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Thread: Mt Vernon to Prince William Forest

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    mstone is online now I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Default Mt Vernon to Prince William Forest

    Is there any sane way of getting from MVT to Prince William Forest Park? I've crossed the Occoquan before at Occoquan, but between Belvoir and 95 and the big hole in US Bike Route 1, I'm not sure what's safe. Maybe that's why I don't get down to that little corner of the Washington area very often.

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    I am not sure what area you are having trouble with. You can take the Mt. Vernon Highway to Fort Belvoir. Show the guard an driver's license and you can ride across the base to US 1 at Braddock Road. Take Braddock to the FFX County Parkway. This has a side path or you can use the huge paved shoulder. Exit at Telegraph Road. Left on Telegraph which becomes Old Colchester Road at US 1. Follow Old Colchester to US 1 again at the Occoquan River.

    After that its car hell

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rootchopper View Post
    I am not sure what area you are having trouble with. You can take the Mt. Vernon Highway to Fort Belvoir. Show the guard an driver's license and you can ride across the base to US 1 at Braddock Road. Take Braddock to the FFX County Parkway. This has a side path or you can use the huge paved shoulder. Exit at Telegraph Road. Left on Telegraph which becomes Old Colchester Road at US 1. Follow Old Colchester to US 1 again at the Occoquan River.

    After that its car hell
    Which gates are you entering and leaving the base? Where's Braddock Road at Rt 1? Do you mean Pohick? And if you're able to ride across the base with just a license, could you ride directly from the housing area on Mt Vernon Hwy, across the southern portion of the base by the hospital, to Old Colchester, skipping FFX Cty Parkway and Telegraph entirely?

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    I don't know how much of a help I will be, but this shows the route I normally take to get from Mount Vernon to Occoquan combined with what I would probably take to get from Occoquan to Prince William Forest: http://goo.gl/maps/dhLfk I've had pretty good experiences riding on Lorton Road and Ox Road, but past Occoquan I'm in the dark as to a good route. I have no idea what Minnieville Road is like (it is shown as a preferred bike route in Google Maps), but Spriggs Road and Dumfries Road look feasible for that stretch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rootchopper View Post
    You can take the Mt. Vernon Highway to Fort Belvoir. Show the guard an driver's license and you can ride across the base
    Are civilians allowed access to Ft. Belvoir? I always pass because the only time I've been on military grounds as a cyclist was at the Navy Shipyard where I had to stop at the office and fill out a form to get a pass. If it's not a hassle, it would save me much stress from taking U.S. 1.

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    Fort Belvoir was closed to civilians without business on the base for several years after 9-11 but now it's back to id checks. (They scan the barcode on the back of your driver's license, btw.) It's actually a pretty nice place to ride. To exit on the south side you have a choice of two gates. The Braddock Road exit has a long traffic light. Or you can cross US 1 on a bridge within the base and take a left on Kingman. Kingman intersects with the FFX County Parkway.

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    Default Backlick - Oops

    I should have said Backlick Road not Braddock. It's a remnant from before the FFX Parkway was built on top of the old Backlick Road.

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    mstone is online now I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rootchopper View Post
    I am not sure what area you are having trouble with. You can take the Mt. Vernon Highway to Fort Belvoir. Show the guard an driver's license and you can ride across the base to US 1 at Braddock Road.
    Mostly the Belvoir part, and more that I haven't been over that way since before 9/11 than that I'm sure I will have trouble. If it's possible to cut across the base, that does make it pretty easy.

    Quote Originally Posted by bobco85 View Post
    I don't know how much of a help I will be, but this shows the route I normally take to get from Mount Vernon to Occoquan combined with what I would probably take to get from Occoquan to Prince William Forest: http://goo.gl/maps/dhLfk I've had pretty good experiences riding on Lorton Road and Ox Road, but past Occoquan I'm in the dark as to a good route. I have no idea what Minnieville Road is like (it is shown as a preferred bike route in Google Maps), but Spriggs Road and Dumfries Road look feasible for that stretch.
    That's pretty close to what I would have picked, and it's good to have some confirmation from someone who's actually been there, thank you. I've crossed at Ox Road before, but coming from FFX Co Pkwy and western Fairfax.

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    No can do. The base roads do not go through to Old Colchester. Of course, if you are not afraid of dying, you could ride US 1 from Backick to Old Colchester. I did this once. Won't do it again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rootchopper View Post
    Of course, if you are not afraid of dying, you could ride US 1 from Backick to Old Colchester. I did this once. Won't do it again.
    I hear you on that. I did that stretch of bumpy shoulder that puts you within 2 feet of vehicular traffic (going of course at 60+ mph) at times, and I have never felt so vulnerable as a cyclist as being on that road.

    Even though I will never do this route again now that I know I can go through Fort Belvoir (thanks for the info), when I would go on U.S. 1 west between Surveyor and Backlick, I would wait on the side of the road at Constitution Rd to look for the Surveyor intersection light to turn red before making a mad dash down the hill before the main flow of traffic could catch up with me. Going up that hill eastward from Backlick to Surveyor? Praying is all you can do there.

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    I should mention that there are many, many improvements to the roads in Fort Belvoir, including bike lanes and sharrows and such.

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