Prince William Forest Park-The Crossing Trail

The Crossing Trailhead
The Crossing Trail

National Park Service

The Crossing Trail (0.5 miles; 0.8 km)

The Crossing Trail is a short, easy hike that starts near Telegraph Pavilion and loops back to the road near the trailhead. Follow the green blazes to remain on the Crossing Trail or connect to the Birch Bluff Trail by following the red blazes.

Telegraph Road
Old Telegraph Road

National Park Service

At 0.3 miles along the trail, you will come across a portion of the abandoned Telegraph Road. This road was used by General George Washington and the comte de Rochambeau to travel from Rhode Island to Yorktown, VA during the Revolutionary War. In later years, it served as the main north and south thoroughfare for area travelers. This road witnessed the changing of modes of transportation over the centuries - from horseback to stagecoach. Route 1, and later Interstate 95, now take its place.
Informational Sign
Informational Sign

National Park Service

An informational sign can be found where Telegraph Road intersects the Crossing Trail, providing more information on the history of the old road. Efforts are currently underway in the National Park Service to create a Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail that would highlight this important route.
Green Blaze of the Crossing Trail
Green blaze of the Crossing Trail

National Park Service

Traveling along this path, you occasionally walk on sediments deposited by ancient seas. Today these deposits form the soils of the Coastal Plain. Along with the terrain, the climate and forest have also changed over the ages. Today's woodland scene of oaks, hickories, and tulip trees was once the setting of swamps, marshes, and cypress trees.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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