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Potomac Heritage

Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail Northumberland, Westmoreland, Lancaster and Richmond counties, Virginia

Explore Virginia's Northern Neck

The Northern Neck is a peninsula bounded by the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers, an area steeped in history and rich in scenic beauty. A network of bicycling routes connecting the birthplace of President George Washington, waterways that ushered in the steamboat era, and evolving landscapes chronicling ancient geology, allow you to explore from the slow lane.

Fish, Farms and Forests

The Northern Neck Heritage Trail Bicycling Route network embraces four counties on the Northern Neck and four centuries, weaving together the history of Captain John Smith's explorations and native sons George Washington, Richard Henry Lee, Robert "King" Carter and James Monroe; the growth and demise of the steamboat era of the late 18th and early 19th centuries; and the lifeways evolved from an economy built upon fishing, farming and forestry and tourism. During your journey, you will enjoy sandy beaches, wildlife preserves, nature trails, charming villages, historic mansions, museums, vineyards, sailing adventures, boat cruises to small islands, bike ferries, state parks, and the incomparable hospitality of the citizens. Prepare to slow down, relax, and learn about our nation's timeless Potomac heritage, where American Indians maintained a rich culture before Captain John Smith first sailed these waters.

Stratford Hall

Christ Church

Reedville Fishermen's Museum

Bicycling on the Northern Neck

The route network, part of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, includes a 95mile "through-route" and eight connecting routes, or loops, of approximately 125 miles. Starting/end points are the historic town of Colonial Beach on the northwest and the Town of Reedville on the southeast where the Potomac meets the Chesapeake Bay. As a whole, the route network invites you to create your own itinerary focusing on different parts of Northern Neck heritage. The map on the back, the list of references, and the Virginia highway map provide additional information to help you plan your itinerary. The through-route includes the towns of Heathsville, Kinsale and Montross; the birthplaces of George Washington and of James Monroe; historic Rice's Hotel/ Hughlett's Tavern, Stratford Hall and former steamboat landings, as well as Westmoreland State Park, vineyards, and numerous creeks, rivers and public landings. Additional attractions along the loops include Hughlett Point and Hickory Hollow nature preserves; the Sunnybank and Merry Point ferries; several vineyards; Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge lands; historic Christ Church (1735), Menokin (c. 1769) and Leedstown; the Steamboat Era Museum and Mary Ball Washington Museum; and the towns of Kilmarnock, Irvington and Warsaw.

Colonial Beach pier

Merry Point ferry. Below, vineyard.

Northern Neck Heritage Trail Bicycling Route Network

Connecting People and Places

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VA

Places of Interest

Reedville-Colonial Beach Route

Reedville and Reedville Fishermen's Museum Walk this fisherman's village and admire the stately sea captains' homes. Learn about the Chesapeake Bay "deadrise" fishing boats and sail on an historic skipjack. Enjoy the museum galleries. www.rfmuseum.org Vir-Mar Beach A small sandy beach on the Potomac offering strolling, relaxing, and birding opportunities. On clear days, the Smith Island Lighthouse can be seen, as well as the shores of Maryland. www.dgif.virginia.gov/ vbwt/siteasp?trail=1&loop=CNN&site=CNN10 Rice's Hotel / Hughlett's Tavern Restored 18th century tavern shows how people lived and traveled in the 18th and 19th century. Now operated as a store and restaurant. www.rhhtfoundation.org Stratford Hall (1730) Birthplace of Robert E. Lee and home to two Lee signers of the Declaration of Independence. Visit the Great House, the Mill, and the rare Miocene formation cliffs found in only three other places in the world. www.stratfordhall.org

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COLONIAL BEACH

632

630 631

James Monroe Birthplace

652

770 657

205

705 1315 638 664

The Northern Neck Heritage Trail Bicycling Route network is a segment of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, a developing network of trails between the broad, gently flowing Potomac River as it empties into the Chesapeake Bay and the Allegheny Highlands in western Pennsylvania. The "braided" Trail network offers opportunities for hiking, bicycling, paddling, horseback riding and cross-country skiing. Other segments of the network include the Mount Vernon Trail and various Potomac Heritage Trail routes in Northern Virginia; the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath; a bicycling route in Southern Maryland; and the Great Alleghany Passage.

