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River Access, Hazard and Incident Reports

Goose Ck - Proposed Walkeley Hill Place Put-In - 1...
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 Turns Out This Is Not Where the County Intends to Build the Put-In - Watch this space for the exciting denouement of our search for the Holy Grail.

  Pam White & Alf Cooley met at the Walkley Hill Place (WHP) cul-de-sac out in Ashburn at 8:00 Sat morning, and explored the put-in place that LC Parks has in mind.  Lisa had been there once before, when her Parks contact told her it should be ready by mid-summer.  That is clearly not happening.

      The site has several downsides - parking in the neighborhood, drag to the creek's edge, and 15-foot drop-off to the water.  On the bright side is that it is reached in a half hour from the Beltway in a direct shot via the Dulles Toll Road, from whose exit it is but a couple of minutes.  The address is:  21064 Walkeley Hill Place, Ashburn, VA.    The site of the (im)possible put-in is 39.031467, -77.539055.


     Off the Dulles Greenway (toll) at mile 4 - at Belmont Hill Rd (Rte 659) - go left (south) across DG, then right at first traffic light - on Polen Farm Blvd - at tiny traffic circle, take 2nd right - on Julia St (no sign).  It ends in a T-fork, go right on Walkeley Hill Place to its small round cul-de-sac.   Parking is minimal here, but back up the street 10+ cars can park.  Single-family 2-story houses with yards.

Put-In Area

        The walkway to the creek is posted NO TRESPASSING and is a 6 ft wide wood-chips path with wood cross-steps rising slightly, then turning into large grey gravel and descending at a gentle 1:5 rate for ca 50 yards, becoming increasingly overgrown with waist-high soft vegetation.  Another 100 yards brings you to the forest edge, where you join the broad level trace of an old road, itself ca 30 feet above the creek, which is flowing but deep, so the reservoir is beginning to back it up.  Here it is making a turn to the left, so its right bank, where we are, is far steeper than the left.  The creek is ca 20 yards wide with near-vertical 15-foot banks and cliffs at several places.

       The walkway to the water is exactly that - no way to drive a car down there now (maybe a tough 4WD).  The footing is now wobbly for anyone carrying a boat, and scratchy if trying to drag it.  So for now it's a 400 yard trace to the riverside.  Then there's how to get on to the water.  The bank was muddy and slippery, and getting to the water did not look possible, not even by seal-launching or letting a boat down with a rope.  We did not look farther downstream than 400 yards.  This road-access will be relatively easy to prep as an entrance to the Parks' eventual creekside trail, but as a put-in for boats there are major problems where we might be able to help advise the Parks.  It is hard to see how a full-scale parking and access place like Kephart Landing will be possible.

    For now, using the informal Sycolin Rd Bridge put-in is by far the better option - and will be our only put-in for some time (1, 2 years?) to come.   Moreover, SRB is about mile downstream from Walkeley Hill, and so is preferable from that point of view as well.   

     Given the steep river bank and the enormous ox-bow the creek describes downstream, a Walkeley Hill put-in may turn out to be a non-starter.  We may want to inquire about other milder possible paths to the river, such as the one off Erskine Terrace that John & I scouted out in February.   A long and delicate process.   

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