circles around the other side of the lake, to the creek and surrounding marshland. Your round trip will end with a wonderful view of the antique carousel and geese swimming in the shallow lake waters.
Parking and Trail Access
From Washington, DC, take Interstate 395 south. This turns into Interstate 95 south at Springfield. Take the Old Keene Mill Road Exit (State Route 644) west toward Springfield. Turn slightly right onto Backlick Road and then turn left onto Highland Street. Follow Highland Street through a neighborhood and then turn slightly right onto Accotink Park Road. Follow this road through the park and past the trestle bridge to arrive at the parking lot.
"Just Follow The Signs"
I started at the dam, along the northern bank. The trail isn't blazed, but it's also obvious what path the trail takes. Obvious, that is, until the top of the loop.
You are unceremoniously dumped into a residential neighborhood with absolutely no markings ...
If you take the backwards way, it's not that bad of a trip. Taking the long 60 degree hill is a challenge but it's not too bad. I'm a smoker and was able to do the lake accotink and got lost in the cross country(so I did about 5-8 miles of biking). I ...
Audrey Moore To Lake Accotink Trail
I made my maiden voyage from Audrey Moore Recreation Center to the Lake Accotink Trail. The trail is mostly dirt, gravel (large rocks), shaded by large trees and slight elevation changes. The distance is between 6.5 to 7 miles. The trail was wide enough ...