Tysons Woods Park in Vienna, VA!

Tysons Woods Park in Vienna, VA!

Tysons Woods Park in Vienna, VA is a nice park that has all sorts of different play equipment for all ages. There is also a few picnic tables in the wooded area to have a nice picnic lunch or snack. A short paved trail runs through the park to get to the other neighborhoods and also to the W&OD Trail. If you click on the google map address below you can see where the walking paths meet up with the W&OD Trail.

Address: 8425 Overlook St., Vienna, VA 22182

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The playground area has preschool-age equipment with toddler swings surrounded by a fence but no gate. Then there is a large piece of school-age equipment and a couple regular swings. There are a couple neat climbing apparatuses as well. Just down the path you’ll find lots of shade under the canopy of the trees and several picnic tables. There is plenty of shade around and over the play equipment but no restrooms at this park.

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This is a very neat park that has a lot of play equipment for all ages. The shade is an extra bonus as sometimes the Northern Virginia can get quite hot. If you live in Vienna and are looking for a new park, check out Tysons Woods Park!

Thaiss Memorial Park in Fairfax, VA!

Thaiss Memorial Park in Fairfax, VA!

Thaiss Memorial Park is a 10-acre park in the City of Fairfax. The park includes  Little League fields, picnic pavilion, and play equipment. The park is also a point where you can enter the Accotink Stream Valley Trail that is part of the larger Cross County Trail.

Address: 3401 Pickett Road, Fairfax, VA 22031

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Thaiss Memorial Park is mostly a sports park but it does have one piece of play equipment in good shape for the older crowd. A Porta Potty (May-Oct) is available during non sporting times and indoor restrooms are available when Little League games are going on. There is a picnic pavilion to get out of the shade. Check out this City of Fairfax Park!

Scott’s Run Nature Preserve in McLean, VA!

Scott’s Run Nature Preserve in McLean, VA!

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

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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.

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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!

Accotink Stream Valley Trail in Fairfax, VA!

Accotink Stream Valley Trail in Fairfax, VA!

When we were tooling around Fairfax heading toward the different portions of Eakin Community Park we headed out onto the Accotink Stream Valley Trail. This portion of the trail is part of the larger Cross County Trail plan or CCT. The CCT is 40 miles long, running from the Potomac River in Great Falls Park to Occoquan River in the Occoquan Regional Park. There is some great facts about the CCT on the Fairfax County Park Authority website and other Trail Maps around the counties, if you’re curious and want more information click here.

Accotink Strean Valley Trail Map 

This portion of the CCT takes you along the trail from Pickett Road in Fairfax where you can enter the path at Thaiss Memorial Park all the way to Little River Turnpike (Rt 236) ending at Wakefield Park in Annandale.

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AREAS WHERE YOU CAN PARK Address: 3417 Pickett Rd, Fairfax, VA 22031

3400 ProsperityAve, Fairfax, VA 22031

8515 Tobin Rd, Annandale, VA 22003

We picked a nice day to head out on the 4.2-mile trail and just walk in the shade of the trees. The path is paved and flat with several small bridges to cross over. There were tons of people running, biking or just letting the kids run up and down the path. The wooded area along the trail was pretty moist from the past days of rain and we noticed it was kind of buggy in parts. I bet during the spring time or when there is a small breeze the bugs are not an issue. Homes can be seen from the parts of the trail and you do cross over a few roads but there are large crosswalks for pedestrian safety. Along the way are info signs with information regarding the trail or things like a description of poison ivy and why it makes you itch…:)

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There are a couple parks along this portion of trail, Thaiss Memorial Park which has a school aged piece of play equipment and Eakin Community Park which has a playground with slides and swings. There are restrooms at the Thaiss Memorial Park (porta potty) and Eakin Community Park (porta potty) at the Tobin Rd location.

My kids had a fun time running along the path, checking out the creek that runs under the small bridges and of course seeing the deer throughout the trail area. (HINT: There is a deer in this picture, see if you can find it….:) ) One thing I have to mention are the signs along the trail noting that Deer Management for Archery Hunters begins in Sept and runs through February.

Enjoy the outdoors in the middle of the suburbs!

Chapel Acres Park in Springfield, VA!

Chapel Acres Park in Springfield, VA!

Chapel Acres Park in Springfield is a small Fairfax County neighborhood park. Situated on a corner lot, the park has plenty of street parking. The small park has several paved pathways and a basketball court around the equipment, perfect if you want to bring the kids’ bikes or ride on toys.

Address: 7900 Giles St., Springfield, VA 22153

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The playground area has a large piece play equipment and both types of swings. Depending on what part of the day, the park has shade around the equipment to get out of the sun. At the corner of the park is a small drainage creek that was partially full when we were there. The kids had a fun time throwing in sticks and checking out some of the frogs that we were hanging out. I would guess that most of the time this is dry and not much fun…:)

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If you live in the Chapel Acres neighborhood this is a nice park to take the kids to burn off some energy or ride their bikes and scooters around.

Cub Run Stream Valley Park in Centreville, VA!

A follower of NoVA  Outdoors, Suzanne Leonard, wanted to put together her review on a favorite park and trail system. Thank you Suzanne! Cub Run Stream Valley Park in Centreville is mostly a trail park but does have one playground area in all of the 800-acres. Here is a map of the area.

