Birch Bluff Trail, Laurel Loop Trail–Prince William National Forest Park

June 4, 2012
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Distance: 2.4 mile loop

Difficulty: Easy

Birch Bluff Trail Prince William Forest

The Birch Bluff Trail in Prince William National Forest is a 1.8 mile hiking loop running alongside Quantico Creek for much of its paths.

Birch Bluff Trail Prince William ForestBirch Bluff Trail Prince William ForestBirch Bluff Trail Prince William ForestBirch Bluff Trail Prince William Forest

The trail begins behind the Pine Grove Picnic Center at the Laurel Loop Trailhead. This yellow blazed trail is hiked for approximately 0.3 miles before intersecting with Birch Bluff Trail just before Quantico Creek.

Birch Bluff Trail Prince William ForestBirch Bluff Trail Prince William Forest

As the red blazed Birch Bluff trail reaches the creek, the trail forks to the right and left. To the left leads to a connection with the South Valley trail over a small footbridge. The right, however, is a continuation of Birch Bluff.

Birch Bluff Trail Prince William ForestBirch Bluff Trail Prince William Forest

 Birch Bluff Trail Prince William Forest

The Birch Bluff trail parallels with the South Fork of the Quantico Creek  as it hugs around a section of rocky outcroppings and turns back north.  In this small bend, what appears to be a former beaver dam creates a clear creek pool and several small cascades running through the dam.

Birch Bluff Trail Prince William ForestBirch Bluff Trail Prince William Forest

Past the dam, the trail narrows slightly and hugs tightly to the bank of the creek. A washed out metal bridge on the other side of the bank signifies the right turn made to begin looping back towards the picnic area.

Birch Bluff Trail Prince William Forest

As the Birch Bluff trail loops backs, in connects back up with the Laurel Loop trail and runs behind the water tower at the top of the picnic tables, marking the end of the hike.

Birch Bluff Trail Prince William ForestBirch Bluff Trail Prince William Forest

 

Directions:

From I-95:

1. Take exit 150-B. The Prince William National Forest is the second right on Joplin Road.

2. After entering park, the second road leads to a parking area just below the picnic tables.

3. The Laurel Loop Trail begins atop the grassy hill by the playground.

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One Response to Birch Bluff Trail, Laurel Loop Trail–Prince William National Forest Park

  1. Hoboken on April 23, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    Hiked this trail today. Very easy hike. A small group of rapids\ mini-waterfall by the stream.

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