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Old 03-07-2007, 10:26 AM
 
9 posts, read 33,492 times
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Hi All,

Can someone explain the geographics of Sterling to me - the part above Rt. 7? We think we're going to move to the Cascades but are confused by all the subdivisions, especially as we look for a home online.

What makes up the Cascades? Are Countryside, Broad Run Farms, Sugarland Run, Potomac Falls, Potomac Lakes and Lowes Island all a part of the Cascades or are they separate entities?

If they are separate entities, would you mind describing their pros/cons? Is one considered much better than the rest?

Oh, and has anyone heard of Environs? It keeps coming up during my house searches but I have no idea where it is located.

Thanks so much!
Tara
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Old 03-07-2007, 11:18 AM
 
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To some extent, this is related to the fact that there are very few actually incorporated areas (towns and cities) in Virginia. Most everywhere is just a Census-designated place, so there aren't always officially official names to attach to particular locations. That said, the most recent generic name for the area is Potomac Falls, and it includes Cascades, Countryside, Rivercrest, and Lowes Island. It is essentially zip code 20165, as distinguished from Sterling, Sterling Park, and Sugarland Run over in 20164. Maybe you never saw a roadside sign saying You Are Now Entering Zip Code 20165, but that's about how it works over there. Broad Run Farms is also in 20165, but as the much older and more well-established (not to mention very nice) community in the area, they don't necessarily want to be lumped in with all those newbies next door, so they tend to shun the Potomac Falls name. Potomac Lakes meanwhile is an area within Cascades that would like its name one day to be as recognized as the others. Maybe they'll succeed, maybe they won't. Anyway, there's not that much in a name, really. The places are what they are, no matter what you call them, and all of them are nice. Sterling proper and Broad Run Farms are the older areas. The rest started showing up in the 1960's and 70's. Most of Potomac Falls would be no older than the 1990's.

I don't know of an actual place named Environs. The word itself just means surrounding area, and given the general imprecision of place names, it may just be popping up in that regard.

Last edited by saganista; 03-07-2007 at 11:39 AM..
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Old 03-07-2007, 01:46 PM
 
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Talking The real VA Cascades

Cascades
Description
Elevation: 2147 ft. A 4-mile loop trail along Little Stony Creek rewards the adventurous hiker with spectacular views of a 66-foot waterfall. The scenic cascade of cool pristine waters plummets from a narrow gorge within the same plateau that holds Mountain Lake, the only natural lake in the mountains of Virginia. Spicebush swallowtail are abundant, but other swallowtails, such as pipevine, and eastern tiger, may also be spied foraging for nectar. Other butterflies, including American copper, wild-indigo duskywing, common checkered-skipper, and question mark, flit among dancing wildflowers as well. This is also a splendid locale for finding both Diana and Aphrodite fritillaries.
The Cascades Trail begins at the parking lot, and ascends for two miles along the limestone-bedded creek to the waterfall. In these high mountaintops, the unpolluted waters of Little Stony Creek are home to native brook trout. Limestone rocks line and foot the creek bottom, occasionally forming small cataracts that whisper soft murmurs of tumbling water. On the ascent towards the Cascades Waterfall, keep an eye out for nesting neotropical migrants. Louisiana waterthrush may be hopping along the streambed, pumping its tail as it forages in slower waters. The surrounding forest at these lower elevations is primarily composed of poplar, buckeye, magnolia, and elm trees. Look for typical eastern hardwood breeders such as ovenbird, wood thrush, hooded and Kentucky warblers, red-eyed vireo, and eastern wood-pewee. Just before reaching the first mile marker (at a bridge-crossing), the trail will traverse maturing second-growth forests. Creek edges fall beneath the understory of dense rhododendron thickets, canopied by oak, hickory, beech, and boxelder. The moist forest floor lends itself to the soft carpeting of verdant ferns, and moss-covered rocks and logs blanket the embankment in an emerald sea. Enjoy the vibrant colors of mushrooms, and the brilliance of Indian pipe and blooming Galax. Listen for northern parula, black-throated green warbler, and scarlet tanager. The rushing waters are patrolled by eastern phoebe and hunted by belted kingfisher. Turning over a few logs is likely to produce northern dusky, red-backed, and northern slimy salamanders. The little red eft undoubtedly wanders about the damp forest floor. The last stretch of the trail ascends abruptly. The hardwoods on the southeastern edge of the trail are gradually replaced by steep limestone cliffs. From tiny rock crevices spill spring-fed waters clinging softly against creek-walls. These seepages enliven the cliffs and create a peaceful ambience of glistening wet rock laced with lush moss and lichen. Serenades of veery and melodies of distant warblers blend in harmony with the roar of falling water. The descending return hike meanders through similar habitat, but with the addition of a few open areas and small clearings. Dark-eyed junco is abundant, and in the open areas, look for American goldfinch and indigo bunting. Eastern towhee may be calling from lower shrubby woodland edges. The trail is a moderate hike, in some places, steep and narrow. The 2-mile trek to the Cascades may seem longer than two miles because it is not a linear path, but rather, meanders alongside Little Stony Creek. Still, the scenery along the trail and the climatic views of the Cascades Waterfall are likely to enchant any nature enthusiast.