Address: 5501 Sully Park Drive, Centreville, VA 20120 (Look for the trail between Kamputa and Deer Pond Rd)

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So, how do you get to this awesome trail? There is a very hidden, but great access point on Sully Park Drive in Centreville. The public can park for free along Sully Park Drive, which features marked parking lanes along the entirety of the right and left sides of the road. Once parked, look for the very inconspicuous and barely marked trail entry point on Sully Park Drive between Kamputa Drive and Deer Pond Road. The trail immediately dips down a sharp little hill and, after a very short walk bordering housing, you will see the playground and basketball court before entering the truly wooded trail. Keep going until you hit the cement cylinder bridge crossing the stream to start really experiencing the park’s natural wonders.

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So, why venture to this hidden gem? It’s not only large—offering more than 800 acres of preserved natural beauty—but it also offers miles (5 miles north trail and 2.5 miles on the south trail) of paved, family friendly biking/hiking trails and is home to the largest Bluebell flower organism on the East Coast.

The trails are great for running, bike riding, or just taking a leisurely stroll. The park boarder is lined with residential neighborhoods, but once you commit to walking deeper into the trail system, the winding trails are surrounded by forest on both sides. There are many nice sights to see along the trail, including a historic stone bridge and picturesque Cub Run Stream, which in some places you have to cross via “fair weather” stepping stones.

The park’s most attractive sight is only available in April each year when the enormous stand of bluebells blooms for one to three weeks. Heralding in the coming of Spring, at this time of year the trees still all have wintery bare branches making the acres-wide carpet of striking blue bells truly breath taking. It is a great time to bring the family for a bluebell picnic along the stream’s bank and to capture some truly amazing family photos.

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Stick to the Northern side of the park to take in the largest swaths of bluebells in addition to the largest stretches of deep woods trails. There is also a small playground on the Northern side of the park and a basketball court. The playground is great for really little guys, as it is not very high off the ground and has a wide ramp for them to explore.

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Cub Run Stream Valley Park in Centreville, VA is a very large green area in Fairfax County surrounded by many different neighborhoods including Virginia Run, Sully Station and London Towne West. If you live nearby or are just looking for a place to get out into nature, check out Cub Run Stream Valley Park in Centreville, VA.

Springfield Forest Park in Springfield, VA!

Springfield Forest Park in Springfield, VA!

Springfield Forest Park in Springfield, VA is a nice neighborhood park that is situated between the Springfield Forest and Greenwood Neighborhood. You can reach the park from Springfield Forest Neighborhood following the signs pointing you towards the playground. You can also reach the park by parking in the Greenwood Neighborhood in the visitor parking near Dakine Circle.

Address: 6400 Kalmia St., Springfield, VA 22150 (Springfield Forest Entrance)

Address: Simmer Circle, Springfield, VA 22150 (Greenwood Entrance)

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The park includes a large piece of play equipment, a set of swings and a small fenced-in but non gated area with small piece of play equipment. There is plenty of shade around and slightly over the play equipment depending on what time of day it is. There are no restrooms available at this park but there is one unlit tennis court. The equipment is older but still in great shape. There are a few tables and benched around the park to sit down and enjoy a snack or picnic lunch.

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If you live in the Springfield Forest  or the Greenwood neighborhood, this is a nice park to walk to and let the kids burn off some energy!

Collingwood Park in Alexandria, VA!

Collingwood Park in Alexandria, VA!

Collingwood Park in Alexandria, VA has gotten new play equipment.  The park also includes two (2) unlit little league fields, two (2) unlit tennis courts, one (1) unlit basketball court, and two (2) unlit soccer/football fields.

Address: 8200 West Boulevard Dr., Alexandria, VA 22308

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The fenced-in playground area has one medium sized play equipment and both regular and toddler swings. A restroom is available in the form of a porta pottie near the tennis courts and playground. There isn’t much shade around the equipment but there are a few picnic tables by the tennis courts under some trees.

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A very cute park in the Fort Hunt area of Alexandria. If you live in the neighborhood or you’re just looking for a new place to play in Alexandria, check out Collingwood Park.

Springvale Park in Springfield, VA!

Springvale Park in Springfield, VA!

Springvale park in Springfield, VA is located near Old Keene Mill Road and Spring Road intersection. The Springvale neighborhood park includes an two (2) unlit tennis courts and a playground. The almost 9-acre park in Springfield is marked as a location to hike around but I couldn’t find any suitable trials to head out on. There are no restrooms at this park but you are close enough to shopping and restaurants to use a public restroom.

Address: 6508 Spring Rd., Springfield, VA 22150

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The playground has two pieces of play equipment, one for the school-age and one for the preschool crowd. Both types of swings are available but not pictured below. There isn’t any shade over the equipment but there are a few picnic tables and benches under the tree canopy that would get you out of the sun. Plenty of parking in the lot or along the street  as well.

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Also part of this park is an two (2) unlit tennis courts that were  in great shape.

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The Springvale Park is a great neighborhood park that’s a nice asset to have if you live in Springvale or Woodley neighborhoods!

Uplands Rec Area in Reston, VA!

Uplands Rec Area in Reston, VA!

Uplands Rec Area in Reston, VA is part of the Reston Association Community. The Rec Area includes tennis courts, pool with restrooms, basketball court, baseball field and small playground area. The tennis courts, pool and other athletic fields are for residents use only. The small playground is located up the path from the tennis courts. You can either park near the tennis courts or drive around the block and park closer to the small playground.

Address: Ring Road, Reston, VA 20190

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The small playground doesn’t have any shade around but it does have two park benches. The equipment was in good shape and had plenty of mulch around the equipment. Even though it’s a small playground area it would be a nice walk if you lived close by.

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A cute little playground that has enough grass for the kids to burn off some energy and a small piece of equipment to climb and slide on in Reston!