We're fortunate here in Fairfax County to be able to offer residents and visitors the opportunity access tranquil sanctuaries while never straying far from all the amenities the Capital Region has to offer. The parks below are just some examples of places you can escape to on your visit, but we have many more where these come from - so pick what you like and we'll see you outside!
Great Falls Park
This beautiful 800-acre park managed and maintained by the National Park Service is found only 15 miles from the Nation's Capital and is considered the crown jewel for many locals when it comes to outdoor exploring in the area. The park has fifteen miles of hiking trails, five of which are multi-use for horseback riding, hiking, and biking. You can download the park's trail map and start planning your journey. And while the hiking is good, most visitors to the park do so to take in the views of the falls and Potomac River from the 3 different overlooks. If you're up for a unique adventure, you can book a rock climbing lesson - and if you want to chill out, you can grab a spot at one of the first-come, first-serve picnic tables.
Mason Neck State Park
This park, located in southern Fairfax County, offers many outdoor activities and programs. It has hiking trails and 3 miles of paved multi-use trails, a large picnic area, a playground, a car-top canoe launch and a visitor center. Canoe, kayak and bicycle rentals are also available. Bird watching, especially for American bald eagles, and guided canoe trips of Kane's Creek and Belmont Bay are favorites with park visitors.
Riverbend Park's location on a Potomac River bend has created a rare combination of geology, plant life, wildlife, isolation and beauty. Boat rentals are available from Friday-Sunday with purchase of an advance ticket and are a popular activity on nice weekends. Riverbend Park also has over 10 miles of hiking trails including a segment of the Potomac Heritage Trail which leads to the cascades and the visitor center at Great Falls National Park. So if your looking for a short family hike or a day adventure hike, Riverbend has the trail for you. Fishing is another popular activity at Riverbend - just be sure to get a valid Virginia fishing license if you're over 16 years old.
Frying Pan Farm Park
Parks come in all shapes and sizes here in Fairfax County. And Frying Pan Farm Park is one of the most endearing to many families who live here. Frying Pan preserves and interprets farm life of the 1920s to 1950s and is home to many animals that showcase what life was like when Fairfax County was largely an agricultural area. Aside from being able to explore the farm on your own, the park also provides private, one-hour walking and wagon ride tours of the farm for you and your family. An experienced farm staff member will guide you through the buildings, fields and sheds to discover the inner workings of how the farm operates. Next, you'll take a wagon ride to the crop fields to see which crops are growing and what is being harvested.
Huntley Meadows Park
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. This is also the largest park operated by the Fairfax County Park Authority. A lot of people come to Huntley Meadows to stroll along it's famed boardwalk through the marshes and to explore other trails within the park. The park also provides a birders paradise, and avian aficionados visit the area from all over the country to spy their fine feathered friends.
Pohick Bay Regional Park
One of the more popular destinations for park-goers here in Fairfax County is Pohick Bay Regional Park in Lorton, Virginia. Visitors can spend a day on the bay with their canoe, paddleboard, stand up paddleboard and kayak rentals; or bring your own boat to the public boat launch ramp. You can also rent a picnic shelter, take a hike on their many trails, or stay a little longer and reserve one of their cabins or campsites.