Loop Tours

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Belle Isle State Park On the shores of the Rappahannock, the park has primitive campsites, indoor lodging, and pop-up trailer rentals. www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/ bel.shtml Menokin (c. 1769) Home of Francis Lightfoot Lee, signer of the Declaration of Independence. Visitors center depicting architectural conservation, hiking trails on a 325 acre wildlife refuge. www.menokin.org Mary Ball Washington Museum Named for Lancaster Native and mother of George Washington, it houses historical exhibits in the old jail, clerks office, and Lancaster House. www.mbwm.org Christ Church (1735) One of the best preserved Colonial parish churches. The church is interpreted along with the life of Robert "King" Carter. www.christchurch1735.org Morattico Waterfront Museum Housed in the Morattico General Store building (1901), this local museum focuses on the cultural history of a working watermen's village. www.morattico.org Steamboat Era Museum Learn about the paddle wheelers of yesterday that plied the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers. These waterways were the main highways of the past. www.steamboatmuseum.org

706 674 634 742 636 635

3

721

Voorhees Nature Preserve

Ingleside Vineyards

625 639

George Washington Birthplace National Monument M A V I RY RG LA 204 IN N IA D

654 624

3

347

Stratford Westmoreland Hall State Park

669

686

638 637

214

720 644

609

Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife 641 Refuge LEEDSTOWN

640

625

1

678

653 642

2

622 703 645 722

622

CURRIOMAN LANDING

739

PO

COLE'S POINT

612 728 750 724 754 621 626 730 701 736 660 606 675 771 661 618

TO

672 734 709 676 689 645 665 738 765

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3

697 691 623

A

692 764

756

C

R

Westmoreland State Park On the shores of the Potomac, the park has primitive campsites, cabins, pool, and boat launch. www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/wes.shtml

Chandlers Millpond Public Fishing Lake

625 624 638 622 638

MONTROSS 3

646

202

695 668 621 600

621

Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge

678

768 626 627 600 612 702 733 651 615 614 612 600

M V I A RY RG LA IN N IA D 763

749 663

IV

E

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George Washington Birthplace A National Park Service Monument, the birthplace complex includes a Visitors Center with a film, a memorial house, and a kitchen house and farm with a colonial herb and flower garden. www.nps.gov/gewa James Monroe Birthplace Markers identify the birthplace of James Monroe, 5th President of the United States. There is also a small museum with Monroe artifacts. www.monroefoundation.org Colonial Beach Historic town on the Potomac River. Widest point of the Potomac River ­ 7 miles wide. www.colonialbeachva.net

Planning Your Visit

This overview map shows a through-route and associated loops within four counties on the Northern Neck of Virginia, a network intended to function as a portal to the communities, history, culture, geology and ecology of the region. The list under "More Information" provides additional information to plan your journey. Seasons to Visit The weather is "bicycle friendly" from April to November, although the temperate climate allows bicycling all year long. Spring and fall are ideal. An occasional summer day can be hot and muggy, but cooling breezes off the rivers mitigate the heat and humidity. Type of Bicycle All of the routes are on paved surfaces. Either a road bike or hybrid would be appropriate. Give your bike a check-up and make sure it is in good working order.

740 637 633

638

Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge

640

636

3

676

3

659 637

748 616

4

601

611

610 718 704 605 607 608

SANDY POINT

716

604

KINSALE

621 690

. CO

635 652 636 675

688

203

WE STM OR NO RTH EL UM AN BE D C RL O. AND CO

Belle Mount Menokin Vineyards

613

ACORN Vault Field Vineyard 603

602

.

620 762 765 621 620 623 622 823 709 624 820

680 745 1048 625 627 629 627 759

Primary Road Secondary Road - Paved Secondary Road - Unpaved Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail Through Route Local Loops (and Spurs)

NAYLOR'S BEACH

Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge

634

621 646

690 653 667

Gardys Millpond Public Fishing Lake

619 708

LEWISETTA

WARSAW

624 679 698 632

663 662 661

790

619

791 691 836

Rappahannock River Valley 360 National Wildlife Refuge

360

628 697

650

618

360

701 711 744 614

614 633 632

Coan Wharf Landing 631

634

HAYNESVILLE

619

627 644 656 616 600

360

738

613

635 629 630

717 706

MA RY VIRG LAND INI A

3

601

704

612

643 630 626

CO.

Public Water Access Site

631

614

684

607 604 612

638 604 682 601

HEATHSVILLE 360 Rice's Hotel/ Hughlett's 674 Tavern

681 604 1071

5

636 721 707

1084 629 640 637 604 644 740 643

VIR-MAR BEACH

800 772 649 649 835

Traffic Most of the routes are on lightly traveled secondary roads that criss-cross the Northern Neck. Some short sections of the routes are on Route 3 and Route 360 ­­ very busy highways. Use caution when traveling on these portions. Terrain The terrain is flat to gently rolling. Short hills are encountered when biking first down and then up occasional stream valleys. Camping There are a dozen campgrounds, including two state parks, scattered throughout the four counties. You are never more than 20 miles from a campsite. Lodging A wide variety of lodging is available, including bed & breakfasts, four-star inns, hotels, and marinas. You are never more than 20 miles from overnight accommodations.

