Chapman DeMary Trail
The Chapman DeMary Trail officially opened in 2009. This 10-acre area is considered to be the last stand of old growth forest in the Town. The trail runs along the South Fork Catoctin Creek which is part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The trail is named after John Chapman who offered to open this area to the public so it can be used as an outdoor classroom and nature trail, and retired Loudoun Valley High School teacher John DeMary who encouraged his students to present their vision for this area to the Purcellville Town Council.
The Chapman DeMary Trail is protected forever with a conservation easement that is held by the Town of Purcellville. Efforts to manage and enhance this trail and habitat are conducted through a partnership of four groups:
- The Town of Purcellville
- Loudoun Valley High School
- The Nature Generation
- The Piedmont Environmental Council
Students and scouts have been very involved in projects that have helped turn this area into a wonderful park. Some of the projects these young people have completed include benches, picnic tables, bat boxes, boardwalks, bridges, and signs.
With the help of volunteers, we also established a pollinator meadow, conducted water monitoring efforts and worked to restore the riparian buffer along the creek. Groups of volunteers work at the trail to plant plants in the pollinator meadow, remove invasive plants, plant trees, and spread wood chips to mark the path.
The Chapman DeMary Trail is where the annual Purcellville Green Expo, called Hail to the Trail, is held in the fall. This event is the Town’s annual celebration of Arbor Day, and is hosted by the Purcellville Tree and Environment Sustainability Committee. The Purcellville Parks and Recreation Advisory Board also hosts monthly nature walks led by local experts here.
When you visit the Chapman DeMary Trail, you can bring a picnic, explore the creek, or take a nature walk! There are a variety of activity sheets and information on the back of the main kiosk. In addition to these activities, there are signs and markers along the trail to help you learn about the trees, wildlife, and plants in this habitat.
The Chapman DeMary Trail is a great place to bring your family and discover nature right in our area. The Chapman DeMary Trail has helped engage local youth and residents in learning about and protecting the environment.
To visit the Chapman DeMary Trail, park behind the building at 205 East Hirst Road. Follow the Chapman DeMary Trail Facebook page for fun activities and information. The trail is open dawn to dusk. Remember to leave no trace!