laurelhill-ringIt stands in the shadow of the old dairy barn at Lorton Reformatory, but the newly completed Laurel Hill Equestrian Center holds nothing but promise for a bright future.  The ring and parking are the first phase of a new facility that will serve equestrians beginning on Saturday, April 26, 2014 when official ribbon cutting ceremonies take place at 10 a.m.  The public is invited to attend the brief ceremonies, which will be followed by assorted equestrian demonstrations including musical freestyle, western reining, vaulting and jumping.  Pony rides will also be available. Activities will be held until noon. Light refreshments will be served. The local area abounds with multi-use trails as well.

 

The facility is owned by the Fairfax County Park Authority.  However, the project was completed in partnership with the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, the Fairfax County Park Authority Board, the Fairfax County Park Foundation Board and Fairfax4Horses.  The project cost $907,000 to complete and included the demolition of two barn structures, archeological field work, access road improvements, a gravel parking lot, equestrian riding arena, storm water management pond and related site work.

This project was unique because of its location within the boundaries of a National Register of Historic Places district.  This triggered a requirement for a detailed archeological study to be undertaken before construction could occur. Plans for the project had to be reviewed by the Architectural Review Board and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.  All the dairy-related buildings west of the entrance road, other than the silo, have been demolished.  The former milking facility located outside the historic district will be demolished and removed during Phase II work.  The two silos east of the road will remain.

 

For more information contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

 

Directions from Ox Road/Route 123 S: Turn left on Lorton Road bear right on Furnace Road.  Turn right on Dairy Road.  Look for the silos at the old prison dairy.