dogs on leash
This park sits off of Airport Rd. The ticket system is simple enough, I just wish they had kiosks that allowed cars to pay on their way out with credit cards. I recommend taking your parking ticket to the boat house for validation (after you pay $2) so that way you have it already on the way out.
There's a bathroom here but I didn't use it- so I can't speak to how clean it is. But at least it's there.
Several trucks with their boat hauling equipment attached were blocking all of the entrances to trails!! As a first timer that made it very difficult to navigate where I wanted to go!
I chose Lookout Trail with AllTrails help. Lookout trail's entrance is facing away from the water and towards the dog park. The trail starts off as loose sand before you see a "No bikes allowed" sign and then hit your first set of wooden stairs. The stairs take you to a paved trail that runs you along Airport Rd. You'll stay on this straightaway briefly. I say enjoy this part because you'll immediately hit a couple up hills!! The trail entrance was clearly marked. HOWEVER on the way back the turn to get back to the boathouse was NOT clearly marked.
The trail itself is your standard run through the woods trail. But I see why bikers are not allowed. As other reviewers pointed out its VERY rooty. I was constantly looking down to avoid a misstep. Also there are very steep hills. I enjoyed the steps when they were there and pushed myself up the second hill which probably is steep enough to have steps but does not.
My biggest complaint here (and bear with me as I'm probably spoiled by Northern VA's trails) but there were SO MANY spider webs going directly across the trail!!!!! I spent so much time stopping to breakup obvious spider webs and spent a good deal of time freaking out as I missed some and ran straight into them. This trail must be scarcely used and the trail attendants must never make the full walk often enough to avoid this from occurring. Ultimately 1.5 miles in I turned around- the spider webs were causing me to stop so often/be grossed out that I had had enough.
Between looking down so much to avoid a misstep to looking up and around for spider webs this run was not enjoyable. The layout of the trail was gorgeous and I liked how often you were right next to the water on this trail.
LOTS of elevation changes, some are a bit difficult to traverse (either angle, sandy soil, tree roots, etc). Lots of tree roots across the paths make footing tough at times - ankle support is a must. Made the hike with the whole family though (Wife, sister, 3 y/o hiking, 14 m/o on my back, the other 5 kids from 6 to 16 on foot) With minimal complaint from the little ones. Older kids had a blast. Great trail when you're ready to step up your challenge level. The view from the look outtower
This is a nice trail just be forewarned it isn't the trail to go if you want quiet and serenity. The noise from Airport Road is obnoxious. Admittedly I did NOT check all trails before going or I would have seen there was a $2.00 parking fee.
This was an awesome trail. You have to pay two dollars at the boat house for entry into the park. That is well worth the price. The lookout tower is within the first 1/4 mile. After you leave the lookout tower, the trail is covered with roots and they are very easy to trip on. We saw baby frogs everywhere, and some big ones. My dog enjoyed the trail as well, there were plenty of areas on the trail for her to get a drink from the lake. I took 3 kids with me and they breezed through this trail. Although I would not recommend this trail for elderly that have problems with knees.
Took the lookout tower trail (about 2.5 miles round trip from the parking lot). It was a pretty good walk. The trail was sand and dirt. The beginning 2/3 was extreme ups and downs and the trail was very rooty. The last 1/3 was smooth and gradual. I would definitely go back.