Fairfax county Virginia is a bustling community of 1.142 million people with an equally bustling mountain bike scene.
Bordering the Occoquan Reservoir are three loops of varying difficulties and lengths from 2.2 miles to 7.7 miles.
The further you progress back into the loop system, the more challenging the courses become.
The course layout is tight. The park also has a golf course and kayaking activities, so they had to cram as much in as little space as possible.
This means that the course is optimally laid out with technical turns and drops that keep the rider waiting for every corner.
Situated close to the city, this course is an easy one to reach. You can get off work, get in a ride and be home in time for supper. Considering all of the commuting traffic to and from DC, this may be the only chance than many of the locals get to ride. When you ride these trails, you are sharing the course with some of the most powerful people in our nation.
Due to being situated close to the water, the course is not always open. Even damp conditions can render it excessively muddy.
The Facebook page does a good job keeping riders appraised at what times the park has been unexpectedly closed.
As always, you want to follow the rules of the course and respect the other riders. There are plenty of tight corners and even some drops. You’ll want not only to be aware of the surroundings but also where other riders might be.
One last word is that there is non-stop climbing. As soon as you go down, you’ve gotta have your legs (and gearing) under you for the next uphill.
Expect a challenge. Expect a workout. And enjoy this little gem tucked in so closely to our nation’s capitol.