Hit the trails on Jan. 1 if you want to enter a photo contest.
The Fairfax County Park Authority’s “First Hike Fairfax” returns this year with expanded hike options — including any FCPA trail — and photo contest prizes for hikes on New Year’s Day.
The FCPA teamed up with America’s state parks and Virginia State Parks for the First Day Hike Programs.
Locals can visit any FCPA trail on Jan. 1 and snap pictures for the photo contest. Nearby trails include the trails at Lake Fairfax and the Washington & Old Dominion Trail. More trails can be found at Trail Buddy.
Then, enter one photo in First Hike Photo Contest by Jan. 2. Park Authority staff will select a “Judges’ Choice,” and the general public will vote on a “People’s Choice” winner. Both winners will receive a free four-month RECenter pass valued at up to $300.
All photographers will receive two free RECenter guest passes.
“First Hike Fairfax” also kicks off the Park Authority’s “Healthy Strides 12 Steps for a Healthier 2019,” which offers monthly tips with healthy living ideas.
— Fairfax County Government (@fairfaxcounty) December 27, 2018
Overcome writer’s block before NaNoWriMo ends — Join fellow locals from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Reston Regional Library to finish up the National Novel Writing Month challenge of writing a 50,000-word novel before midnight tonight. [Fairfax County]
Take a dip in the pool — Summer is long gone, but pool time isn’t. “The Family Splash” from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Reston Community Center is $13 for residents. [Reston Community Center]
W&OD Trail project continues — A major 1.2-mile stretch of the trail’s bike path in Falls Church will be turned into a dual path — one for bikes and the other for pedestrians. The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority is providing $3.2 million for the project. The trail also faces planned construction over Wiehle Avenue. [Falls-Church News Press]
Reston Association is officially the first business to join the Washington & Old Dominion Trail Ambassador Program, an initiative that encourages local businesses near the trail to support bicyclists during business hours.
The program is operated by the Friends of the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, a citizen-led organization that aims to protect and improve the trail. The organization was created as an advisory body to the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority in 1997. It aims to maintain the trail’s position as a recreational, environmental and historic resource through volunteer efforts like fundraising, promotional, educational programming and maintenance, according to the organization’s website.
According to an RA release, the program encourages local businesses near the trail to support to bicyclists during business hours, including bicycle tools, restroom facilities, drinking fountains, and telephone access. The program is part of a supportive community that is expanding surrounding the trail.
Ambassador businesses within four miles of each side of the 45-mile trail are envisioned to join the ambassador community, extending from Arlington to Purcellville.
Photo via RA
A grade-separated crossing and bridge at the Washington & Old Dominion Trail at Wiehle Avenue could be coming closer to reality.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will consider a motion tomorrow (July 10) to allow the county officials to move forward with land acquisition and final design plans.
The project, which is expected to cost $10 million, aims to address safety concern at the intersection. Changes include a new bridge, retaining walls and directional access to Wiehle Avenue for trail users.
Wiehle Avenue would be widened from Sunset Hills Road to the properties near the Reston Fire Station. The pavement would be widened for on-road bike lanes in the future.
Improvements were contemplated in Reston’s Metrorail Access Group’s plan to improve access near the new Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station. The new fire station planned in the area would be built before the pedestrian bridge.
An exact timeline for the project has not been set.
Photo via Fairfax County Government
Fairfax County police are investigating what caused a crash between a cyclist and a van near the W&OD Trail at Sunrise Valley Road Tuesday evening around 6:30 p.m.
Police said it is not yet clear whether the cyclist or the driver of the van was at fault in the accident, which caused damage to the van and sent the cyclist to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Anyone who may have seen the collision is asked to call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131 or 1-866-411-TIPS (8477), or text “TIP187” plus the message to CRIMES (274637).
Calling all pets and pets owners: The Pet Fiesta is coming to Reston Town Center on Saturday, May 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m..
Sponsored by RTC and NOVADog Magazine, the outdoor festival brings together business, rescue groups and pet owners for activities and demonstrations. The event, which is open to all, also includes face painting and onstage entertainment. Animals will also be available for adoption.
This year, a dog walk around Reston Town Center and the Washington & Old Dominion Trail was cancelled due to a lack of registrants.
The event benefits GoodDogz, a non-profit organization that aims to educate future dog owners on dog selection and supports rescue groups.
Photo via Gooddogz.org
PRC Zoning Ordinance Amendment Info Session Tonight — Reston 20/20, Reclaim Reston and the Reston Citizens Association will present the forum tonight from 7-9 p.m. at Reston Association headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive). This is being held in advance of the fourth public meeting on the proposal, being presented Monday by Supervisor Cathy Hudgins and County Planning and Zoning staff. [Reston Now]
Site Lists Top Places to Eat in Reston — Eater’s list includes 10 locations within Reston Town Center, but it also branches out to Lake Anne, South Lakes and more. [DC Eater]
Copperhead Spotted on W&OD Trail — The venomous snake was spotted last week on the trail near the Luck Stone Quarry overlook in Ashburn, serving as a reminder to be watchful when out in nature. [Loudoun Times-Mirror]
Dulles Day Festival is This Weekend — The 25th annual open house event at the airport Saturday will include a 5K/10K on runways, a festival on the airfield, and the plane-pull competition. [Dulles International Airport]
Another Brewery Coming to Route 28 Corridor — Rocket Frog Brewing Company is looking to open in Sterling early next year. This is on the heels of Ono Brewing Company opening recently in Chantilly. [The Burn]
File photo by Audrey Lawson
Rides on the Washington & Old Dominion Trail in recent days have been damaging for some bicyclists, as tacks spread on the path in the Herndon area have disabled bikes.
