Event Category: Hike
Start Date: Wednesday, 3/20/2019
Start Time: 9:00 AM
Contact: Raoul Drapeau
Description: Before the bugs starting to come out from their winter naps, on Wednesday, March 20, we will do a hike of varying length at the close-in and relatively unknown Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve in Sterling, VA (Loudoun County). There are some 20 miles of trails there in the 695 acre property. I plan on carving out one of about 8 miles in length and will send a marked-up map later. The way the trails are laid out though, it is kind of like a hub and spoke arrangement, so you can bail out or extend at will. The elevation change is about 3,500 inches. You can download their map at: https://www.hikingupward.com/OVH/BansheeReeks/images/Map.pdf
Even though the trail junctions are marked, and each trail has a name, the markings are sometimes difficult to figure out. So make sure you have your GPS or phone equipped with a GPS app with you. If you get separated from the group, chances are you will make a wrong turn get lost - so get lost with the group.
The address of the Preserve is 21985 The Woods Road in Sterling 20185.
We will begin the hike at 0900. Meet at the Visitor Center's (huge) parking lot.
Here's a short blurb on the area's interesting history:
· The word "banshee" is a Gaelic term for a female spirit. "Reeks" is a term used for vapor or mist, which has led to how we use it today (e.g., reeks or smells). The fog, or mist, settles in very thick. Legend has it that around the 1840s, the owner of the farm was of Irish or Scottish decent. After a night in town, he returned to the farm and heard strange cries and sounds in the woods -- what he thought might be banshees. Since the farm was hilly, he is reported to have said that he heard, "banshees in the reeks." In the years since, the name has become Banshee Reeks.