Need some fresh air? No, not that stream of who-knows-what gas mix you breathe in when you step outside. I mean, truly fresh and sweet air that is good for your health with high oxygen and less carbon levels. Read on to learn about the best Fairfax County hiking trails!
Living in a major metropolitan area centered on a capital city has many perks and being able to stay in touch with nature is not one of them. Yet only a few miles away from D.C., Virginia’s Fairfax County promises exactly that rare opportunity.
Here are the region’s best hiking trails you can escape to every time you have your fill of the constant buzz in the city:
Turkey Run Park
This place in Fairfax seems unreal with its proximity to and, at the same time, disconnection from the city crowds. If you are looking for a true immersion in nature and have sturdy shoes to survive its wilderness, Turkey Run Park should definitely be on your itinerary. It is by the Potomac River, just off the Memorial Bridge, on Turkey Run Loop Road in Fairfax. Don’t forget to bring in water and snacks for you may want to stay longer once you realize how pleasant it is to seek refuge at the bosom of Mother Nature.
Scott’s Run Nature Preserve
Or on a day when you have more time for that little ‘citybreak’ of yours, drive further north along the Potomac and you will arrive at three of the best hiking trails across the county. First one is Scott’s Run Nature Preserve in McLean. The ‘endless’ trails meandering the 336-acre woodland will take you on such an unforgettable walk. Just be ready for the challenge as it will also entail going up and down steep hills and cliffs.
Great Falls Park
Five more miles up north and you may also be blown away by the beauty of Great Falls Park. This is an 800-acre park to where you can most enjoyably take all your hiking enthusiasm and also see our great Potomac grow faster and roar as it falls over a cluster of rocks. The gorgeous scenery makes it an absolute can’t-miss! At 9200 Old Dominion Drive, it is perfect for a family outing or picnic, too, with all the amenities thanks to the National Park Service.
Frying Pan Farm Park
The last such hiking experience in northern Fairfax County requiring somewhat longer time than you would need at Turkey Run Park awaits you at Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon. It is a 130-acre site most famous for its working farm and riding opportunities for visitors. What you will more delightfully discover here, however, will be its mesmerizing hiking trail inside a 42-acre forest. You cannot put a price tag on the possibility of walking through the woods as rich with wildlife so close to the capital.
Bull Run Occoquan Trail
Crowning this list, however, is a special place both naturally and historically down south: Bull Run Occoquan Trail. This 18-mile path at 10875 Hampton Road will take you through more than a giant, 5,000 acres of fantastic woodland. It is a completely peaceful sanctuary for the wildlife under official protection. The area was many times a battleground for fierce fighting during both the War of Independence and the following Civil War in the 18th and 19th centuries. It, therefore, attracts not only hikers but also history enthusiasts and educational day-trippers. Regardless, nobody leaves here with less than what he or she expected before hitting the road. What is your excuse? Join them in Virginia!