The prettiest hiking trail in Centreville is probably also the best kept secret. It took me over twenty years of living here before learning this trail existed, even though it’s only minutes from our house.
The trail is accessed from the western side of the ball fields at Rock Hill Park, which most locals just know as the dog park on Old Lee Road. The entrance and exit of the trails have you passing through a great boulder field that the kids will love to climb on and over, just keep an eye out for critters –this would be a great place for a snake to hang out.
The trail is well marked with orange spray paint on the trees, which is good because in the Summer months, when the underbrush is in full growth, the trail can be hard to follow. Unlike most of the other local hiking paths, this one seems to get minimal usage, and as a result the trail can get overgrown. It’s an easy trek but you will definitely want to check for ticks afterwards!
Like a lot of the trails in Northern Virginia, you can hear traffic during most of your trip, so while you might feel like you’re miles away from civilization the constant shushing of cars reminds you that you’re not alone. Despite the distant traffic noise, this trail really does feel remote, and it’s probably a good idea to hike it with a friend — if you twist an ankle, it might be a while before someone comes along to lend a hand.
The trail goes up to Pleasant Valley Road near Cox Farms, and runs alongside the Pleasant Valley Golf Club — you might catch a glimpse of some golfers if you peek through the trees. The trail is a loop so you will end up back at the open field. If you continue around the northern side of the field, there’s a pond where you might spot a frog or a turtle.
I have spent a good bit of time on the county websites trying to find a map or even proof of the existence of this trail, but I haven’t been able to find anything other than a few mentions of the park as a place for bow hunters to hunt deer.
This trail is a hidden gem just waiting to be discovered!