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Old 03-22-2009, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Virginia
931 posts, read 3,461,584 times
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Where is the beauty in Northern Virginia?

I am looking for some outdoor activities and where to go and do stuff.

Are there any good places to go hiking or walk on nature trails? Canal Walk?

Is there a place to canoe down the Potomac River?

Where do you guys go to run, bike and have fun outdoors?

I live in McLean, so the closer the better.

Thanks!
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Old 03-22-2009, 03:39 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,756,240 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oleo View Post
Where is the beauty in Northern Virginia?

I am looking for some outdoor activities and where to go and do stuff.

Are there any good places to go hiking or walk on nature trails? Canal Walk?

Is there a place to canoe down the Potomac River?

Where do you guys go to run, bike and have fun outdoors?

I live in McLean, so the closer the better.

Thanks!
Kayaking works better than canoeing here (some parts of the river get very shallow). You can put in at a variety of spots. You can rent kayaks at Riverbend Park ($15 for half day), as well as Lake Anne and near Georgetown. Probably a few other spots too. Oh, and there are plenty of great spots down near Occoquan. But that's not the Potomac.

If you own a kayak, my favorite spot to put in is Algonkian Park. Then paddle north and check out the homes in Countryside. Or paddle over to Maryland's Seneca Park.

Biking. The W&OD gets my vote for best bike path. It'll take you from Mt. Vernon to Purcellville.

Hiking. Many, many, many good places to hike. My favorites are Riverbend Park to Great Falls National Park (especially during the bluebell season). Also, the Heritage Trail which runs all along the Virginia side of the Potomac. I like the stretch from Algonkian Park to Great Falls National Park. North of Algonkian the trail is hard to follow.

It's not close to McLean but if you're out in Leesburg Balls Bluff is a cool place to hike--it's an old civil war battlefield and there are a few reminders of the war there, including an old cemetary. Difficult Run and Scotts Run have pretty waterfalls and you can even go swimming (so they asy, I've never tried it).

Also, I love walking the various trails in Meadowlark Gardens. I can't really put my finger on it but there's something about that place that always makes me feel happy, even when I've been bummed out all day.

Another walk that usually puts me in a good mood is the trail around Lake Anne in Reston. It's pretty and I crack up at all the "mod" scupltures scattered along the path.
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Old 03-23-2009, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
284 posts, read 783,889 times
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For biking, walking, running, I like the Mt. Vernon Trail: Mount Vernon Trail

Across the river, be sure to visit the Arboretum later this spring when the azaleas are in bloom: US National Arboretum * * * *:. Also, check out the aquatic gardens nearby Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens (U.S. National Park Service)

For a slightly challenging hike, try the Billy Goat Trail on MD side of Great Falls. IMO, the VA side actually offers a better view of the falls.
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:13 AM
 
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Huntley Meadows Park:

Huntley Meadows Park
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
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That Mount Vernon Trail looks to be absolutely AMAZING! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:07 PM
 
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Certainly agree on Meadowlark Gardens and the Arboretum. They aren't near McLean, but when you've got the time to drive a little, Pohick Bay Regional Park is a great place to get out on the water. It's run by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority which runs various of the other parks mentioned above also. Right next door to Pohick Bay is Mason Neck State Park, which is also a great resource for outdoorsy stuff.

Agree also mostly kayaks on the Potomac north of Key Bridge. Canoes are great on the adjacent C&O Canal, though. Rent either one at Jack's Boathouse (right under Key Bridge) or Fletcher's Boatouse at Canal and Reservoir Roads.

The Mt. Vernon Trail is only one of the terrific trails in the area. Bike Washngton has more info for anyone who likes to ride. The W&OD Trail is the king, though. Friends of the W&OD has a lot of information on it.
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:38 PM
 
Location: Washington DC
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Scotts Run Nature Preserve-it's close to you-it's on Georgetown Pike.
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Old 03-24-2009, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 26,795,499 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normie View Post
Another walk that usually puts me in a good mood is the trail around Lake Anne in Reston. It's pretty and I crack up at all the "mod" scupltures scattered along the path.
I like the paths that go around Lake Anne too. It's just an ordinary neighborhood trail connecting townhomes and stores, but you know what, this time of year I think the neighborhood trails can be much more interesting than the parks, since the greenery in parks hasn't filled in yet.

What is the story on those sculptures at Lake Anne? I like the one that has the peepholes tho I don't know what you're supposed to see when you look through them.

The wierdest one is some sort of sunken concrete boat (near the art center). Theres a very steep treacherous looking set of steps next to it. What are those used for? Do people dive into the lake from it? That looks dangerous, and I can't believe the lake is deep enough for diving right there.
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Old 09-05-2010, 05:46 AM
 
Location: Virginia
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Sky Meadows Park is awesome!
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Old 09-05-2010, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Fairfax County
1,534 posts, read 3,311,963 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caladium View Post
Sky Meadows Park is awesome!
Totally agree. We head out there a couple of times a month!
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