Seneca Regional Park is one of my favorite hiking spots in Fairfax County. You will find folks riding horses, mountain biking or hiking through the park. There are multiple signs throughout the park teaching patrons about the history of the park. The remaining portion of George Washington’s Potowmack Canal is also part of the parks history and can be found on the signs in the park.
Seneca Regional Park is part of the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority. They have a great map of the trials including the Potomac Heritage Trail that runs along the Potomac River. The terrain ranges from small to medium hills with gravel and dirt trails. Parts of the trail along the Potomac can get muddy if it’s been raining. The Potomac Heritage Trail can be used to head to Algonkian Regional Park and Riverbend Park. On the day of the photos we had a few days of rain so the Potomac River inlets were pretty high. There are some great places along the river for the kids to see the river safely. Strollers would be a no go for this park but a backpack for the kids would be perfect. No restrooms at this park though.
Get out and enjoy a beautiful park just outside your doorstep!
Last week we checked out Poplar Tree Park in Chantilly, VA. This Fairfax County Park is located off Stringfellow Road between Route 50 and Route 29. The park is located amongst older single family homes and newer planned communites including townhomes, condos, and single family homes.
Poplar Tree Park is more of a sports park complex but it does have a set of equipment for the kids to play on. The park has 4 softball/baseball fields, two turf soccer/football fields, grass soccer field and walking/hiking trails. The park does have clean restrooms and not porta potties. The playground equipment is newer. But there was plenty of shade for the equipment during the morning hours.
I probably won’t return to the park but for a local community park this one has a lot to offer local sports clubs. The fields are in great shape with lots of bleachers for spectators.
Over the summer we went hiking in one of my favorite spots in Mclean, Difficult Run Stream Valley Park. Along Georgetown Pike not far from Great Falls National Park you’ll find a small parking lot. This parking lot is used for the Difficult Run Stream Valley Park. The Difficult Run Trail is part of the Cross County Trail and the last section that leads across Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax.
The trail heads along Difficult Run and has plenty of smaller trails that you walk along. The main Difficult Run Trail runs along the water way and is a large trail that would be rough with a jogging stroller so a backpack or little legs are the best way to get along. The views depending on the water level are very pretty. The day we went the water level was low and you could see lots of rocks.
The day we went we walked along the Difficult Run Trail which leads you under Georgetown Pike and into the Great Falls Park if you take the right trails. We headed along the Ridge Trail to the Old Carriage Trail. The best part of all this hiking is the signage and maps along the way. On the Ridge Trail you can find Equestrian turn outs where you can pen up your horses for a break. While we were hiking we passed several park rangers on bike and foot. If you are a geocacher there were plenty of caches to find along the way.
This hiking spot is great for a casual stroll and or a rigorous workout. There were plenty of folks running and biking through the trails. Check it out when the weather is nice!
Williamsburg Manor Park recently renamed John Byers Park in Alexandria is a small natural park with Little Hunting Creek running through it. The playground equipment and basketball court are located towards Collingwood Road. The 25 acre park has a few hiking trails near the creek.
The playground is located just off the Collingwood Rd. There is no parking lot and I was forced to park along the shoulder to get to the playground. The equipment is in decent shape but the unlit basketball court is sad shape and is need of a new net and paving. A hiking trail entrance is located along the tree line. We saw several people walking their dogs down the trail.
A small park but a nice spot to stop and have the kids blow off some steam. There is plenty of grass in between the road and the play equipment if you have a runner….:)
Rutherford Park located in Fairfax has so much to offer and is fun for all ages. In addition to the large piece of playground equipment, there are also plenty of athletic fields including tennis and basketball courts. There is a nice picnic and grilling area and nice walking trail, which is part of the Long Branch Stream Valley Trail.
When you first enter the park there is a port-a-potty. The playground, itself, is a large piece of equipment, including three slides, a climbing wall and monkey bars. Rutherford Park has a tire swing, including two infant swings and two regular swings, as well as a few riding animals. Woodchips are underneath all the equipment. There are plenty of athletic fields, including basketball and tennis courts and there is a nice picnic and grilling area.
If you are located in Fairfax County or are just looking for a fun, free day out, check out this park!
Ranger Road Park is a nice park located right off of Ranger Road in the City of Fairfax. This park is located on over 10 acres and offers a basketball court, picnic area, two grills as well as playground equipment.
This park offers two different pieces of playground equipment, which includes slides and climbing areas. Additionally, there are two sets of swings for both infant and regular. The playground itself slopes down a small hill from the road and parking is alongside Ranger Road. There are Cardiovascular Fitness exercises along a small trail that allows you to get a little workout in, while your little one is playing. Two grills and a picnic area are also located at this park. One downside: There are not any restrooms located within the park.
My boys enjoyed the trail and crossing the bridge just as much as the playground aspect of the park. If you are located in the City of Fairfax of near Ranger Road, check out this park.
A BIG Thank you to our Guest Reviewer, Allie Higgins, for reviewing Draper Drive Park in the City of Fairfax!
Allie Higgins is a mom of two young energetic boys who love to run and play. Together, they enjoy hiking, biking, swimming and going to the many parks in the area. Allie has been in the DC/NOVA area for over 10 years; she is writer/researcher and a graduate of Saint Mary’s College at Notre Dame and Vanderbilt University.
Draper Drive Park in the City of Fairfax was, until recently, only soccer fields and walking trails; however, the city has now added a playground that is a fun addition to the park.
The playground area is set up on part mulch and part rubber surfaces and includes swings and the main play structures even have shade canopies for the equipment. If your children like to get dizzy, there are several spinning pieces and if they prefer to climb, there are climbing walls as well. Slides and monkey bars make this playground complete. There are numerous park benches and two porta-potties adjacent to the playground.
The soccer field is synthetic turf with goals and bleachers along the fields. Additionally, there is a paved run/walk/bike trail that encircles the park. I especially liked that you can see the entire trail from the playground. While my younger son was swinging, I could still watch my older son ride his bike around the loop. Similarly, if you are at the park to watch a soccer match, you can see the all of the fields from the playground, so that makes it fun for all! This is a great park to check out if you are in the Fairfax area.
Have you tried out the metro Silver Line yet? You can get directly on the metro from The Plaza! We visited The Plaza over the summer, but I wanted to take the boys again and take some more photos because the day we went it was over crowded and hard to get good quality photographs.
( located on the 2nd Floor near the escalators leading up to AMC Theatre and Food Court)
The Plaza connects directly to the NEW Silver Line Metro Station and is elevated 32 feet in the air. There is a fun playground area, game programming center, Kids Club and lots of events. Some of the events held are concerts, movies on the green and other seasonal activities!
The playground area is called COX Discovery Cove. This is a gated in playground. The playground is built like a ship and the ground is a rubber surface. The playground itself is made up of a few different running inclines and declines with steering wheels and telescopes. There is also a separate toddler play zone. There are several benches and tables near the play area where the parents can keep an eye on their little ones. There is a game programming center as well. These are great outdoor fun games, such as tabletop tennis, corn hole and chess. When we were there, there were a few friendly competitions going on and the boys loved seeing all the cheering and excitement going on. The Plaza also offers a Tysons Corner Center National Geographic Kids Club that is an excellent way to get your children to have fun, all while learning. These activities alternate the first Tuesday and Saturday of each month. The current BIG event going on at The Plaza is their ice skating rink (list what event is). There are several FREE events held weekly and seasonally. Also, just something to look forward to, every Friday over the spring-summer they hold a FREE summer concert and Saturdays there are also Movie Night on the Green, free of charge; so be sure to check their website.
Relaxation? Why not! With Spring (hopefully rapidly approaching), enjoy the ambiance at The Plaza’s comfortable seating and fire pits. There is lots of seating all around The Plaza. During the warm months, there is a little water stream through the stone bench seating area with a few fountains as well.
Villa Lee Park is located in Fairfax, VA. You can access this park off of Hunter Road and take a path, over the bridge to the park or by turning into the Villa Lee townhouse development off of Espana Court and it is right in the cul-da-sac.
As mentioned before, Villa Lee park is located off of Hunter Road. There is only street parking, the road is a little narrow, but you can access the park by taking the walking path through the woods, over the bridge to Villa Street Park. We ended up parking in the cul-da-sac off of Empana Court in the Villa Lee townhouse development. The park is located right there. The park has a small playground with climbing equipment, slide a see-saw, as well as a swing and an infant swing. There is also a little picnic area where you can enjoy the nicely shaded park.
If you live in the Villa Lee development or are near by, this is a small, yet nicely shaded park to visit in the forest.
(At the intersection of Ranger Road and Cambridge Road).
There are a few parks off of Ranger Road and we came across this neighborhood park at the intersection of Ranger Road and Cambridge Road. This park is semi-gated in and has a car wash section and hook up for the residents in Cambridge Station. The park also has a small playground area, swings, basketball court and a picnic area. The tot lot has three small slides, there are three infant swings nearby as well.
This park is for Cambridge Station residents, so if you live in Cambridge Station check out this quiet little park in your neighborhood, and enjoy washing your car (when it’s warm out).