Trail Description
Magruder Branch Side Trail


The Magruder Branch Natural Surface Trail runs from the Seneca Creek Greenway Trail to the Damascus Recreational Park following Magruder Branch.

Magruder Branch Trail Turnoff from the Seneca Creek Greenway Trail to Watkins Road (0.2 miles)

The official start of the Magruder Branch Trail will be determined after the bridge across Great Seneca Creek is built. In the meantime, the unofficial start of the trail is where the Greenway trail makes a left turn and starts to parallel Magruder branch. This is marked by a park boundary pole at the corner of the field by the large marsh containing Magruder Branch. See the Greenway Trail description for reaching this point via that trail.

The Magurder Branch Trail follows the edge of the field by the tree line which borders the marsh. After a couple of minutes of hiking, it enters the tree line and crosses a soggy area with a sometimes running small stream. It continue thru the tree line in a straight path out to Watkins Road. Upon reaching the road, you cross it and turn right going downhill along the shoulder of the road until you reach the tree line along a boggy area. The trail continues from the road down a short grass slope and into that tree line.

Watkins Road to Log House Road (1.6 miles)

PARKING
Coming from Route 124, go about .4 miles and cross over Magruder Branch past the boggy area before parking on the shoulder of the road. Be sure to pull all the way off this narrow road and watch out for speeding traffic.

TRAIL DESCRIPTION
The Magruder Branch Trail going upstream may be found at the base of the hill next to the boggy area. There are blue blazes to mark the trail. Facing upstream, the trail is on the left side of the stream.

The Magruder Branch Trail going downstream may be found on the right side of the stream, facing downstream. If parked as described above, the trail entrance is at the tree line just before the open field part way up the hill. It is marked by blue blazes.

Heading upstream, the trail enters a wooded area at the edge of the bog. It follows along the edge of the bog for .1 miles until it enters a small pine grove. At the far end of the grove, the trail go uphill for about 20 feet and rounds the shoulder of the hill. A nice view of Magruder Branch may be seen below. The trail then descends to stream level and proceeds through the woods of this narrow stream valley park.  stream At about .8 miles, the trail crosses a small stream and turns right. It continues along the valley floor for about .1 miles, then goes up and over a small hill. At the base of the hill, the trail picks up the stream again and follows it for 1/4 mile to within 100 feet of Log House Road where it makes a sharp left turn onto a narrow footpath. The trail parallels the road for about 300 yards until it comes out on Log House Road. The trail continues directly across the road.

Log House Road to Damascus Recreational Park (.8 miles)

PARKING
Coming from Watkins Road, go down Log House Road about half a mile and look for a gravel parking lot on the right. The side trail leading to the Magruder Branch Trail is locate near the enterance to the lot.
If you are coming from the other direction along Log House Road, after crossing Magruder Branch, you go up a hill and look on the left for the parking lot.

TRAIL DESCRIPTION
The side trail from the parking lot meets the Magruder Branch Trail within a few feet of Log House Road. After crossing the road, the trail passes through a wooded area for about .3 miles then veers to the left as it climbs a moderate slope.
 chestnut oak It comes out on an old road, which it follows for about .1 miles before turning off the road. Be sure to keep an eye out for this turn since it occurs before the end of the road. The trail angles downhill on one side of the ravine, makes a u-turn at its end and hikes up the other side. At about .6 miles the trail passes a large chestnut oak tree in this wooded area. Its circumference of 141 inches places it amongst the county champion trees. A few hundred feet later, it turns left and parallels Magruder Branch, but is high up on the wooded hillside. It then starts a gentle decent. The trail end at the paved path in Damascus Regional Park. If you turn left and go uphill, you will reach the last parking lot for the soccer field. If you turn right and go downhill, you will cross the bridge over Magruder Branch and be headed towards Damascus. OR You can sit down on the nearby bench and not go anywhere.

Damascus Recreational Park Destinations

PARKING and DIRECTIONS
The nearest parking to this trailhead may be found by entering the Damascus Recreational Park at the driveway by the large red art work on Kings Valley Road. Then follow the road to the extended soccer fields, it's as far as you can go.
The paved path, just above the parking lot, leads downhill towards Magruder Branch. Just before you reach the bottom, there is a trail sign on your right marking the start of the natural surface trail. If you continue on the paved path, it follows Magruder Branch up to Damascus. The natural surface trail follows Magruder Branch down to Great Seneca Creek where it connects up with the Seneca Creek Greenway Trail.

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This page was last updated on 4.08.08