Northern Neck Farm Museum

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1- Leedstown loop 2- Stratford Hall/ Currioman Landing loop 3- Montross/ Naylors Beach/ Warsaw Loop 4- Kinsale/ Sandy Point loop 5- Heathsville Loop 6- Reedville/ Vir-Mar Beach/ Smith's Point Loop 7- Lancaster/ Morattico/ Belle Isle State Park Loop 8- Kilmarnock/ Irvington/ White Stone/ Windmill Point Loop

669 615

708 614 651 613

611 602

FARNHAM

603

642 608

601 611 682

Bush Mill Stream State Natural Area Preserve

611

BURGESS

641

6

647

648

734Sunnybank

Ferry (free)774

651 802 652 644

Smith Point

360

715 646 1150 761 664 653 654 662 683 656

663 748 642 602

RA

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641

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Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge

606 609 673 647

3

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610

654

602

603

Athena Vineyards and Winery

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Reedville Fisherman's Museum REEDVILLE

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For More Information

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Chilton Woods State Forest

618 617 616 604

602

685

730

665 667 710 808 727 830 796 686 718 665 668 657

Northern Neck Tourism Council, 800-393-6180, www.northernneck.org Virginia Tourism, www.virginia.org Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Tidal Potomac River Water Trail Map Set, state parks & preserves 800-933-PARK (cabin and campground reservations) www.dcr.virginia.gov Northern Neck RiverRide, (last Saturday in September) www.riverride.org BikeWalk Virginia, www.bikewalkvirginia.org Northern Neck Planning District Commission, www.nnpdc.org

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0 0

4 Kilometers 4 Miles

North

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N

742 690 751

WICOMICO CHURCH

201 200

605

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MORATTICO

618 724 653 723

600

K

Mileage for the Northern Neck Heritage Trail Through Route

Northwest Southeast 0.0 Westmoreland County - King George County line 5.5 Colonial Beach 13.5 James Monroe Birthplace 22.7 George Washington's Birthplace Monument 33.6 Westmoreland State Park 35.5 Stratford Hall 40.5 Montross 70.0 Heathsville 83.3 Vir-Mar Beach 85.1 Sunnybank Ferry 88.7 Smith Point 93.6 Reedville Southeast Northwest 0.0 Reedville 4.9 Smith Point 8.5 Sunnybank Ferry 10.3 Vir-Mar Beach 23.6 Heathsville 53.1 Montross 58.1 Stratford Hall 60.0 Westmoreland State Park 70.9 George Washington's Birthplace Monument 80.1 James Monroe Birthplace 88.1 Colonial Beach 93.6 King George County - Westmoreland County line

RI

Belle Isle State Park

683

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E

7

620 665 624 1070 662

LIVELY

Hickory Hollow State Natural Area Preserve

819

Dameron Marsh State Natural Area Preserve

669 678 679 606 606 693 771

. CO

605

LANCASTER

794 797 667 611 612 613 604

R

680 681 774

Mary Ball Washington Museum

614 669 784 673 830

3

607

669

MOLLUSK

624 692

607

Hughlett Point State National Area Preserve

Virginia Department of Transportation www.virginiadot.org/programs/bk-default.asp Adventure Cycling Association, (Tidewater Potomac Heritage Bicycling Route, a loop connecting Smith Point, VA.; Washington, D.C.; and Point Lookout State Park, MD http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes/index.cfm National Park Service, George Washington Birthplace National Monument, 804-224-1732, www.nps.gov/gewa

Merry Point Ferry (free)

604 610 609 730

671 611 699 791 733 630 728 778 771 629

767 675

KILMARNOCK

1025 649 756 651 650 795 734 750

625 663 627

625 682 668

Christ Church

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693 740

Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, www.nps.gov/pohe

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632

762

Steamboat Era Museum

626

IRVINGTON

752

670 674 654

White Fences Vineyard 647 and Winery

647 642

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CHESAPEAKE B AY

Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail www.nps.gov/cajo

WHITE STONE 641

754

645 644

8

Windmill Point

Published by BikeWalk Virginia, Inc., with assistance from the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail Office, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, and local volunteers and agency staff. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the U.S. Government. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute their endorsement by the U.S. Government.

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