Summary: This hike begins at the Turkey Run Environmental Education Center and winds through the woods before meeting and following the Suoth Fork of Quantico Creek. Watch for signs of beaver activity along the streams. Abouth midway is the site of the old pyrite mine. Farther along are the concrete foundations of the locomotive sheds, machine shop, engine room, boiler room, and railroad roadbed dating back to 1880-1919 when pyrite ore was hauled by train from here to a wharf on the Potomac River. Beyond the mine, a large outcropping of rocks in the stream offers a good spot for lunch or a rest.
Trailhead: I-95 south to exit 150B (Triangle-Quantico), with sign for Prince William Forest Park; turn right onto VA 619 and in two blocks turn right onto entrance road for park. Continue on entrance road to intersection and turn left onto the Scenic Drive. Follow signs to Turkey Run. (Lat:38.58196 Lon:-77.37256)
Trail Guides for Pyrite Mine Loop :
Circuit Hikes in VA WVA MD and PA
by Potomac Appalachain Trail Club (PATC)
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: National Park Service. PWFP HQ 703-221-7181
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Joe Cross, who has posted 56 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by K.P.J. on 7/2/2006
Hiked a few trails in our own "loop" consiting of Birch Bluff Trail, Cabin Branch Pyrite Mine Trail, Oneda Road trail, and a couple other I cant remember. The part that sticks out the most in my mind is the "Pine Barrens/ bogs" that are just beneath the old Pyrite Mine. Specactular micro inviroment with plenty of intersting plants, mostly pines and sycamore trees, LOTS of spongue moss, and LOTS of lady slipper orchids, mostly Yellows, and some pinks. Absolutely beautiful!!!! The geology / rocks of the creek beds too is outstanding!!!! Awesome day hike a 30 minute drive from down town Washington DC. DONT PICK ANY ORCHIDS!!!! take PHOTOS!
Reviewed by Wynne on 7/19/2005
We didn't realize we needed the recommended trail guide, and the Prince William Forest Park map has no "Pyrite Mine Loop." So we pinpointed the mine on the park map and improvised: west on Old Black Top Road, north on Burma Road, east on North Valley Trail, west on Cabin Branch Mine Trail, continue west on Pyrite Mine Road, north on Scenic Drive, and west on Mary Bird Branch to return. Our loop took 2.25 hours and was a bit more than 6 miles, we think. North Valley Trail, which traces Quantico Creek, was particularly lovely with various ferns and laurels. There were hickory nuts everywhere, and we saw deer, frogs, and butterflies. The mine was nothing special-just old concrete foundations-but the trails shimmered (pyrite? mica?).
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Keys: Virginia Hiking, Virginia Trails, Virginia Hikes, Prince William County Hiking, Prince William County Trails, Prince William County Hikes