Claude Moore Park in Sterling,VA has many things you can do at the 357-acre park. There are two entrances to the park including the northern natural hiking and picnicking entrance and the southern Sportsplex and Rec Center entrance. The Rec Center has a great indoor fun pool with a slide and play area. Adult fitness area, competition pool, basketball courts, rock climbing wall, indoor track, classes and camps. You can also find the Heritage Farm Museum when you drive past the Rec Center. The Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum has great kids area where they can pretend to milk a cow, run a general store, and ride race horses.
We were more interested in the hiking and fishing portion of the park. We were also looking for new geocaches to find with the kids. There is a cute visitor center with different types of fish and amphibians for them to look at in the Discovery Room. Also there are clean indoor restrooms inside the visitor center. Outside you’ll find 11-miles of hiking trails, Lanesville Historic District buildings, 2-fishing ponds, picnic shelters and plenty of park benches and tables. We headed out onto the white trail loop then walked by the ponds, Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum then finished up on the green trail back to the car. You can pick up a trail map at the Visitor Center!
The trails are definitely true nature trails so strollers and wagons are a no go but a good backpack carrier would work well for the little ones. The fishing ponds have nice platforms to sit at or you can fish along the shoreline of both ponds. Remember to have your VA fishing License handy because I watched the park authority check a few people while we were there. Have fun walking the trails and fishing at Claude Moore Park!!
Algonkian Regional Park is one of our favorite parks. In the past we have used the park for family reunions, Moms group play dates and just hanging out watching the many deer that live in the park. The park sits right on the Potomac River and has a lot to offer everyone from the casual walker to the sports enthusiast.
The park includes paved walking trails and dirt hiking trails. Our favorite hiking trail is the White Trail near the Volcano Island Waterpark. It travels in a U-shape and never gets near the water. This is perfect for the little ones to walk along as it is flat and there are several bridges going over the small wet areas. A stroller or wagon would have a hard time as sometimes a tree falls across the path. The Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail also runs through the park and is denoted by the green squares on the trees. If you’re into geocaching this is a perfect place to find a few of the hidden caches. If you want a more casual walk you can park at the Potomack Lakes Sportsplex and walk the paved trail through the golf course into the park. A public golf course is also part of the park and open when the weather is nice. It’s not uncommon for the deer just to be hanging out around the fairways and tee boxes.
If you’re a water enthusiast, there are plenty of benches and picnic shelters along the river to watch the water. There is also a boat launching ramp for fishing boats, kayaks, jet skis and canoes. The park authority also offers storage space for RVs and watercraft for a fee. If the river isn’t quite your pace, you should check out Volcano Island Waterpark. The waterpark offers zero entry areas for the little ones and larger waterslides for the older kids who can swim. You can also find the miniature golf course near the waterpark.
The park does have a small playground near one of the four picnic shelters. Indoor restrooms are located by the playground as well as porta potties near the boat launch area and soccer field. Picnic Shelters can be reserved for a fee. Each shelter has a grill and picnic tables.
This weekend we checked out The Greene Turtle Sports Bar & Grille located next the Dulles Town Center Mall in Sterling, VA! We had heard some great things about the restaurant especially that kids meals are free with every purchase of an adult burger, sandwich, or entree.
The restaurant was very kid friendly. The booth seating had a personal TV at each table that allowed you to change the channel to whatever you wanted to watch plus you could turn it off once your meal arrived. The waitress also offered to bring the children’s food out early as the kids were starving from walking around the mall. One little tidbit that I thought was neat was they had triangle shape crayons! No need to chase crayons under the table they don’t roll away. It’s the little things in the life! They offered a good variety of healthy foods for the kids including apple wedges with every meal. The restrooms were very clean and even though the place was busy our food got to us in a good time.
One thing we did read is that the free kids meals are 7 days a week all day long but only at this location. I can’t speak for other Greene Turtles but the Kids Eat Free offer is only good at this location. If you ever get stuck with hungry kids and you want cheap and healthy alternative to home cooking check out The Greene Turtle!
The tot drop-in is open on Mondays, Wednesday and Friday from 9:30-11:30 a.m. The drop in is for children 5 and under and free. The cost for adults is $2.50 and you can also purchase a Drop-In activities Card so you won’t have to worry about bringing cash with you. If the mornings aren’t good for you they do offer an afternoon Tot-Drop In on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m.
My kids always have a great time going especially when their friends join us! It’s a clean and safe environment for both kids and parents. This is just the start of the indoor reviews I will be doing over the winter months. If you have any favorite places feel free to share and I will go and review each venue.
My family and I are always looking for nice nature trails that the kids can manuever through without difficulty. One that I frequent with friends and family is White Trail in Algonkian Regional Park in Sterling, VA!