Bernard Kocis, service manager at Green Lizard Cycling in downtown Herndon, said he’s had to fix about 10 flat tires in the past two days because of the issue.
“That’s just people who have come in,” Kocis said. “How many people have fixed their own or called for a ride or whatever, I don’t know.”
The Reston Bike Club is warning its social media followers of the concern.
There has been a rash of tacks on the W&OD west of Herndon, causing many flats. W&OD Maintenance has gone out…
In a comment on Reston Bike Club’s Facebook page, Green Lizard owner Beth Meyer said a majority of the tacks were reported to be in the area of the trail between Ferndale Avenue and Crestview Drive in Herndon. A moderator for the Bike Club’s page said they have been noted as far out as the Pacific Avenue crossing in Sterling, which is just west of Route 28.
“All the tacks look the same,” Kocis said, adding that while he rode into work on that area of the path Monday, he didn’t suffer damage.
Karl Mohle, park manager for the W&OD Trail, said a crew was sent out Monday afternoon with a magnetic sweeper in the effort to capture as many of the tacks as possible.
“They went down the trail and swept it clear, [and] we’re going to check it out almost daily,” Mohle said. “I don’t know if this is just a one-time, kind of high-school thing, or what.”
Mohle said that in his 10 years on the job, this is the first time he has heard of such an incident on the trail, which runs 45 miles from Purcellville in Loudoun County to Shirlington in Arlington County. Kocis also said this is an abnormal occurrence that is causing undue heartache to riders.
“[The bikers] are not happy when they have to have a tack pulled out of their tire and have to pay for service to have it repaired,” he said. “It’s an irritant, and people are riding bikes to have fun.”
A “Jingle Bell Family Ride” is planned for Saturday, Dec. 10, at 11 a.m., according to Kidical Mass Reston, the event’s organizers.
Bike riders are instructed to meet at the YMCA Fairfax County Reston, located at 12196 Sunset Hills Road.
“Get in the holiday spirit and join us for some festive family fun!” a Facebook event post reads. “Wear your warmest Christmas attire and listen to sounds of the season as we ride along the W&OD to the Reston Town Center Christmas tree.”
Participants will get free hot chocolate after the bike ride.
Though kids will need to bring their own bikes, adults can rent Bikeshare bikes at no charge, organizers said. All cyclists under 15 are legally required to wear a helmet.
Image via Kidical Mass Reston
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue officials said the trail was shut down near the 12100 block of Sunset Hills Road around 9:15 a.m. this morning.
The situation was “under control” shortly after it began, fire officials said. Workers with the gas company stopped the leak around noon today.
“The trail was shut down as a precaution,” said Fairfax Fire and Rescue spokesman Bill Delaney. “Everything seemed to be pretty benign.”
Officials from Fairfax County and the Reston Bicycle Club will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, April 27. The event will be held near the intersection of the W&OD and Old Reston Avenue at 10 a.m.
The counter, valued at $7,000, was purchased to help collect information about pedestrian and bicyclist traffic, Fairfax County officials said.
“The counter provides an opportunity to better document the usage of these modes of transportation, and will support the county’s planning and investment in future bicycle and pedestrian improvements,” said Adam Lind, Fairfax County Bicycle Program Manager.
“We really appreciate this generous donation and look forward to monitoring the growth in bicycle and pedestrian trips for years to come.”
The county is in the process of planning pedestrian and bike improvements for Reston as it morphs into a transit-oriented community. One of those improvements is to take the W&OD over the congested intersection at Wiehle Avenue via a bridge. The plan has been approved but will not open for about five years.
Reston will also welcome Fairfax County’s first bikeshare system later this year.
Graphic courtesy of Fairfax County
Plans for a pedestrian bridge that takes the W&OD Trail over Wiehle Avenue are taking shape.
The bridge will help ease chaos at that intersection, which is where Sunset Hills Road and Wiehle Avenue meet and where emergency vehicles continually enter and exit a Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Station.
It is also just North of the Wiehle-Reston Metro and its accompanying foot and car traffic. The trail itself is a popular walking, running and biking path.
The Fairfax County Department of Transportation now has a timeline. The agency is holding a public meeting March 17, 6:30 p.m. at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods.
The bridge is expected to cost $10 million, said project manager Scott Riffner. The bridge will replace the street crossing and will accommodate both the gravel path and asphalt W&OD Trail. The FCDOT also plans minor roadway, sidewalk and median modifications will be made to Wiehle Avenue to accommodate the bridge and the necessary drainage and stormwater management features.
The project is part of the Third Four-Year Transportation Program that was approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in 2012.
Here is a tentative project schedule:
- Public Hearing, Winter 2016
- Document Completion, Winter 2016
- Public Hearing Design Approval, Spring 2016
- Land Acquisition Completion, Spring 2018
- Final Design Approval, Winter 2018
- Utility Relocation Completion, Summer 2019
- Construction Completion, Winter 2021
Rendering of W&OD Bridge over Wiehle Avenue/Credit: FCDOT