Family Hike: Slaughterhouse Trail at the Lorton Workhouse

May 15, 2013 at 10:46 am 1 comment

Back in 2007, I had a post called “Hooray for Powerlines and Prisons” where I talked about the surprise greenspace provided by the old prison in Lorton, Virginia. At the time, I had heard there were plans to turn that land into parks. I speculated “I bet those parks end up kicking ass” and now over six years later I can confirm that speculation.

One April Friday evening, Ryan and I had just enough daylight to take Sagan out for a quick hike. We drove up to the Lorton Workhouse Arts Center, parked our car, and hiked the Slaughterhouse Trail.

Trail Overview
This trail is mainly intended as a mountain bike trail. As a side benefit, there are obstacles and ramps for the bikes that make nice little challenges/playgrounds for walking toddlers.

Slaughterhouse Trail - Ryan Helps Sagan Cross Log
Mountain Bike Obstacles Can Double as Playgrounds!

The namesake of the trail is an old slaughterhouse for the prison. It adds a nice “creep factor” to the woods which is usually indigenous to say, Burkittsville, Maryland.

Slaughterhouse Trail - Vines and Bars
Window Inside Slaughterhouse

Fauna
We saw a dead opossum, a dead raccoon, and a really big discarded snake skin inside the slaughterhouse. As far as living creatures, we saw plenty of birds and squirrels. Sagan got to take in a nice nest of baby caterpillars. Ryan and I spotted a few ticks crawling on us, but luckily none found their way to Sagan (It would be another two days before Sagan would be graced with his very first tick).

Slaughterhouse Trail - Caterpillars
Caterpillars!

Flora
Lots of evergreens and your typical trees you would see in the area such as tulip poplars. But the highlight of the flora this trip were the seeding dandelions!

Slaughterhouse Trail - Old Branches
Neat Old Tree

Slaughterhouse Trail - Sagan Blows on Dandelion (By Ryan Somma)
Sagan Blows on a Dandelion

Future Trail Maintainer?
At Leesylvania State Park, Sagan showed an aptitude for personal training. On this hike, he showed his might also have an interest in trail maintenance as well. He was very good and thorough about throwing pine cones off the trail. When he found some nice brown pine boughs, he announced, “Brush! Brush!” and started brushing the trail. Perhaps that’s also a sign he’s got a little bit of thru-hiker innovation in him as well. 😉

Slaughterhouse Trail - Sagan's 'Brush'
Sagan’s “Brush”

Slaughterhouse Trail - Trail Maintenance
Brushing the Trail

More pictures of our quick hike to the Slaughterhouse Trail can be found on my Flickr site.

Entry filed under: Hiking, Lorton Workhouse. Tags: .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. geekhiker  |  May 21, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    Do the old buildings have problems with vandals, or kids partying out there, that sort of thing?

    Reply

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