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!!
E.C. Lawrence Park in Chantilly, VA is split right down the middle by Route 28. One half of the park is the active park where you can find baseball, little league, soccer and synthetic turf fields. There is also basketball courts and two large playground pieces in the active portion of the park. The largest portion of the 667-acre park is natural and includes historical structures, Walney Visitor Center, tons of natural hiking trails, pond with boardwalk, plenty of picnic tables, Cabell’s Mill and Middlegate Historical propeties. To learn more about the park and the rich history follow this link, History of E.C. Lawrence Park.
The active portion of the park is where you’ll find the play equipment. The equipment is for the school aged crowd but there a few small slides for the little ones. There isn’t any shade around the equipment so on a hot day you wouldn’t last very long. The restrooms on this side of the park are porta potties and when we were there they had just been cleaned and restocked.
We visit the natural portion of the park all the time. It has some great trails for all ages. Below you’ll find a picture of the trail map so you can map out your hike. A stroller or wagon couldn’t make through all the trails but a backpack would be perfect since the terrain isn’t too terribly tough. We normally park at the Walney Visitor Center to check out the small nature center then walk the trails to the pond. You can also park at the pond and walk in the reverse direction. At the visitor center you can see plenty of reptiles and amphibians to look at along with other historical information. Also inside is a clean restroom that can be accessed when the Visitor Center is open. Around the visitor center you’ll find different structures that made up the Walney Farm. We visited the old dairy storage room and told the boys about how they had to store items that would spoil underground where it was cool and food would spoil slower. Next to the visitor center there is also an old smokehouse where they have artificial meat hanging showing how they would take care of meat. The garden is also nearby where the park authority plants vegetables and fruit during the growing season.
The E.C. Lawrence Park is one of our favorites. If you enjoy hiking or just looking for a new playground check out this great Fairfax County Park!!