Lake Audubon Pool

Twin Branches Road at Lake Audubon Dam

18 Mile Trail Run

Measured: 18 mile

View: Start Location /  


  1. Cross Twin Branches, go up hill to a wide dirt/gravel road that angles up to the left. Follow it up the hill and then down steeply.
  2. After 0.2 mile the trail forks and you go left across a wooden bridge. Continue along this rather wet trail for a quarter mile until it climbs left to a clearing along an earthen dam.
  3. At the end of the dam, go right down hill then left to continue in original direction.
  4. After 0.3 mile is a wooden bridge; cross and turn left along a major trail.
  5. After 0.1 mile you take a right up a very steep slope to the W&OD Trail.
  6. Take a right on the W&OD to cross Hunter Mill Road, 1/3 mile away, get onto horse trail.
  7. After a 1/4 mile on the horse trail, turn left on a trail immediately before Difficult Run.
  8. Follow this trail along Difficult Run; there are no significant side trails.
  9. Cross a wooden footbridge, climb a couple hundred feet to reach a bluff overlooking Difficult Run, continue on trail for 5-10 more minutes.
  10. Cross small stream over stepping stones, looking for CCT signs.
  11. Continue another 100 feet to the stone dust trail, and turn right, and follow across fair-weather crossing of Difficult Run
  12. Cross another tributary on a one-plank bridge and reach a T-intersection; take the left branch back to Difficult Run and follow the trail around to the right. This area is very muddy, and there is a maze of trails. You'll see the Dulles Access Road through the trees on your left, but generally aim for the higher ground on your right. About 0.15 miles after crossing Difficult Run, you reach a 3-way trail junction. Follow the left branch, crossing under the Dulles Access Road after another 0.1 mile.
  13. Follow muddy trail short distance to an asphalt trail. Turn left, and keep left at the next two 3-way asphalt-trail junctions, to reach Browns Mill Road.
  14. Turn LEFT on Browns Mill Road, crossing the bridge over Difficult Run.
  15. Cross the road, step over the guard rail and drop down to the flood plain
  16. Follow trail for 0.4 miles.
  17. Turn left along the far side of wooden fence, crossing a swampy streamlet over two wood planks, then follow a nice section through small trees for the next 0.4 miles until the trail emerges at Carpers Farm Road very near to a traffic signal at Leesburg Pike.[Water Stop]
  18. Cross Leesburg Pike and turn right on small road.
  19. Take this road 1/4 mile until it ends and the wide stone dust trail begins.
  20. In 1/2 mile, traverse a fair weather crossing over Difficult Run. The trail will become single track dirt and in another mile or so cross Leigh Mill Rd. [WaterStop]
  21. Remain on the right side of Difficult Run. Go another mile to Old Dominion Rd., staying to the east (right) side of Difficult Run. The area going under Old Dominion is a little rough, but just after that you will come to the most difficult stream crossing on the whole Cross County Trail, right before the parking lot at Georgetown Pike.



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