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Fountainhead Loop Hike

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.3 (3) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Stretch your legs through the quiet woods above the Occoquan River, linking up the equestrian/hiker-only trails.


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Map Key

6.7

Miles

10.8

KM

98%

Runnable

289' 88 m

High

150' 46 m

Low

517' 158 m

Up

516' 157 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

16%

Max Grade (9°)

Dogs Off-leash

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Wildlife

Overview

This recommended run ties together some of the best trails at Fountainhead into a complete loop/out-and-back from the main parking area. Most importantly, runners can rest assured that these trails are closed to bikes. For those looking to explore the mountain bike trails, check them out on MTB Project.

This route connects the Equestrian Loop Trail (Blue Trail), Inlet Loop (Orange Trail), and the Hampton Loop for a bonus.

Need to Know

Many creek crossings require using rocks or gravel, especially when water levels are high.

Just inside the trailhead, you'll want to make sure to take the blue trail to the right, marked with a blue horseshoe and a horizontal blue line that might at one point have been an arrow pointing right. If you miss this turn, you'll end up on the 18-mile Bull Run-Occoquan Trail.

Description

From the main parking area, find the trailhead for the Equestrian Loop Trail (Blue Trail) as it winds to the northeast back along the road. This section stays to the north of the road in order to avoid the private archery range. After a half mile, the trail crosses the entrance road and begins to descend to the south.

After a mile, you'll pass the Hampton Loop on the left. This run takes the loop on the return but because all the trails at Fountainhead can be traveled in either direction, visitors can head north on the loop at any point or skip it altogether to cut down the mileage by a mile or so. Continue for a hundred feet or so to a stream crossing near the second entrance for the Hampton Loop.

Head south along the eastern park boundary toward a bridge crossing near mile marker 1.25. Don't be surprised to hear or see mountain bikers to the south as the trails come close through this area.

Finally, at mile marker 1.75, you'll arrive at the loop section for the Equestrian Loop Trail. This run continues east toward the Inlet Loop (Orange Trail), avoiding the western half of the Equestrian Trail loop. Another variation on this route is to make a bigger loop out of the eastern half of the Inlet Loop (Orange Trail) and the western half of the Equestrian Loop Trail (Blue Trail).

Make sure to take a break at the 2.5-mile mark (between mile marker 1.25 and 1.5 of the Inlet Loop) for a viewpoint across the river. After completing the Inlet Loop (Orange Trail), retrace your steps with the option to add on the Hampton Loop if you haven't already, before heading back to the main parking area.

Contacts

Shared By:

Zander Göpfert with improvements by Sydney Smith

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 3 votes

#2697

Overall
  4.3 from 3 votes
5 Star
33%
4 Star
67%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#84

in Virginia

#2,697

Overall
161 Views Last Month
855 Since Nov 1, 2019
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
67%
0%
33%
0%

Photos

Eastern Box Turtle commands the trail.
Jun 13, 2019 near Lake Ridge, VA
Beautiful beech trees float above the river.
Jun 13, 2019 near Lake Ridge, VA
A gentle waterfall flows into a pool
Jun 13, 2019 near Lake Ridge, VA
Early morning entrance from Fountain Head. Plenty of parking.
Jan 23, 2016 near Lake Ridge, VA
Lovely luna moth.
Jun 13, 2019 near Lake Ridge, VA
Trail intersection
Jun 13, 2019 near Lake Ridge, VA

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Nov 11, 2019
Adam L
6.9mi — 1h 20m