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Volunteers Brian Balas and Capt. Thomas Holder install one of the 147 new trail signs aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico on Nov. 13.

Photo by Eve A. Baker

Improved base trail network does not come with maid service

20 Nov 2014 | Eva A. Baker Marine Corps Base Quantico

Numerous groups and individuals make use of the large recreational trail network on base, and over the last several months, many of them have come together to improve the running surface, signage and bridges.


According to Maj. Peter Baker of the Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Branch, this past summer Marine Corps Base Quantico and the Marine Corps Marathon office sponsored the resurfacing of 2.7 miles of Stadium and Sewer Trails with rock and gravel. The base Facilities Maintenance Shops performed the work, which has evened out the footing for runners and made it easier for emergency vehicles to get to people in need of assistance.


Anyone who has ever gotten lost in the woods will appreciate the major increase in signage. Baker said that 147 new signs have been purchased to better mark the trails, and 103 have been installed so far, in addition to the 65 that were already out there. The signs were assembled by the Conservation Volunteers group and are being placed at trailheads and intersections basewide by volunteers and NREA staff.


The Quantico Mountain Bike Club has rebuilt two bridges in the trail system, and an unofficial group of horseback riders who regularly use the trails have repaired another two, said Baker. QMBC riders such as Brian Balas also participate in trail maintenance: On Nov. 13, Balas walked approximately two miles along the trails with a leaf blower, clearing the path for riders and runners.


While people use the trails for a variety of activities, including walking, running, mountain biking and horseback riding, Baker said there have been few, if any, conflicts among the different types of trail users. One complaint that does crop up from time to time is the presence of animal feces on the trails.


Marine Corps Base Order 5090.4A, the policy for mainside trail use at MCBQ, states that owners are required to clean up and properly dispose of their animals’ waste. There have been recent reports of dog owners bagging their dogs’ feces but leaving the bags on trails and sidewalks around base. As there is not a cleaning crew that collects these bags, owners are reminded to dispose of them in designated trash cans.

Marine Corps Base Quantico