The head of this Loudoun County trail is located near the entrance to Volcano Island and situated right next to RV/Boat Storage lot. The trail takes you through the woods and never gets you close to the river so you won’t have to worry about the little ones falling in. It actually ends up on the other side of Volcano Island so if you park in the lot you won’t trek far to get back to your car. The trail is maybe a half mile and very flat with resting benches in a couple areas. The trail is clearly visible but every once in awhile after a storm a downed tree will block the trail. The park authority is really good about clearing the larger trees off the trail. In the areas where the ground can get a little swampy they have placed bridges to ease in crossing over. No bikes are allowed on the trail only walkers and joggers. I would say you could take a wagon through here but I would recommend a backpack for the smallers kids due to the down trees that are sometimes across the path.
Great little trail for the kids to get out on and get close to nature we almost always see deer out in the woods. If you’re a geo-cacher this trail has lots of hidden caches to be found!
We are very lucky to live close by the Potomack Lakes Sportsplex in Sterling, VA. This Loudoun County park is near the entrance to Algonkian Regional Park off of Cascades Parkway. Most people know the park as the “Algonkian Park” due to its proximity to Algonkian Regional Park. Communites near the park are Cascades, Countryside and Lowes Island with many single family homes, townhomes and condos.
The Potomack Lakes Sportsplex includes 4 lighted softball fields, 6 soccer fields and a large playground with picnic pavilion. Clean restrooms are available both by the softball fields and soccer fields. The playground is huge and has 4 large pieces of age appropriate equipment with two sets of swing sets. It is surrounded by large trees that allow the kids to step out of the sun and into the shade. Many benches and picnic tables are available to rest or have a picnic lunch.
If you are a hiker or bike rider you can find a path heading east away from the playground. A portion of this path is the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail and also part of the Cascades Community pathways. Painted green squares on the trees let you know when you pick up the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail. It’s possible to hike about 12 miles all the way to Difficult Run in Great Falls, VA. Also if you like to geo-cache this trail is a great place to find many hidden caches.
The Potomack Lakes Sportsplex is great if you’re into sports and if you enjoy a huge park with lots of equipment. This playground is one of the best in the area!
We are frequent visitors of the Claude Moore Community Center in Sterling, VA! Claude Moore Community Center offers a gym, basketball courts, elevated jogging track, drop-in child care, rock wall, classes, indoor competitive lap pool, and leisure pool. During the winter time they open the indoor basketball courts to little ones and give them balls to run around the gym and play.
They have an awesome zero entry pool with a jungle gym in the middle of the pool for the younger kids. Claude Moore also offers an indoor three story water slide, lazy river and whirlpool. This facility has similiar features as Cub Run RECenter in Chantilly and the Freedom Fitness and Aquatic Center in Manassas.
The pool is fully staffed with trained lifeguards and swim instructors if you choose to join a swim class. The pools also offer life vests for the kids to rent if needed. Locker Rooms are available including a family locker room with showers. A fee schedule is posted on their website with certain packages available based on your needs.
My kids love this pool and I know when I take them here they are safe and the locker rooms are clean.
Last week we visited Sterling Community Center Park in Sterling, VA. This Loudoun County park has lots of shade and is even fenced in right next to the Sterling Library. It is also placed right next door to a firehouse and the kids can see the firetrucks coming and going at any part of the day.
A large shaded pavilion is also located inside the fence for a picnic lunch or snack. Besides the equipment pictured above. They have a ramp system with lots of slides and games for the kids to play. There no swings but they do have a small rock wall for the kids to climb on. If the kids get tired of the playground they can always go and hit up the library for story times when they are scheduled. There are no outdoor restrooms but you can always use the library restroom.
This is a nice park in the older part of Sterling but one that we will hit up especially on the hot days!
This little relatively unknown park is near Dulles Town Center off of Dulles Center Blvd in Sterling, VA. Hadley’s Park offers accessibility to disabled children with large ramps that are wheelchair accessible. The theme of the park is Main Street USA with store fronts for the kids to play pretend.
The playground floor is made of compressed rubber and makes for easier falls. There isn’t a lot of shade except around the benches and under the equipment. But overall this is a cute park and the kids have a blast chasing each other along the ramps.
Horsepen Run in Sterling, VA is located in the planned community of Countryside. The Countryside community in Loudoun County was completed in 1991 and consists of Manor Homes, Single Family Homes, Townhouses and Condos. Horsepen Run is 370-acres of undeveloped land that was donated by the developer of the Countryside community. Now Horsepen Run is a protected wetland preserve that has several different trails with the main trail leading to the Potomac River.
Horsepen Run can be accessed from the Parkway Pool parking lot off Algonkian Parkway. Along the main gravel trail you’ll find plenty of shade and a few benches on your way to the Potomac. A small creek runs the length of the trail and eventually runs out into the Potomac inlet. Smaller trails like the Bobcat, Deer and Eagle Trails allow you to walk further into the woods off of the main trail. A stroller or wagon can be taken down the main trail with a little effort. The trials are a great place to walk, jog or bike. There are a few geo-caches in the area as well. Once you have reached the Potomac there 6 picnic benches to enjoy a snack or lunch.
The kids always have a great time walking through Horsepen Run. We always spot a turtle or some other type of wildlife. Plus we can’t beat having a nice natural walking area so close to our home in the Countryside community. In the future Horsepen Run may be part of Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail System.