Barcroft Park in Arlington, VA!

Barcroft Park in Arlington, VA!

Our Orthopedist was funny and mentioned Barcroft Park is her kids favorite park because the high rope climbing apparatus. The rope equipment at this park is pretty high but my oldest had a fun time pretending he was on American Ninja Warrior..:) But luckily there is not just the climbing tree to play on. This playground is near the Barcroft Sports and Fitness Center. The 65-acre park includes several sports fields including lit baseball/softball field, batting cage,tennis courts, handball court, drop-in rectangular field, volleball court, lighted basketball court, and horseshoe pit. You can even head down to the stream and try some fishing. Here is a map that kind of shows you where things are located in the park.

Address: 4200 S Four Mile Run Dr ArlingtonVA 22206 

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We only spent time at the one playground area by the parking garage but there are two other small playground areas next to the two different picnic pavilions. We’ll have to end up going back and checking them out on another day. The playground we did check out is located near all the sports fields and has indoor restrooms right next to the area. The area includes a large climbing apparatus that includes two different sizes for the kids to climb on. It was easy for me to get in there and help out when someone needed help coming down or going back up. So the little crowd doesn’t feel left out there is a preschool age slide and steps combo for them to climb on over a compressed rubber flooring. Besides the added bonus of  bathrooms being so close by there is plenty of shade over and around the equipment. Lots of benches, concrete wall and tables for everyone to sit at as well.

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We will definitely head back to this park at a later date to check out the picnic pavilions, other playground areas and fishing spot. My oldest is already begging to go back and climb on the rope trees…..:)

Claude Moore Park in Sterling, VA!

Claude Moore Park in Sterling, VA!

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.

******PAVILION RENTAL INFORMATION******

Address: 21544 Old Vestal’s Gap Rd. Sterling, VA 20164 

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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!

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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!!

 

C.M. Crockett Park in Midland, VA!

C.M. Crockett Park in Midland, VA!

C.M. Crockett Park in Midland, VA is so big we had to visit the park a couple times before we did everything. My boys loved this park because they could play on the equipment, hike around and fish all in one trip. The park sits nestled up against Germantown Lake, the 109-acre lake is an old flooded quarry from times past when German settlers arrived in the area.

Address: 10066 Rogues Road Midland, VA 22728 

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******ALL RENTAL INFO FOR PAVILIONS OR BOATS PLEASE CLICK HERE******

The park has so much you can do it’s hard to know where to start. When you pull into the parking lot you’ll notice two different paths on each side of the parking lot. Near the entrance to one path are picnic carts that you can use to take your items to the picnic pavilions, playground area, boat dock, boat rental, snack shack, horseshoe pits and sand volleyball court. Such a neat idea! This portion of the park has a pebble/old asphalt trail around the entire picnic area. At the entrance to the trail you’ll find a map that shows you where everything is located. At the snack shack you can rent a canoe, jonboat with or without motor, kayak, or paddle boat. Life preservers are available for rental as well but each rental comes with two vests. If you want to bring your own boat there is a launch ramp available. Remember anyone 16 years or older needs to have a fishing license. You can easily obtain one at www.dgif.virginia.gov/licenses/  and keep it on your person.

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The park has 4 picnic shelters, an amphitheater and tent available for rent. Around the picnic area you’ll find a ton of picnic tables with charcoal grills along the water or just in the large grassy area. Indoor restrooms are available in this portion of the park and were very clean when we were there. Nature trail paths can be reached from the pebble/old asphalt trail with signs pointing you in the right direction. The playground area has two sets of play equipment, both school-aged and preschool age. Both types of swings are available. There isn’t any shade over the play equipment but there are plenty of shelters you can use to get them out of the sun. When we were there they were repairing the smaller play equipment but all the equipment was in good shape. There were other peoples children on the equipment so pardon the picture from a far. I don’t like to infringe on other peoples children…:)

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The part of the park my kids loved was the lake of course. There are some good spots for the kids to fish and not fall in which in my case is a bonus with two boys under the age of 5….:) Near the entrance to the picnic area you would head down the path to the left to find the dock and snack shack. Here you can rent equipment for fishing, volleyball, horseshoes, croquet and or rent a boat with life preservers. For Hours of Operation please click here.

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On one of are other days at the park we decided head towards the dam side of the lake for some hiking . If you follow the path near the boat launching ramp you’ll pass the maintenance shed and ranger home. In this part of the park you’ll find the rope course which no longer has a provider or third party running the course. Porta Potties can be located near the edge of the trees for public use. We didn’t make it all the way around the lake but we still had a nice hike around and the kids got to see a few deer and lots of birds. There were also tons of caches in the park if you’re into geocaching. If you’re into orienteering you can obtain the maps and information for the beginner and advances courses at the office.

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In the front portion of this park you’ll find the Sanctuary: Commerative Grove. Here donated plants or trees can be planted to commemorate a person or special event amongst  a grove of native trees. For more information call (540) 788-4867.

Fauquier County really does have some beautiful parks. Even if you don’t live in the area I would pack a lunch and head out to C.M. Crockett Park in Midland, VA!

Sky Meadows State Park in Delaplane, VA!

Sky Meadows State Park in Delaplane, VA!

This past weekend my husband and I were out in Fauquier County and stopped by Sky Meadows State Park for some hiking. It was a bit chilly but once we got started we warmed right up. The State Park has a daily parking fee and for other fees click here. This 1,864-acre park has historic Mount Bleak Home which gives visitors a glimpse of a middle class farm family living in the 1860’s. Park nature programs are available from Spring to Fall. The park offers beautiful equestrian and hiking trails and a trialhead to the Appalachian Trail.

Address: 11012 Edmonds Lane  Delaplane, Virginia 20144

The hubby and I had a great time hitting the trails and checking out the Mount Bleak House. We did do a little bit of geo-caching before we got too cold. If you’re hitting the trails for the day you can just pay a small parking fee. But if you’re looking for a longer stay they do offer camp sites. If you’re into fishing, Turner Pond is also available for for fishing as long as you have a fishing license.

Sky Meadows State Park is a beautiful park and if you love to be outside in nature it’s a great place to the take the family!

Algonkian Regional Park in Sterling,VA!

Algonkian Regional Park in Sterling,VA!

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.

Address: 47001 Fairway Drive Sterling, VA 20165

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.

We always have a fun time at this park and if you live in the Sterling Area you should check it out. The closest communities are Cascades, Lowes Island-Cascades, and Countryside.

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!

Lyndora Park in Ashburn, VA!

Lyndora Park in Ashburn, VA!

Lyndora Park is located in Ashburn, VA in a planned community called Loudoun Valley. The Loudoun County community park backs up to open natural space and as you drive to the park you pass large single-family homes. Loudoun Valley was developed by Toll Brothers and the park was designed by them as well. The park is located right next door to the community club house and pool on Lucketts Bridge Road.

The park can be accessed either by Route 28, Route 50 and or Route 267 Dulles Toll Road. The park has a small fenced in tot lot, very well maintained baseball and soccer field. Two Porta Potties were available for restrooms. The best part of the park was the large pond. The pond has a walk out so you can see the geese, turtles and fish swimming in the pond. The pond is also catch and release and many residents were fishing when we checked it out.

Cute little park! The equipment was in great condition but lacked shade. The gnats were pretty bad in the grassy areas but at the tot lot they seemed to be okay. All the natural trees were nice to see in such a newer planned community.

Next stop……Brown’s Chapel Park in Reston, 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….