Summary: In the heart of Reston, this trail has something for everyone. Made up of mostly wide singletrack, it can be ridden as a four mile (one way) out-and-back trail or you can link up with the Difficult Run Trail and stretch it all the way to the Potomac River in Great Falls Park. The trail can also be done as a ten mile loop with a few miles along Difficult Run and the W&OD trail.
From the end of Michael Faraday Court, the trail starts off fast with several small (optional) jumps. Once you cross a small tributary of Colvin Run there is a fork in the road. The left hand fork will take you deep into Lake Fairfax Park past campgrounds and soccer fields to Lake Fairfax. If pure mountain biking is your speed I suggest taking the right fork. Climb the hill and continue along the end of the soccer field - do not turn left as the arrow directs you - this will take you to the campgrounds described above.
Continue through a few streams (these are also tributaries of Colvin Run) until you reach the Cricket Fields. Apparently the trail continues along the end of the fields and turns north back to Colvin Run, however, the trail seems to turn left toward the parking lot. I unknowingly followed the trail into the parking lot. After flying down the paved road I came upon a picnic area where two streams converge and stayed to the right. It quickly became obvious where to pick-up the trail. After a short stretch of singletrack you must cross Hunter Mill Road.
After crossing Hunter Mill Road, the trail will follow Colvin Run more closely. After a little more than a mile you will come upon Carpers Farm Way. Now for your options: 1) Backtrack and return to Michael Faraday Court, 2) Turn left and cross Leesburg Pike (Rt. 7) to follow Difficult Run Trail to the Potomac River in Great Falls, or 3) Cross Carpers Farm Way and pick up the Difficult Run Trail south and loop back to the starting point.
I chose the third option. Go straight across the street and onto the grass on the other side, behind the trees you will see the trail entrance. The trail gets tight and takes you through some fun switchbacks. Soon the trail will turn from singletrack to gravel fireroad and you will come upon another road (I think it is Browns Mill Road?). You will have to lift your bike over the guard rail and cross the street. On the opposite side of the street you can pick up the trail to the left of the guard rail. You will now be on the left-hand side of Difficult Run.
The trail once again becomes singletrack, but if you are not careful you could miss a turn. There is a stretch that becomes more like doubletrack. You must spot the beige poles sticking out of the ground on your left that read CCT (Cross County Trail) and turn left onto singletrack once again. You will cross over Difficult Run a few times.
Next you will travel under the Dulles Toll Road. It is pure mud under the toll road so I recommend walking your bike. After passing the toll road you will eventually end up on the W&OD Trail equestrian path at Tamarack Park. Turn right (west) onto the W&OD until you reach Michael Faraday Court where you started.
Trailheads/Directions: Start in the Skate Nation parking lot (back left-hand corner) off of Michael Faraday Court in Reston. To get there take the Dulles Toll Road to exit for Whiele Avenue. Go North on Whiele and make a right onto Sunset Hills Road. Make the first left onto Michael Faraday Court.
Trail Maps and Resources: The only map that I have found covers only the Lake Fairfax area of the trail. You can also read a description of this trail from the book Mountain Biking the Washington D.C./Baltimore Area by Scott Adams and Martin Fernandez.
Post Ride Eat's/Watering Hole's: There are several options. Head to Primo Italiano for some great Italian food. Take the W&OD trail west from Michael Faraday Court about one mile. At the Sallie Mae building cross Sunset Hills Road to Plaza America. Primo Italiano is on the right side of the plaza. If you are looking for a few drinks head to Champp's next to Primo Italiano. Alternatively, continue on the W&OD until you reach the Reston Town Center where there is a full range of restaurants. But, if you are looking for some nearby fast food then simply turn right onto Sunset Hills Road from Michael Faraday Court, turn right again onto Whiele Avenue and Pizza Hut, McDonalds, and Taco Bell are on the right hand side.