This dog-friendly loop provides visitors with a challenging but manageable day hike or trail run, with access to the Scenic Drive to shorten the complete mileage.
From the Turkey Run Ridge Group Campground, this hike heads clockwise on the Turkey Run Ridge Trail
, South Valley Trail
, and High Meadows Trail
, with a final connection on the Little Run Loop Trail
. It's open year-round, which allows visitors to experience the surrounding woodlands in very different conditions, with the winter months often being the quietest and less frequently visited. Trail conditions can also change dramatically with the amount of water that is present causing icy or muddy tread.
As all trails in Prince William Park can be traveled in either direction, this loop can be done in reverse or shortened to accommodate groups of varying abilities or ages.
From the Turkey Run Ridge Group Campground and parking area, head back along the road for a hundred feet or so to the Turkey Run Ridge Trail
trailhead. The trail winds parallel along the road, crossing the Scenic Drive after descending for 0.75 miles. Another 0.75 miles later, the trail will T into the South Valley Trail
at the South Fork Quantico Creek. Turn right (west) here onto the South Valley Trail
and cross the Scenic Drive again.
Head west along the flat, snaking creek with a few waterfalls around the 2.5-mile mark. Staying straight across Scenic Drive, follow the South Valley Trail
as it bends to the west across Taylor Farm Road
onto a section of boardwalk. To shorten the loop, follow Taylor Farm Road
to the north and it will intersect the High Meadows Trail
, which heads east toward the Little Run Loop Trail
and Turkey Run parking area.
After the South Valley Trail
boardwalk, cross Scenic Drive another time to follow the creek west. This next section is the most secluded as it departs from the road toward the western boundary of the park. At the next intersection, turn right (east) onto High Meadows Trail
for the last road crossing of the Scenic Drive and a visit to the Taylor Farm Site. While not much is known about the Taylors, the graveyard and building foundations they left behind help visitors to visualize the once vibrant farming community in this area.
At the next intersection, take the Little Run Loop Trail
in either direction (clockwise - shorter, counter clockwise - longer) back to the starting point.