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The Cross County Trail is a multi-use trail that generally follows the various stream valleys in Fairfax County, Virginia. It is officially named the Gerry Connolly Cross County Trail in recognition of Congressman Connolly's strong support for open space and parkland during his tenure on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. Some sections are wheelchair/mobility scooter accessible but not all sections. Some sections are suitable for horseback riding, and the entire length of the Cross County Trail is open to foot traffic and bikes. Some sections are too rough for road bikes, but mountain bikes and hybrids will have no problem.
The trail winds through northern Virginia's hardwood forests, much it bottomland—as it follows stream courses that braid their way throughout the county. Some of the trail passes through the forest and meadows of county parks, while other sections pass through county owned land that borders wooded subdivisions. In addition, trail users will find nearby shopping and business districts. A small portion of the trail follows the Washington & Old Dominion Trail (aka the W&OD Trail).
The northern end begins in Great Falls National Park, at the legendary Potomac River. Heading south, the trail extends to the Occoquan River, passes through Laurel Hill, site of the former Lorton Prison, now an expansive county park with lots to offer.
Trail users will see lots of wildlife, such as deer, fox, muskrat, amphibians, and many species of bird, including hawks and owls.
NOTE: Periodic flooding in some areas can wash out sections of the trail in extreme events at worst. At best, spring rains can make sections muddy. Use caution and check the local website (link to the right) for trail alerts.
The trail can be accessed at numerous places along its route. One of the most convenient and popular places, with plenty of parking, is from Wakefield Park and Audrey Moore Recenter, 8100 Braddock Rd., Annandale (about the halfway point).
You can also access the trail at Great Falls National Park in Great Falls (fee to enter the park); at Lake Accotink Park, 7500 Accotink Park Rd, Springfield; or from Occoquan Regional Park (from I-95 Route 123 North Exit, follow 123 north 1.5 miles to park entrance on right).
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