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Ashburn in Loudoun County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

This is W&OD Trail: Smith Switch!

 
 
This is W&OD Trail: Smith Switch! Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), January 21, 2023
1. This is W&OD Trail: Smith Switch! Marker
Inscription.  
The 100-ft wide W&OD has been called "the skinniest park" in Virginia. But it is also one of the longest parks, 45 miles of paved trail for walking, running, cycling and skating and more. Built on the roadbed of the former Washington & Old Dominion Railroad, the multi-use trail runs through the urban heartland and countryside of Northern Virginia. Snaking its way through the heart of the region, the W&OD has end points in Shirlington in Arlington County, and Purcellville, 45 miles away in Loudoun County.

The first section of the W&OD opened in Falls Church dedicated in 1974 by then mayor Harold Muil ler. The trail was completed in 1978.

Equestrian Trail
www.nvrpa.org/park/w_od_railroad | 703-729-0596
Along the 45 miles of paved trail that comprises the W&OD are an additional 32 miles of adjacent gravel trail for horseback riding. The equestrian trail goes over hills and through shallow streams, offering a pleasant challenge for horseback riders and some of the longest consecutive trail spaces for horses in Northern Virginia.

History on the W&OD
www.novaparks.com/parks/washington-and-old-dominion-railroad-regional-park
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| 703-729-0596

Once known as the Alexandria, Loudoun, and Hampshire Railroad, the W&OD was once considered vital following its inception in 1847. Its primary goal was to spread commerce from the Alexandria seaport inland to points in Loudoun County. While that particular line of commerce never truly developed, it's interesting to see where its tracks wound and where the trail runs today — through the town of what are now Arlington, Falls Church, Vienna, Reston, Herndon, Sterling, Leesburg and Purcellville — all key economic sites in modern Northern Virginia.

Rare Vantage Points
www.nvrpa.org/park/w_od_railroad | 703-729-0596
Because of the W&OD's route, there are several vantage points unparalleled in Northern Virginia. The trail crosses directly over the capital beltway, crosses route 66 at two different places, as well as across route 7 near Leesburg. In addition, the trail abuts against a Luckstone Quarry between Leesburg and Purcellville, offering a breathtaking view rarely observed in the region.

About NOVA Parks
Comprised of six jurisdictions across Northern Virginia, NOVA Parks is a park agency unlike any others, a unique combination of conservation and entrepreneurship, urban and rural, cutting-edge technology and history. NOVA Parks' offerings reflect all of this: For every waterpark, there
This is W&OD Trail: Smith Switch! Marker [Reverse] image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), January 21, 2023
2. This is W&OD Trail: Smith Switch! Marker [Reverse]
are large wide open spaces for picnicking, relaxing, or just general reflecting. For every golf course, there are thousands of acres of trees and protected waterfront. NOVA Parks owns historic property in the middle of a bustling urban center, a 45-mile long paved bike trail that bisects the entire region, and a full-scale skeet and trap shooting center.

But remember, this kiosk is just a small glimpse inside this exciting park agency. Scan the code to visit us online at www.novaparks.com.

Explore Your Region
4.13 miles away
Beaverdam Reservoir
Enjoy kayaking, fishing and waterfront hiking at Beaverdam Reservoir Park in Ashburn, Virginia.

5.01 miles away
Brambleton Golf Course
Enjoy a round of 18 holes of golf at scenic Brambleton Regional Park, located in Ashburn, Virginia.

5.07 miles away
Algonkian Regional Park
From the waterpark to the golf course, discover 838 acres of outdoor adventure at Algonkian Regional Park, located in Sterling Virginia.

7.21 miles away
Seneca Regional Park
Explore 185 acres of pristine wilderness along the Potomac River in Seneca Regional Park, Located in Great Falls, Virginia.

9.12
This is W&OD Trail: Smith Switch! Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), January 21, 2023
3. This is W&OD Trail: Smith Switch! Marker
miles away

Gilbert's Corner & Mt. Zion Historic Church
Discover a piece of Civil War history at Gilbert's Corner Regional Park & Mt. Zion Historic Park in Aldie, Virginia.

11.57 miles away
Meadowlark Botanical Gardens
Explore the landscaped gardens, a restored 18th Century log cabin, and our Korean Bell Garden at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna.
 
Erected by NOVA Parks.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Parks & Recreational AreasRailroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the NOVA Parks, and the Washington and Old Dominion (W&OD) Railroad series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1974.
 
Location. 39° 1.657′ N, 77° 27.615′ W. Marker is in Ashburn, Virginia, in Loudoun County. Marker is on Washington and Old Dominion Trail west of Smith Switch Road, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 21293 Smith Switch Rd, Ashburn VA 20147, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Tracks Into History (here, next to this marker); Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park (a few steps from this marker); Norman's Station (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct
This is W&OD Trail: Smith Switch! Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), January 21, 2023
4. This is W&OD Trail: Smith Switch! Marker
line); Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.3 miles away); Rails to Dulles Airport (approx. 1.3 miles away); The Barn (approx. 1˝ miles away); Ashburn Station (approx. 1.8 miles away); Ashburn School (approx. 2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ashburn.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 26, 2023. It was originally submitted on January 21, 2023, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 170 times since then and 48 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 21, 2023, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Apr. 17, 2024