This week in 2013 FABB reported on the renaming of Fairfax County’s Cross County Trail in honor Congressman Gerry Connolly, who had supported the trail while he was Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. He also created the county’s Bicycle Program and ensured funding for its first Bicycle Route Map when he was supervisor.
The Gerry Connolly Cross County Trail (GCCCT) runs for forty miles from Great Falls Park in the north, through the heart of Fairfax to the Occoquan River. The idea for the trail was presented to the Park Authority in May 1999. The proposed route followed the existing stream valley trail system belonging, for the most part, to the Park Authority and links other existing trails together with public lands owned by the National Park Service, Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, City of Fairfax, and Reston. These join with public sidewalks through each supervisory district to form a continuous route from Great Falls National Park to Prince William County Occoquan Regional Park.
Over the years, FABB has been a strong advocate for the trail, which has served recreational riders as well as, in some areas, bike commuters. Portions of the GCCCT serve as excellent mountain bike trails and provide easy access via short detours to other mountain bike trails. Much of the trail still has a natural unpaved surface that can be rough and difficult to maintain. But, other parts and some of the trails that connect they system in the more urbanized part of the country are paved or have stonedust surfaces.
FABB was proud to help promote the inaugural Gerry Connolly Cross County Trail Ride last September with Bike Fairfax and the Fairfax County Department of Transportation. The event celebrated Bike Your Park Day with a six-mile family ride from Wakefield Park to Lake Accotink via the Gerry Connolly Cross County Trail.
We anticipate continued participation in efforts to maintain and improve the trail as well as events to encourage its use. If you would like to help us in these efforts, contact us at [email protected].org.