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Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail
Benefits of Long Distance Trails Webinar held January 31, 2017
NVRC hosted a trails webinar on January 31, 2017 with state, national, and regional trails experts on the long range trails that run through Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia, their benefits and opportunities for connections.  Resources from the webinar:

Corridor Analysis For the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail in Northern Virginia
The Corridor Analysis offers a regional summary of current and planned amenities, gaps, and plans for the Trail network, identifying proposed projects to enhance our communities and the Trail experience in Northern Virginia:

About the Trail
Photo of Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail
  • The Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail (PHT) is an evolving, 830-mile network of locally-managed trails and routes on both sides of the Potomac between the mouth of the River and the Allegheny Highlands in the upper Ohio River basin
  • Blending outdoor recreational opportunities with rich ecological, historical and cultural environments, the Trail network is intended for non-motorized modes of travel including, variously, foot, bicycle, boat, horse and cross-country skis
  • The Trail network in Northern Virginia includes various hiking, hiking/equestrian and hiking/equestrian/bicycling facilities, including the 10-mile Potomac Heritage Trail and 18-mile Mount Vernon Trail in George Washington Memorial Parkway, various trail segments in northern Fairfax and eastern Loudoun counties, and planned and existing segments in southern Fairfax and Prince William counties
  • Based on concept plans completed approximately 10 years ago, member jurisdictions have recognized the Trail in local comprehensive plans and the Commonwealth has recognized the trail in the Virginia Outdoors Plan
  • NVRC coordinates regular meetings among staff of member jurisdictions and other stakeholders provide means for coordination through the PHT Land Managers quarterly meetings.
  • More specifically, local PHT advocates in Northern Virginia are bringing into focus a continuous footpath between Locust Shade Park in southern Prince William County and White's Ferry near Leesburg, Virginia, in Loudoun County, a distance of about one hundred miles
  • Upon completion users will be able to cross the Potomac at White’s Ferry and either continue north on the C&O Canal Towpath or continue south toward Georgetown to complete a loop using either Chain Bridge or the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge or the Arlington Memorial Bridge

NVRC's Role
  • NVRC supports the PHT through an agreement with the National Park Service, ongoing collaboration with the PHT Land Managers group, a collection of state, federal and local land managers and planners involved in the Heritage Trail in Northern Virginia
  • NVRC also sponsors enhancement grant funding for trail construction activities in several jurisdictions
  • Land managers meet quarterly, the second Wednesday in January, April, July, and October

Past Potomac Heritage Trails Workshops
NVRC and the National Park Service hosted a Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail roundtable and heritage tourism workshop Wednesday and Thursday, October 17 and 18, 2012 in Historic Occoquan Viriginia. 

October 17 focused on the Trail Network, wayfinding and graphic identity, successes and challenges. October 17 includes a tour of local sites and connections by land and by water on the "MIss Rivershore".  October 18 focused on Heritage Tourism and gateway communities from local and international perspectives as well as discussion and presentations on interpretations of natural and historic amenities and gateway communities.

For a meeting summary click here.

On May 4, 2011, NVRC, with support from Supervisor Frank Principi’s Office and the National Park Service, organized a workshop at Belmont Bay, the site of a Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail segment near the mouth of the scenic Occoquan River

More Information

Northern Virginia Regional Commission  3040 Williams Drive, Suite 200  Fairfax, VA 22031  703-642-0700 (Voice)  703-642-5077 (FAX)  Email Us