Yesterday I visited Leesylvania State Park to check it out for a group hike this weekend. The 508-acre park was once the plantation home of Henry Lee II, father of “Light Horse” Harry Lee and grandfather of Robert E. Lee, and is located along the Potomac River in Prince William County, Virginia. The park’s five trails wind along the shore of the Potomac and through wooded hills that are home to wildlife like this very bold deer.
Along Lee’s Woods Historic Trail, in the north side of the park, you can see the site of an 1861 Confederate Civil War battery at Freestone Point, the ruins of Lee and Fairfax Houses, the families’ cemetery, and some great views of the Potomac and Occoquan Inlet.
The center of the park has ramps and slips for boats, and the south side of the park has several trails that take you around Bushey Point and under a railroad bridge to connect to the Potomac Heritage Trail to the west. Shortly after passing the bridge I heard a whistle in the distance, and had just enough time to sprint back for a shot of a CSX train passing by!
Connecting the trails together yielded a nice, two-hour, 5 1/2 mile hike — half in the north, and half in the south, with the Visitor Center located conveniently in between. The trails are really well-maintained and marked, so there’s room for 2-3 hikers to walk abreast in most places. For reference, a Google map of the park is here, the Leesylvania State Park website is here, and there’s an interesting article about the history of Leesylvania State Park here.
Great place for a hike — I can hardly wait to go back! However, I suspect the deer might be a little more wary with a large group, and I doubt anyone else will be crazy enough to sprint back down the trail just to catch a photo of a train…