Directions
From Glen Alton, return to Rt. 635, turn right, and travel west for 13.5 miles to US 460 East. Turn left onto US 460 East and go 2.3 miles to Rt. T623/Cascade Drive. Turn left, heading north on Rt. T623 for 3.4 miles to the Cascades Recreation Area. To return to the interstate, return to US 460 East. Follow US 460 East for approximately 26 miles to I-81. Travel south to begin the Lower New River Loop or north to begin the Star City and Roanoke Valley Loops.


C/O Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
Contact Us: dgifweb@dgif.virginia.gov
WAI-A Compliant
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Old 03-07-2007, 03:20 PM
 
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Piffle. Everyone knows that the real Cascades are all dishwasher detergents! The lemony-fresh one is my favorite. Besides, this one of yours is in the middle of a danged national forest, and living there would mean a near 300-mile commute into DC. Which some days wouldn't take any longer than from Sterling, but still...
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Old 03-07-2007, 06:30 PM
 
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Thanks for your responses! It's so hard knowing the peculiarities of various places without having lived there. I previously thought the varying names were the homebuilder community names and that they were all part of the Cascades. (I think Environs might be like that as it comes up as the subdivision on realtor dot com.)

I can't wait to actually get down there so I can see the areas first hand and finally start to get a sense of what I'm talking about. Once we move there, we'll have to go check out the waterfall too -- it sounds beautiful!

Thanks again!
Tara
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Old 03-07-2007, 06:32 PM
 
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Cascades is a planned community within the zipcode of 20165, which is considered Potomac Falls. Here is the website - it is run by a HOA, which is nice in my opinion. www.cascadesva.com.

Lowes Island is a part of Cascades, but that is it. Countryside, Broad Run, and Rivercrest are not. Rivercrest is a little newer, in the same immediate area, and run by its own small HOA. Countryside is also HOA run, homes tend to be a little smaller and older, but it is also a nice community.

Most homes in Cascades were built between 1993-2000. The schools are excellent. I live in Cascades and really like the convenience to work, shopping, parks, everything you can possibly want. Neighbors are great. Love the pools, walking trails, tennis courts, tot lots, etc. You should see it in the spring, beautiful!

Good luck!
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Old 03-07-2007, 07:02 PM
 
Location: TX
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I like the Cascades Neighborhood better and the houses seemed better built than Countryside. I believe alot of the Countryside homes were built in the 1980's and seem quite shoddy. (we extensively looked in that area before settling in Leesburg) The schools are good (if that is a concern). I would stay away from the neighborhoods that attened Sterling Middle School. There are better schools.
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Old 03-08-2007, 08:19 PM
 
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Thank you for your opinions! I kind of thought Countryside might be "less desirable" as the same size houses on double-the-size lots seem to be about $100K less.

MROY, if you don't mind answering, could you tell me what you pay in HOA fees in the Cascades? I lived in San Diego so am very familiar with them, and would actually prefer to live in an HOA-run neighborhood, but it certainly is something to consider when figuring out how much house we can buy. Thanks!

Tara
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Old 03-09-2007, 09:37 AM
 
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The HOA dues in Cascades are relatively inexpensive for what you get, at least in comparison with some of the newer communities further out in Loudoun. Anyway, for a single family it is $150 quarterly. Don't know what a TH is, but I think it is a little more. This includes trash and recycling pickup twice a week. Does not include cable or high speed internet.
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Old 03-09-2007, 07:06 PM
 
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Thanks, MROY, that's really good to know. I had read something about HOA fees being around $450 or so, thought that was monthly, and got really worried!
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