Prince William County High Point Trip Report

Date: June 19, 2001
Author: Dan Case

an unsuccessful attempt

After Manassas and Manassas Park, I returned to I-66 to see if I could squeeze another one from the day. I didn't have Mike Schwartz's report in hand, and just a vaguely-remembered mental topo map of the area, so I wasn't sure which of the high areas was right or how to get to them. After reading his report after the fact, though, I think I was close and may even have shed some light on a question he asked.

Compared to the other DC-area counties, this is an actual mountain and not a land bump. A housing development called Bull Run Mountain Estates runs up the Prince William side of the ridge so it can be almost Martinized, but be forewarned that this is not an easy place to drive. Higher up, roads are dirt and twist, undulate and switch back with quite a bit of verve; enough to require lower gear and a steady hand on the wheel.

You might want to save time when coming from the east (i.e., Washington) by exiting I-66 at VA 234 northbound instead of US 15 near Haymarket. Not only is this a good position for Manassas and Manassas Park cities and their HPs, it cuts across Manassas National Battlefield Park (home to the two Civil War battles not remembered as being named after the cities but as the ones setting up the punch line of "... and them that didn't is there yet.")

As per Mike's directions, follow Logmill Road from 15 across the whoop-de-doos and up the mountain. Watch for a fork with a Gore Road and don't take that. (It will lead you, eventually, to Lookout Road and the 1,166 ft knob). Keep going up Umsey Road (or whatever it's called). It may at times, especially in its highest sections, make you wonder if it wasn't built by mountain goats, but it levels off at Ridge.

I am not sure if this is the area Mike found himself in. I think he's talking about a section of Ridge that has a parking turnout near the fork where it levels off and a sign saying it's a half-mile dead end without any other turnout. It seems to me one could walk to the towers from here in five minutes or so. But, it may also be the area much closer to the tower, with the road that is first posted, than gated (the one that comes in from the north). There I found a similar situation to what Mike described, along with two dogs in the neighbor's yard that seemed to mean business.

For various reasons, not the least of which it was the end of a long hot afternoon, I decided not to do this. But now that I know what I was missing, I'll be back.