The Washington & Old Dominion Rail Trail Trailhead at Purcellville, Virginia
(Taken by John with his good camera)
The W&OD Trial (Photo Taken By Me)
We were so excited to get back to our Empty Nest hobby of cycling rail trails today. We planned to ride on a new (to us) rail trail in Virginia. The weather was beautiful again, high 70's to low 80's. It was perfect weather for a bike ride. We rode on the Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Rail Trail. It's a very long trail that runs about 45 miles in length. We knew we weren't going to be able to ride the whole length of the trail, so we decided it might be more interesting if we started at the western most end, which is in Purcellville, Virginia. We set out around noon. The trail is paved and very well-maintained. The surrounding farms were so beautiful. We saw horses and cows and a huge bull with horns. There were some houses visible from the trail, but there were so many nice wooded areas with many streams running near the trail that the houses didn't detract from the nice ride.
Trail View – Farmland
At one point, about 6 miles into our ride, we were greeted by at least seven groups of walkers, joggers, and riders who were going in the opposite direction cautioning us about a raccoon in the middle of the trail. So, I finally asked a gal if the raccoon was mean. She said, “Yeah, kind of!” So that was exciting… We didn't actually see the raccoon because it had gone into the wooded area off the trail, which was just as well. On our return trip, an animal control vehicle was on the trail, the raccoon had been caught just as I rode up, so I asked to take a peak at the troublemaker. He wasn't having a fit in the cage, but he was probably rabid. So, I'm really glad we never had to meet it face to face.
Old Farm Along Trail
This was a long ride for us very early in the season, and we were both getting exhausted by the last 5 miles. We ended up doing 26 miles total. We were thrilled that we made it. We had both run out of water and were very hungry by the end of it. Fortunately, we had a cooler full of ice cold water bottles in the car. Overall, we had a great time. The trail was scenic and had no major hills that we couldn't handle. I think we will probably ride this trail again, and perhaps start from somewhere closer to the the Arlington, Virginia side of the trail.
Beautiful Stone Bridge Along Trail (Raccoon Removed from This Area)