Over the summer we went hiking in one of my favorite spots in Mclean, Difficult Run Stream Valley Park. Along Georgetown Pike not far from Great Falls National Park you’ll find a small parking lot. This parking lot is used for the Difficult Run Stream Valley Park. The Difficult Run Trail is part of the Cross County Trail and the last section that leads across Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax.
The trail heads along Difficult Run and has plenty of smaller trails that you walk along. The main Difficult Run Trail runs along the water way and is a large trail that would be rough with a jogging stroller so a backpack or little legs are the best way to get along. The views depending on the water level are very pretty. The day we went the water level was low and you could see lots of rocks.
The day we went we walked along the Difficult Run Trail which leads you under Georgetown Pike and into the Great Falls Park if you take the right trails. We headed along the Ridge Trail to the Old Carriage Trail. The best part of all this hiking is the signage and maps along the way. On the Ridge Trail you can find Equestrian turn outs where you can pen up your horses for a break. While we were hiking we passed several park rangers on bike and foot. If you are a geocacher there were plenty of caches to find along the way.
This hiking spot is great for a casual stroll and or a rigorous workout. There were plenty of folks running and biking through the trails. Check it out when the weather is nice!
Have you tried out the metro Silver Line yet? You can get directly on the metro from The Plaza! We visited The Plaza over the summer, but I wanted to take the boys again and take some more photos because the day we went it was over crowded and hard to get good quality photographs.
( located on the 2nd Floor near the escalators leading up to AMC Theatre and Food Court)
The Plaza connects directly to the NEW Silver Line Metro Station and is elevated 32 feet in the air. There is a fun playground area, game programming center, Kids Club and lots of events. Some of the events held are concerts, movies on the green and other seasonal activities!
The playground area is called COX Discovery Cove. This is a gated in playground. The playground is built like a ship and the ground is a rubber surface. The playground itself is made up of a few different running inclines and declines with steering wheels and telescopes. There is also a separate toddler play zone. There are several benches and tables near the play area where the parents can keep an eye on their little ones. There is a game programming center as well. These are great outdoor fun games, such as tabletop tennis, corn hole and chess. When we were there, there were a few friendly competitions going on and the boys loved seeing all the cheering and excitement going on. The Plaza also offers a Tysons Corner Center National Geographic Kids Club that is an excellent way to get your children to have fun, all while learning. These activities alternate the first Tuesday and Saturday of each month. The current BIG event going on at The Plaza is their ice skating rink (list what event is). There are several FREE events held weekly and seasonally. Also, just something to look forward to, every Friday over the spring-summer they hold a FREE summer concert and Saturdays there are also Movie Night on the Green, free of charge; so be sure to check their website.
Relaxation? Why not! With Spring (hopefully rapidly approaching), enjoy the ambiance at The Plaza’s comfortable seating and fire pits. There is lots of seating all around The Plaza. During the warm months, there is a little water stream through the stone bench seating area with a few fountains as well.
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.
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!
Kirby park would be a scenic park to visit during any season with all the beautiful trees surrounding. Located right off of Westmoreland Drive and Kirby Road, this park has a walking path and takes you to the McLean Little League baseball field complex. Although there isn’t a parking lot and the parking is along the street, as you enter Kirby Park you cross a little bridge as you enter.
The address where the Fairfax County park site takes you is at the end of a cul-de-sac in a Mclean neighborhood. Just park your car at the entrance and head out on the dirt hiking trail. The small tot lot area is not far down the trail in the shade of trees.
The playground area didn’t keep the kids occupied too long so we headed out on the trails and looked for a few geocaches while we were at the park. If you live in the neighborhood and like a nice flat nature walk with the kids this the park to check out!
Churchill Road Park in Mclean, VA is a small park located next to Churchill Road Elementary School. The 12-acre park includes a small amphitheater, swing set and a few hiking trails. During the school year after 3 p.m. and from dawn till dusk during the summer months the playground at the elementary school is available. The school playground has several slides, climbing apparatuses and swings.
This park really does not have much to offer unless you just want a large grassy area for your kiddos to run around on. The swings that are available are both regular and toddler swings. There is a small ride on horse for the little ones to hop on but other than that’s it for this park.
If you live in the Langley Manor neighborhood or in the Mclean area check out the Churchill Road Park!
A couple weeks ago we were out in Mclean so we decided to check out a few of the Fairfax County parks. We hit up Linway Terrace Park which offers lit tennis courts, turf sports field, jogging track, baseball field, basketball courts and playground.
The kiddos had a great time at the playground then they took off to play on turf field kicking their soccer ball around. The playground area is tiered so if you had one kid on the playground and one kid on the swings you can’t really see both areas at the same time. There is a large bush in between the two spots which it makes it hard to see both. There is one large piece of play equipment which is in complete shade even during the winter months. One thing about the equipment that I thought was odd was one section of the play equipment has a ramp. As the children step up to enter the ramp it gets narrow and my son wacked his knee on the corner of the handrail several times. He did enjoy the balance platform they have at the park. One nice bonus besides the extensive shade is the year around porta potty located near the tennis courts.
This is a nice park in the Potomac Hills area of Mclean. The jogging track is a nice feature and I saw several people utilizing it while we were at the park. The shade around the playground area is really nice especially during the hot summers.
The weather has been fabulous lately and we couldn’t resist hitting up a new park while my mom was visiting from California. McLean Central Park was our first stop. The Fairfax County Public Library, Dolley Madison Branch is located on the property and the best way to reach the playground is to park near the library.
This 25-acre park has a basketball court, lit tennis courts, disc golf course, walking/hiking trails, and playground. There is also a Gazebo available for rent near the tot lot. The tot lot is filled with very brightly colored play equipment and both types of swings. The play equipment is more for the younger crowd with the small slides and crawl on toys. The play area is completely in the shade and restrooms are available down the trail in the library.
We had a great time at the park especially my oldest because of the train play equipment. If you have little ones this is the park to go in the McLean Area!
Yesterday the kids and I checked out several parks in Mclean, VA. Falstaff Park located in the Mclean Hamlet single-family home nieghborhood was very nice. It had lots of shade of and nice play equipment.
The park includes a small picnic gazebo, picnic tables and benches. The play equipment in the park was in great shape with one large and small piece of equipment, both types of swings, and fun motor development equipment. Sadly there are no restrooms at the park but there are hiking trails.
This was a great park if you live in Fairfax County or the Mclean area you should check it out!
The park area includes RECenter, astroturf soccer/football fields, baseball fields, walking trails and fenced in playground. The playground is in great shape with a large piece of equipment for the larger kids and toddler size slide for the younger crowd. Both regular and toddler swings are in the area along with picnic benches. The area also has smaller picnic benches for the kids to sit at under the shade of a tree. Restrooms are located inside the RECenter and also porta potties at each individual field.
This is a cute playground great for bringing a picnic lunch or snack. If you live in the area of Spring Hill Road in Mclean you should check it out!