Great Parks to Explore in Autumn

images (1)For outdoor enthusiasts, Northern Virginia is a must-visit when planning your next outdoor vacation. From small parks to National parks to the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Tour to easier paved paths, there are so many hiking trails in this region.

Also, check out Fairfax County’s Trail Buddy mapping tool to find more information on the nearly thousands of miles of trails in Fairfax County and Northern Virginia.

Bull Run Regional Park

7700 Bull Run Dr., Centreville, VA 20121

Bull Run’s spacious fields accommodate groups by the hundreds, even thousands, for picnics, camping or special events. Bull Run’s scenic woodland and trails offer miles of hiking and solitude. Designated in 2006 as a National Recreation Trail, the Bull Run-Occoquan Trail (BROT) invites hikers and horseback riders to discover more than 4,000 acres of scenic woodlands.   The 17-mile trail rises over steep wooded hillsides, winds through deep ravines and crosses numerous streams and flood plains.  Hiking may be considered moderately strenuous, and trail users are encouraged to carry ample water and wear appropriate foot and ankle support.  Many parks along the trail are open seasonally and should not be regarded as reliable sources of food, water or emergency care. 

Great Falls National Park

9200 Old Dominion Drive, McLean, VA 22102

For a peaceful hike, a family outing, an exploration of the area’s rich history, or all of the above, the 800-acre Great Falls Park is a can’t miss. The Great Falls National Park features extraordinary views of the Potomac and Great Falls, along with 15 miles of hikingdownload trails, and five miles of horseback riding and biking trails. Be sure to add a trip to Great Falls National Park to your backpack as part of your vacation to Fairfax! Whether you’re with family or friends, or simply a local looking to make an exciting and fun day trip, Great Falls National Park has gorgeous scenery, rolling rapids, and miles of nature to explore.

Hemlock Overlook Regional Park

13220 Yates Ford Rd., Clifton, VA 20124

Hemlock Overlook Regional Park serves as an Outdoor Education Center operated by Adventure Links, an ACA Accredited camp, in cooperation with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.  The facility offers a variety of outdoor and environmental education, team development programs for public and private schools, religious groups, community groups, sports teams, corporations, professional organizations, as well as, local, state, and federal government and military agencies. Programs at Hemlock Overlook are open to the public and groups by reservation. Only the hiking and horse trails may be used without prior arrangement.

Occoquan Regional Park

9751 Ox Road, Lorton, VA 22079

recgraphics4130This spacious park is scenically located on the Occoquan River diagonally across from the Town of Occoquan.  It offers 400 acres of recreational space and a touch of the past with its historic brick kilns and the memory of imprisoned women suffragists.

Riverbend Park

8700 Potomac Hills St., Great Falls, VA 22066

Tucked away in a remote river setting, Fairfax County Park Authority’s only riverfront park has over 400 acres of forest, meadows, and ponds. Trails include a 2.5 mile portion of the Potomac Heritage Trail linking national and regional parkland. Kayakers and canoeists can enjoy exploring many islands in the Potomac River. Serious anglers and families can bring a boat or fish from the shady riverbank. Nature highlights include spectacular river views, beautiful wildflowers and birds. Facilities include a visitor center with snack bar, gift shop, exhibits and riverside picnic area.

From Fairfax County Website

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