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Public Use of property not an easement

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state? VA

I live along the Potomac River in nothern VA and have walked along the river for over 8 years. Horses, joggers and other hikers have used the path from south of us, along our property and north/west out to the next county (we are Fairfax the next is Loudoun) for amny more years than that. It is so well established that it is visible from satellite on Google. Last year local hikers celebrated the completion of the improved trail which is about 7 miles or perhaps more.

Part of the trail is a WASA (Washington Area Sewer Authority) easement. The part that crosses our propery is not but we have always considered it to be available for public use, as do our neighbors. Part is Norhern Virginia regional park.

About 2 1/2 miles north of me, a fence with barbed wire and two padlocks went up about mid-May. I don't know how far the fence goes, but it completely cuts off this two-county river path. The property recently changed hands (perhaps 2 years ago) and they had put up "no trespassing" signs last year. All of us old -time users continued to use the road, which we assumed was WASA. It connects two WASA easements. I have never bothered the people -- or even seen them in 8 years -- nor have I gone over the bridge which connects this land to their house/property. I doubt anyone does.

If the path has been a path of public use for perhaps 30 years, and the new owners knew it when they bought it (it is a clear road connecting the two easements and I am positive that WASA built the road, which is perhaps 150 yards long) can they now fence it off?



Senior Member
Well of course they can fence it, they already proved that. Now if you want to keep walking the path, you are going to have to head to court with a prescriptive easement claim unles you can find some documentaion showing to aleady be an easement. Then you will have to fight to have that enforced.

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