The Country Lane
Old Colchester Road, Gunston Road, and Pohick Bay Regional Park
Distance: Approximately 20 Miles.
By Robert Michie
Everyone wants to bike down a shady country lane, but just try to find one in Fairfax County Virginia. In this ride, we use the bike lanes of Beulah Street and Telegraph Road to reach one of the few remaining shady lanes near Lee District: Old Colchester Road. This is also your route to reach Pohick Bay Regional Park, and Mason Neck State Park.
As Beulah Street and Telegraph Road were rebuilt in the last few years, the County made sure that bike lanes were added to both routes. The bike lanes are painted paths next to the curb in both directions. They are marked with diamonds, and signs along the roadways remind motorists that they are for bikes only.
Bike Lane on Beulah Street near Nalls Nursery
This ride uses the bike lanes to get to two very interesting recreational routes: Old Colchester Road, and Gunston Road. Old Colchester Road is the home of the historic Pohick Church, several equestrian operations, and access to the Occoquan River. Gunston Road features Gunston Hall Plantation, Pohick Bay Regional Park, and Mason Neck State Park.
This ride begins at the intersection of Beulah Street and Manchester Lakes Boulevard in Kingstown (Franconia area, Lee District). A route map and cue sheet is available here. You will ride approximately five miles to get to the real starting line, which is Pohick Church. You may be tempted to drive to the Church and start from there. Don't.
The 11th Commandment, courtesy of Pohick Church.
Old Colchester Road is a fairly shady four mile ride to the Occoquan River. Subdivisions have not pushed into this area yet, but it is only a matter of time. Until then, have fun exploring the area, but please remember to respect private property.
A wooden plank bridge on Old Colchester Road.
Cue Sheet tells you how to
find Gunston Road, which is about two miles from Pohick Church. Gunston Road
takes you to several recreation areas. Be advised that Gunston Road has no
shoulders, and you are going to be sharing it with SUVs towing boat
trailers. The drivers are used to seeing bicyclists, as this is a major
Gunston Road. A huge farm managed by the Bureau of Land Management is on the right.
Overall, this makes a very nice ride for a morning or an afternoon. If you are familiar with the parks, this can easily turn into an all-day trip. Just be prepared for the following: