Occoquan Regional Park in Lorton, VA!

Occoquan Regional Park in Lorton, VA!

Occoquan Regional Park is a great park to visit.  This park offers over 400 acres and a few historical elements as well.  We will definitely be back to this park as our visit was cut short due to a rain storm.

9751 Ox Road, Lorton, VA 22079

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This park has so much to offer and is one of the few parks that serves as an entrance with multiple routes both regional and national.  Their are several trails such as the Occoquan Water Trail, Fairfax Cross-Country Trail and Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail. Although we weren’t able to participate in the Roving Naturalist Program, this is a definite must do for our next visit.  This program offers guided nature walks, hikes, canoe and kayak tours and live animal programs.  Occoquan Regional park has athletic fields, batting cages, kayak rentals,boating and fishing .  We are looking forward to re-visiting this park and spending a day fishing.  You can fish largemouth bass, carp, crappie, catfish, striped bass and perch.  Fishing is allowed from the dock or shore line and of course by boat.  There is a boat launch (with boat fees).  There is a snack bar with a great view of the water (open seasonally).  Occoquan also has baseball, softball and soccer fields.  Here is a link to their field fees.

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Turning Point Plaza, a memorial dedicated to the suffragists imprisoned at the Occoquan Workhouse, part of the Lorton Prison Complex was open in 2008.

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**There are a few rentals that can be made at Occoquan Regional Park. See below. **

Waterfront Trellis

Shelter Rentals

Gazebo Rentals

Brentwood Park in Fairfax, VA!

Brentwood Park in Fairfax, VA!

Brentwood Park in Fairfax, VA is a 10-acre park in Fairfax County. There are a couple trailheads to get to the playground and fishing pond. I parked on Appling Valley Road and walked in but you can take a shorter walk from the car when you park on Goodwin Drive. The park has great biking/hiking trails along with a small playground, picnic area and fishing pond.

Address: 11903 Appling Valley Rd., Fairfax, VA 22030

11826 Goodwood Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030 (Closer walk to playground)

The playground has only one piece of large equipment that was in good shape and a few ride on toys. The play area was in complete shade during the morning hours and I would have to guess that it would be in complete shade during the afternoon. There are no restrooms at this park but there is a picnic table in the shade. The boys and I checked out the hiking trails but we didn’t make it very far before somebody had to use the restroom. The park is split up a little bit so before you head out to go hiking check out the map to see where the remainder of the hiking trails are located.

The boys had a great time at the park. We didn’t bring our fishing poles with us but if we ever come back I’ll have to remember them. The park can be found in a great older neighborhood in Fairfax near Route 29 and Village Drive.

Pohick Bay Regional Park in Lorton, VA!

Pohick Bay Regional Park in Lorton, VA!

Today we checked out Pohick Bay Regional Park in Lorton, VA! This Northern Virginia Regional Park is gorgeous and has a lot for everyone. Pohick Bay Regional Park is located off the Potomac River south of Washington D.C. When you turn off of Route 1 you wouldn’t know that in about 3 miles you’re going to come across several parks and historical areas. If you travel past Pohick Bay Regional Park you come across  Mason Neck State Park which is located at the penisula of the Pohick Bay. Also along Gunston Road is Gunston Hall, the former home of George Mason.

Address: 6501 Pohick Bay Drive, Lorton, VA

Pohick Bay Regional Park is known for it’s canoe, kayak and boat rentals as well as the marina where the boats are launched. For a fee you can launch your boat into the bay. Boat rental facilities are on site and open on the weekends at the marina. Camp ground and picnic shelter rentals  are available through the Pohick Bay website. In addition to camping, the park also has a disc golf course, miniature golf, Pirate’s Cove Waterpark, playground, fishing, hiking trails, and plenty of picnic benches. Down by the marina you’ll find the awesome fenced-in playground. Indoor restrooms are located right next to the play equipment along with a ton of picnic tables and benches to eat a snack. The playground and picnic tables overlook the Pohick Bay but with a safe distance so you don’t have to fear the kids falling in the water when your back is turned. There is one large piece of newer play equipment and a small set of regular swings. The playground and picnic benches are completely covered by shade given off by the large older trees throughout the entire park.

We walked a few of trails before the kids got too tired and they were great if you like to hike. Strollers and wagons wouldn’t be able to do most of the hiking trails.  For fishing info click this link, http://www.nvrpa.org/park/pohick_bay/content/fishing.    If you’re into geocaching there are several in the park, check out the Geocaching Website for clues.

This was a beautiful park with plenty of activities for the whole family. I highly recommend everyone check out this natural park if they haven’t been already!

 

 

 

Lake Audubon in Reston, VA!

Lake Audubon in Reston, VA!

Reston has 4 artificial lakes with many different planned communities surrounding these lakes. The original purpose of these lakes was for stormwater managment to capture rain run off which then heads toward Difficult Run watershed and eventually out to the Potomac River on it’s way to the Chesapeake Bay.

Last week we checked out Lake Audubon in South Reston. This Fairfax County lake was built in 1979 and covers 44-acres. We parked at the Lake Audubon Pool parking lot and headed out on the Turquoise trail that surrounds the lake. This is near the Beacon Hill and Lake Audubon communities off of Twin Branches Road. There is a great website called Reston Paths that helps you navigate the trails since most of it winds through neighborhoods and has you crossing small roads.

Address: 2070 Twin Branches Rd, Reston, VA 20191

No swimming is allowed on the lake but a boat launch ramp allows you to launch boats for fishing. As you walk the paved trail around the lake you’ll find many private boat docks for the lakeside homes, condos and townhomes. We headed towards the dam area where we were stopped by a large set of stairs. Since I had the stroller we stopped at a picnic table in the wooded area right at the waters edge. The kids had a great time eating a snack and watching the fish come up to the edge looking for food. The picnic table was completely in the shade and allowed the kids to take a break from their walk.

We picked a beautiful day to walk the trails and it was almost always in the shade of huge older trees. The homes in the communites surrounding the lake are beautiful with awesome views of the lake and nature.

Lake Fairfax Park in Reston, VA!

Lake Fairfax Park in Reston, VA!

This past week we checked out Lake Fairfax Park in Reston, VA. Lake Fairfax Park is a 476-acre park in Fairfax County nestled between single family homes in the Lake Fairfax Estates community.

Address: 1400 Lake Fairfax Drive, Reston, VA 20190

The park offers campgrounds, tons of trails and picnic areas under large shade trees. If you like to geo-cache there are many hidden caches in the park. The lake has paddle boats you can rent but no swimming and windsurfing is allowed on the lake. A large walkway leads you down to the small marina where you can rent the paddle boats or drop in a canoe or kayak. Fishing is permitted from the docks but not while in boat on the lake.

 

For the kids, The Water Mine waterpark has an admission fee and includes a lazy river and waterslides. A carousel is also available for the kids and free of charge. If the waterpark and carousel aren’t enough there is a small playground for the kids.

The kids and I had a great time walking around the lake along the trails. The carousel was also a favorite along with the playground. We’ll definitely be returning to camp or just walk the trails at Lake Fairfax Park!

Brown’s Chapel Park in Reston, VA!

Brown’s Chapel Park in Reston, VA!

Today we visited Brown’s Chapel Park located in Reston, VA in Fairfax County. The park is located near Lake Newport one of the four lakes in the Reston area. Brown’s Chapel Park is located off of Baron Cameron Road and Brown’s Chapel Road across from the Lake Anne Plaza.

Address: 1686 Browns Chapel Rd, Reston, VA 20194

The park includes a small tot lot, baseball fields, basketball and volleyball courts. It also has plenty of areas to exercise including paved and natural trails that are part of the trail system that runs throughout Reston. Restrooms and picnic tables are available as well. Brown’s Chapel can be rented for meetings and small gatherings.

Lake access is available for fishing and hand carried boats. Single family homes, townhouses and condos line most of the shore of Lake Newport but trails weave in and out of the neighborhoods and have plenty of shade on hot days. Also this is a great place to take the family geo-caching.

The area is beautifully wooded and the kids had fun walking trails by the lake and through the wooded neighborhoods. Markers are located along the paths with mileage for each pathway. Numerous maps are available online for the different sections of Reston. The North Point Map highlights the different paths in and near Brown’s Chapel Park.

The park is a great place to take the kids for some exercise or just a leisurely stroll along the trails. Once you’re done you can walk over to the Lake Anne Plaza for something to eat.

Next stop…..Popular Tree Park in Chantilly, VA!

Burke Lake Park in Fairfax Station, VA!

Burke Lake Park in Fairfax Station, VA!

Today we checked out Burke Lake Park located in Fairfax Station, VA. The 888-acre park located in Fairfax County is absolutely gorgeous. The lake is surrounded by many trails that can accommodate walkers, joggers and bike riders. Fishing and boating are allowed on the lake and rowboat rentals are available at the marina.

Address: 7315 Ox Road Fairfax Station, Virginia

The park includes a marina, golf course, driving range, volleyball courts, campgrounds, and play equipment. The kids will enjoy the miniature train that  runs throughout the park. It is a 10 minute ride that winds through the trails around the lake. A carousel, miniature golf and ice cream parlor are great attractions for the kids.

The park is open from dawn to dusk all year round. Park facilities are open on the weekends starting the last week of April. Between Memorial and Labor Day the park facilities will be open 7 days a week with weather permiting.

Today when we had visited the trees hadn’t completely filled out yet. Once the trees are finally filled out the trails will be completely in the shade and a nice walk during the summer months. We will definitely be returning to either camp with kids, ride the train or just a nice walk through nature.

Next trip Hemlock Overlook in Clifton, VA….