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River Access, Hazard and Incident Reports

RE-OPENING GOOSE CREEK - Recce Report - 23 Feb 201...
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Note that since this February report, the CCA has run five trips down the Goose, starting at an impromptu yet effective put-in off Sycolin Road on the other side of the Creek.  Loudoun Parks says it intends to have a dedicated put-in on river right ready in the Spring of 2019.  We continue engaged on this project. 
 

  On an overcast Friday,23 Feb, John Snitzer and Alf Cooley spent a couple of hours checking out the place that Jack Findling had pointed out as being meant for eventual use as Loudoun Parks' put-in for the Goose - a counterpart for the excellent take-out at Kephart Landing opened several years ago.   The place we looked at is just downstream of and on the right bank where the Dulles/Leesburg Greenway crosses the Goose Reservoir backed up by the dam where we used to put in before local officials' interesting reaction post 9/11 closed it off to boating. 

 

      First, there is no evidence of the planned construction at the future put-in.  It is, however, possible to drive out of the new subdivision (end of Erskine Terrace) down a winding roadway to a fenced-off water authority (sewage) structure ( the sign announces it as 42750 Naismith Terrace).  From there it’s a ten-minute, 300 yard downhill drag through open woods (no trail) to the reservoir - and a 3/4 mile paddle to the dam and beyond.   The decades-old reservoir is an attractive paddle once you reach the water.  The actual put-in is a bit muddy, but not difficult.  Neither the roadway nor the way through the woods is posted.


     The tract just upstream, bordering on the Dulles/Leesburg Greenway, has had its woods demolished and is now a 100-yard swath of mud reaching down almost to the reservoir, presumably awaiting the construction of yet another subdivision.  John points out wryly that this overdevelopment likely will advance the watershed-poisoning that the post-9/11 crowd so feared.

 

     Second, Belmont Hill Rd - the former shuttle route - still exists and is a quick (7 mins to Rte 7 - maybe 5 minutes beyond) way to connect to Kephart.  One can park cars at Kephart, put all boats into a white truck and with another car for the paddlers, proceed up to the put-in, and drag down to the river.   There is an alternate way to the river from the new subdivision that starts from higher and involves dragging and bushwhacking through woods with a lot of fallen timbers.

 

     Third,  the natural beauty of the put-in site is disappearing - the highlands lining the right bank of the stream are built up with high-density wall-to-wall four-story "townhouses" - each with a two-car garage – and with as limited on-street parking as is possible to devise.  A couple of small parking lots can be found if this alternate way to the river must be used.  The Belmont Road shuttle route is being expanded to four lanes and is torn up for construction.  At least it's quickly traversed.

      While this interim put-in is a bit off-putting, we could set up a trip in the early summer when the 340 sq mile creek is alone among nearby intermediate streams to keep its water.
 
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