Loudoun historian Richard Gillespie once told me: "history is around every corner in Loudoun County." And he was right. Sometimes the heritage of a place is in such plain view that you miss it. For instance, Vestal's Gap Road. Situated between the parking lot of Dulles Town Center (across from Longhorn Steakhouse) and Nokes Boulevard in Sterling, this short stretch of historic roadbed is easy to miss, but you'd miss an important part of our past.
Vestal's Gap Road, before it was a thoroughfare used by native Americans and colonists, was a trail used by bison and deer. Evidence of Native Americans has been found along the road dating back 11,000 years! In 1755, the road was used by General Edward Braddock at the outbreak of the French and Indian War. Later, George Washington traversed it on surveying missions.
So the next time you're in the area, why not stop for a while? There are a few benches and lots of shady trees that make quiet reflection easy. And remember to open your eyes to the possibilities that history can present.