County to host meeting on adding trails near Huntley Meadows

Sign reading "Wildlife Sanctuary" "no bike beyond this point" near entrance to Huntley Meadows

This past February two long-planned but never-executed trails for Huntley Meadows Park were officially removed from the county’s maps by the Board of Supervisors. At the time of the vote, county officials promised to seek alternatives to the two trails, and on Wednesday December 4, the Fairfax Department of Transportation is holding its first public meeting about how those alternative trails might look.

The meeting will feature a workshop where members of the public can give input on the theoretical trails, according to FCDOT. Those trails would be potentially connect east side of Huntley Meadows to the Telegraph Road/South Kings Highway area — something the two now-scrapped planned trails also would have accomplished.

But the Fairfax County Park Authority and advocacy groups like the Friends of Huntley Meadows opposed the construction of the trails because they believed the trails would intrude on environmentally and culturally sensitive areas in the park.

The county’s presentation on Tuesday will include maps showing rights of way where trails are possible, and mark off Huntley Meadows and area owned by Fort Belvoir where trails are not allowed, according the Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling (FABB).

The FABB was one of the groups who opposed the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors comprehensive plan amendments to remove the planned trails. Along with other opponents, the group wanted the county to look closer at alternatives before making a final decision on removing them. In the end, the Board voted unanimously to remove the planned trails.

The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. and will be hold in the Gerry Hyland Government Center at 8350 Richmond Highway (see map).

Mount Vernon Memorial Highway trail meeting

Another meeting on trails, this one about the Mount Vernon Memorial Highway Trail project, will be held Monday, December 9 at the Mount Vernon Governmental Center at 2511 Parkers Lane (see map).

That meeting will be the first on the project since a March 2018 informational session. Once completed, the trail will complete missing segments of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail and connect to George Washington’s Mount Vernon.