Bren Mar Park is a 26-acre park in Alexandria, VA. The park has a large piece of play equipment, unscheduled baseball diamond, small picnic pavilion and a natural trail system. The master plan of the park has changed and as of 2011 the baseball diamond is going to be changed into a dog park. The funds are not yet available for the change but once funds are allocated the change will be made.
The park offers an older large piece of play equipment and few ride on pieces. There is some shade around the equipment but no restrooms at this park. The picnic pavilion is small and little weathered but does give some shade. We did hit the small amount of trails and the kids had a good time on the natural surface. Strollers could make it but it would a bumpy ride. Once the dog park finally gets installed, the trails would be a perfect spot to jog/walk with a dog.
Bren Mar is definitely an older park and needs a little bit more mulch and some TLC. The kids still had a great time on the equipment and heading out on the trails. If you live in the Edsall area of Alexandria this little park would be a place to stop and play.
Today was an awesome day to head out to the park so we headed over to Trailside Park in Herndon, VA. Trailside Park like its counterpart in Ashburn is located along the W&OD Trail and near the Herndon Centennial Golf Course in the Town of Herndon. The park includes picnic shelter, skate park and playground area.
The playground area had plenty of shade even without the leaves being on the trees yet. There is one piece of school-aged play equipment, a ride on car, and balance beam. There are plenty of picnic benches and tables available in the shade in addition to the picnic shelter. The skate park feature was fun for the boys to play in and when the teenagers arrived they were really excited to watch them skate. I was super impressed with the teenagers that were there. They made a point not to smoke or use foul language around the boys and when the boys asked them to do tricks they were more than happy to accommodate them. Kudos to their parents for raising great kids! In addition to the skate park and playground area there is a sand volleyball court. Restrooms are available in the form of porta potties in the parking lot and when we were there they were pretty clean.
We had a great time at this park and will be hitting it up again when we’re in the Herndon area. The availability of the W&OD trail right next to the park is pretty awesome if you like to walk to an area park. If you live in the Town of Herndon and are looking for a new park to checkout try Trailside Park.
The Turner Farm is located in Great Falls, VA in Fairfax County. The 52-acre park was formerly a dairy farm and the land was saved from development in 1994. The park is very unique with the old Dairy Barn on the property and an Observatory that is run by The Analemma Society. This non-profit organization has an agreement with the Park Authority to offer recreational astronomy programs. During clear Friday nights the Observatory Park is open during the evening to view the stars, check this website for hours and details. The other activity at the park that most people use Turner Farm for is the equestrian facilities. The park offers 40-acres of open fields for riding, a cross country course, a round pen, stadium jumps and dressage markers in the outdoor arena. The nature trails are also used by avid hikers including my family when we’re just looking for a nice walk.
In addition to the equestrian facilities and Observatory, there is a small playground area with a small piece of play equipment. The equipment is located near the trailhead at the back of the parking lot. There is no shade near or over the equipment but there is a brand new gazebo picnic shelter to get out of the sun. There are porta potties in the parking lot for everyone to use.
What’s nice about the park is that it was saved by people who love being in nature just as much as I do. Further plans for the park are jogging/walking trails and observation areas. The boys and I have yet to check out the Observatory on Friday nights but I’m hoping we get some free time next year to check it out. If you’ve ever wondered about the park and live in the Great Falls area you should check out The Turner Farm.
NOTE: Just a little friendly advice about the park, if you see horses in the parking lot please try to drive slow around them and if you can avoid driving by them it would help keep the horses from being spooked and hurting themselves. A lot of times they are tied to trailers getting ready to go riding or just cooling down after a ride.