Pyrite Mine Loop Trail is a 7.6 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Triangle, VA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Ruins, waterfalls, deer + much more! Explore the Pyrite mine ruins and catch some terrific waterfalls, wildlife, and a good hike. Not for hiking? Put on the bathing suite and bring an innertube and float away on the river (nice and slow). The trail starts out with small steep sections, and plenty of bridged water crossings. The trail gets muddy after rains, so bring a hiking stick as necessary, and bug spray. Most of the hike is along a river or stream. Along the Pyrite mine section of the trail, you can see and explore ruins with interpretive signs. At the Pyrite mine overlook boardwalk, you can take the GPS route (for extra exploring and more views to an actual mine piling and overlook) or stay on the boardwalk until you meetup with the GPS data detour at the next bridge. The GPS data detour crosses the stream (possible to get a little wet) and goes along the area where the strip mine was, now a marshy area. There is a broken trail there that takes you to the mine piling on a hill where you can get a great panorama photo of the entire mine location. There is no danger from ruins or artifacts here, its all open fields and grassy areas. Meeting up with the next bridge, we find the majority of the ruins to explore. The next leg takes us up along the river for the prime wildlife viewing spot, with an everyday deertrail running through. To the right we have plenty of unique waterfalls. Turning back towards the forest, we hike through beaver areas where small tributaries have formed. Going back along the trail to our starting point, we have unique water views and general trail flatness. This hike is one of the best and most well-rounded in the area... something for everyone. Pack a lunch and have it on the rocks by the waterfalls (approximately halfway). Please do NOT take any artifacts.
Two important things to know about this trail: 1. It is within a National Park (Prince William Forest Park) and includes a $7 fee per car, and 2. There is no actual Pyrite Mine Trail Loop. PMTL is a cluster of trails , which grouped together, make up this loop. They call this larger loop made up of trails, PMTL to honor the former mine that was shutdown in the 20s and underwent natural restoration by FDR. There are a number of sites along the trail providing history and certain aspects about the former mine. Make sure to go to the info center to have the park rangers highlight the trails/loop that make-up PMTL. Also, be sure to take a map with you. The paint markings on the trees are for the most part helpful to guide the way; however, there are a few confusing patches where trees don't have markers, and we found the map to be a bit of a lifeline for navigation.The loop itself is delightful. It is entirely covered by a canopy of trees. The forest is lush and green. This is a moderate trail with a number of challenging patches, but completely doable. So far, this has been the best hike we have done. I recommend it to those looking for a bit of a challenge (not major) and who love dogs (tons of people bring their pups out on a hike or run.)
This is a very nice park for the DC area. It wasn't crowded even on the main trail on a holiday weekend. Normally, you feel like you're in a shopping mall the trails are so crowded. There are a bunch of others that are more remote that we are going to go back to hike. There is also tent and car camping areas we will check out. The visitors center is nice and the rangers are helpful in planning your hike. Lots of creek for your dogs to cool off in with a few spots deep enough for swimming. It isn't the most challenging hike and there are no amazing vistas, but in the DC area finding a place that doesn't feel overwhelmed with humanity is truly amazing.
We enjoyed this park/trail. Not a lot of people which makes it very peaceful.
I couldn't find any of the attractions
Interesting terrain, good workout.
This is one of the most interesting trails in PW Nat'l Forrest--with many off-shoots that will catch your interest. I usually access the trail from the 1.5mi. road leading in from the parking lot near the bike trail. You can custom fit this trail to your fancy very easily. The trail from the Laurel Loop through the Pyrite Mine is my favorite way to go. It's a great way to check out the origins of some the area's industries from days gone by. On the lower-end of the moderate spectrum. A real beaut!
Had many trails that could be taken to lengthen or shorten the hike but it offered well shaded paths, nice scenery, clear trails, some wild life spotting, some challenges (for you adventure types), and there's a paved bike trail as well. You will need a map to assist in navigating the routes you want, but that is obtained at the ranger station near the visitors center.
My son and I actually started out on this trail (Pyrite) then branched off. There are many trails within Prince William Forest Park and we did a bit over 20 miles one day over Spring Break. You can hike from Pyrite Mine Loop up to Laurel Loop, South Valley Trail, North Valley Trail and further to reach the falls and many areas go from quite easy to very hard climbing. The trails were all well marked and not very busy at all. The entire area can definitely be customized to fit the hike you want that day from easy to hard.
I am currently recovering from an ankle sprain and this was the first hike I've done since the sprain. The trails were well worn and clear of most obstacles. I felt sure-footed the entire time despite the old injury. Not sure how crowded it normally is on weekends since I did this one on a Monday, but the park is pretty big and this hike starts near the back (parking lot D on the park map) so maybe it still wouldn't be so bad. It was extremely peaceful. The cascades are beautiful, although not quite what I was expecting. The old mine isn't much to look at and the informational signs are a bit of a joke, but it's still an interesting destination. Plus - plenty of rocks to climb over for the more able-bodied folks. Overall, it was a very enjoyable,easy-to-moderate hike.
Prince William forest park is an awesome place to hike. I have done 3 different trails over the weekend. I recommend getting a map. it is also a nice place t I ride ur bike.
Right off I-95, this is easy to get to... I have hiked this trail many times in different segments and all the seasons.... I love the stream/creek... it is quiet out there... We esp. love in the cold winter-- This last winter... we went during the freeze, and the creek had frozen.... The trail is clean, not many tree roots to watch out for.... When I go alone with my 2 dogs I feel safe.
This was a easy side of Moderate trail that I would do again. It was a nice day outdoors and fairly close to home. Check out our blog for pictures and more information about this trail.http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=430591391775737775#editor/target=post;postID=8488928969672176867
My son and I hiked this trail and we also took a different route. Started in the Pine Grove picnic area ( Park at the bottom of the lot and walk across field to find trailhead) We took the south valley trail, to the north valley trail then up to the pyrite mine trail and back. Not sure how long it was.
Loved the trail, very pretty. A lot of the trail follows the creek. I would say this is a moderate/intermediate trail.
Next time my son a I do this trail I would like to continue on the north valley trail up to Quantico cascades trail
Hiked around this area using various trails. Definitely stop by the ranger station and get a map. Note: some entrances are now closed due to cut through traffic. The open one is close by I-95. A little difficult to find trailhead. Trails are well blazed though.