The leaves are beautiful, the air is cool and crisp, the days are getting shorter, and the time to get outside is NOW. Lucky for you, Fairfax County is full of outdoor spaces to take in the beautiful foliage in all its glory. With the help of our friends at Ride & Shine Bicycling, we wanted to share some easy two-wheeled options for exploring some of our best leaf-peeping spots. So grab your bike, don't forget your helmet, watch the video below, and head out to one of our fun bike trails.
Lake Accotink Park
Address: 7500 Accotink Park Rd, Springfield, VA 22150
Description: This 493-acre park provides excellent opportunities to relax, learn, and enjoy the natural resources of both Lake Accotink and Accotink Creek. In addition to trail systems and waterfront activities, Lake Accotink Park offers many family-friendly activities including picnic areas, classes, camps, and special events.
What you need to know: According to MTB Project, "the main trail is a gravel trail and is very easy. There are many singletrack trails off of the main trail. Other than the main trail entrance, this section is a climb laden with large roots and sharp, loose baby head rocks, presenting a precursor to this trail's condition. This immediate uphill will bring you to the singletrack trail network, which splits off many times, allowing for many different combinations."
Great Falls Park
Address: 9200 Old Dominion Dr, McLean, VA 22102
Description: At Great Falls, the Potomac River builds up speed and force as it falls over a series of steep, jagged rocks and flows through the narrow Mather Gorge. The Patowmack Canal offers a glimpse into the early history of this country. Great Falls Park has many opportunities to explore history and nature, all in a beautiful 800-acre park just 15 miles from Washington, DC.
What you need to know: According to MTB Project, "this is a well maintained, six-foot-wide trail that runs east from Old Dominion Dr. to Difficult Run Trail. The Ridge Trail meanders up and down along the ridge and through dense mid-Atlantic hardwood forest before descending to the mouth of Difficult Run. As with most trails in GFNP, all junctions along Ridge Trail are very well signed."
Huntley Meadows Park
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Address: Bike Access 6901 S Kings Hwy, Alexandria, VA 22310 - Park Address: 3701 Lockheed Blvd, Alexandria, VA 22306
Description: Huntley Meadows Park connects you to treasured homes and habitats. The park is home to a nationally significant historic house, majestic forests, wildflower-speckled meadows, and vast wetlands bursting with life. Some of the best wildlife watching in the Washington metropolitan area is here. (Check out our Feel Good Friday video here.)
What you need to know: According to All Trails, "Huntley Meadows Hike and Bike and Restoration Trail is a 2.8 mile out and back trail located near Alexandria, Virginia that features a great forest setting and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options." The wetland can be reached via a paved, one-mile hike-bike trail that begins at a small parking lot near the intersection of South Kings Highway and Telegraph Road.
Burke Lake Park
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Address: 7315 Ox Rd, Fairfax Station, VA 22039
Description: Burke Lake Park has something for everyone tucked away in its 888 acres. Whether it’s riding on the miniature train or carousel, picnicking, testing your skills on the mini-golf or disc golf courses, indulging in a scoop of ice cream, taking in the sights from the tour boat, fishing, biking, camping, or taking a walk around the 4.7-mile lake trail, Burke Lake is the perfect place to start your next family tradition.
What you need to know: According to MTB Project, "this trail is great for all skill levels and is mostly flat. There are a few climbs on the north and western sides but, all in all, not very difficult. If you want to get a fast ride in with some trees whizzing past you, come to Burke Lake. If you want an easy stroll, come to Burke Lake."
Frying Pan Farm Park
Address: 2709 West Ox Rd, Herndon, VA 20171
Description: Frying Pan preserves and interprets farm life of the 1920s to 1950s and is one of the most popular parks in Fairfax County. There's no entry fee except for special events. Perhaps the best way to explore Frying Pan is to just park your car and start walking around.
What you need to know: According to AllTrails, "Frying Pan Park Trail is a 1.5-mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Herndon, Virginia that features beautiful wildflowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October."
If you're looking for something a bit more challenging, or you just want to do some more exploring, you can check out the trails near Lake Fairfax Park and the epic trails at Fountainhead Regional Park too! Don't forget to share your adventure with us by posting to social media using the #FXVA hashtag and also tagging us in your photos. You never know, you may be featured on our social media feeds as we show off your bike skills with the world. Have fun, and remember to wear your helmet and adhere to all safety guidelines while biking.