HIKING, WALKING & BACKPACKING TRAILS IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA
NOTE: Fairfax County parks are gradually opening up according to Forward Virginia: Phase One Guidelines. While facilities within the parks remain closed, parking lots are now accessible at our County, Regional, and State Parks. Please check individual location websites for the updated status on current operating status. Here are 3 websites that'll help you find outdoor spaces: Trails, Parks with trails (use the filter), and the Park Authority Trail Buddy.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Northern Virginia is a must-visit when planning your next outdoor vacation. From county parks to State Parks to National Parks, and from the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail to easier paved paths, there are a number of fantastic hiking trails in this region. Take a look at our listings below to find the difficulty level and area you most want to explore.
You can 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.
Also, we want you to have the inside scoop when it comes to hiking in Fairfax County, so here are some tips we've picked up along the way.
Our Top Hiking and Backpacking Trails in Fairfax County
- The Cross County Trail: If you're looking for a natural backpacking trail, this will fulfill your needs. This cross country trail, which runs 40 miles north to south along the entirety of Fairfax County, offers a great organic, "Appalachian trail-like" experience. It is maintained, but not groomed, so you can expect to find natural elements, depending on the weather.
- Burke Lake Park's Trail System: Recently rated by trail specialists at American Hiking Society as one of the top 10 Best Metropolitan Area Fitness Trails in the country. Don’t believe us? Try it for yourself.
- Great Falls National Park: Create a full day of outdoor fun starting at the Great Falls National Park and ending at the county-owned Riverbend Park. End your hiking with boat rentals, unique wildlife, or even attend a campfire. This path has enough activities to fill up an entire day!
- Scott's Run: This location offers a number of trails that you can follow down to the river, where you'll be greeted by a lovely, hidden waterfall.
- George Mason's Gunston Hall: This trail recently unveiled a beautiful Bluebird Trail on its property. Find out details on their website.