Scott’s Run Nature Preserve in McLean, VA is a family favorite for us. It has a very interesting history going back to the 60’s. Once the owners and citizens around the tract of land learned it was going to be developed into 309 homes they stepped up to stop and building. In the end the land became property of the U.S. Department of the Interior which then handed it off to Fairfax County Park Authority. For a more detailed history of the Preserve, click here.
There are two entrances to the park, the west entrance is much larger but the east entrance is right off of 495.
Address: 7400 Georgetown Park, McLean, VA
Today we parked at the East Parking Lot and walked along the trail until we hit the River Trail entrance near the West Parking Lot. The Nature Preserve river trail has several water crossings that have cement blocks to walk across if the water is high. Families who hike the trails would need to have backpack carriers or little ones that can walk on their own. There is a pretty steep incline and decline to the Potomac River but if the younger crowd just wants to see the creek and rock areas there are plenty of areas that are flat for them to hike on. My boys who are 4 and 5 got a little tired towards the end but we walked a pretty good distance and I swear they ran up the steep incline both coming and going. The Potomac Heritage Scenic Trail runs through the reserve. The hiking areas are really pretty in the Spring time with the natural flowers that bloom throughout the Preserve. Fall Time is even prettier when the leaves change. One thing you need to look out for is that water naturally runs through the preserve through a creek and you cross at several spots. When water is high it could be dangerous to cross so just pay attention when you head out to the preserve.
If you’re into geocaching there are plenty of caches for you to find. When we were there a couple families were hunting for caches along the trail. A very lovely hike and if you make it all the way to Potomac River there is a small waterfall and riverbank to checkout. If you love hiking or just strolling through the woods this is an awesome place to take friends and family!