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!
Shenandoah National Park is one of my favorite National Parks located in Virginia. My family and I head to Skyline Drive often to see the foliage and any animals that might be walking around. We’ve taken the boys on many hikes throughout the park but are waiting to camp with them until they get a little older. The park has several activities for everyone from active to passive. When we frequent the park we hike one of the many trails throughout the park. But you can also horseback ride, bike, camp, backcountry camp, fish and observe wildlife
The hiking in Shenandoah park includes 500 miles of trail with 100 of them being the Appalachian Trail. There are different skill levels of hiking trails available including the tougher Old Rag Mountain which I hiked about two years ago. This trail is not for young children or pets with its high drop offs and small waterfall crossings. In our last visit we headed out on the Elkwallow Trail which was just off the Elkwallow convenience store, restrooms and small parking lot. It was easy for the little guys and we even found a couple salamanders on our way.
The other activity we love to do in Shenandoah National Park is driving along Skyline Drive to check out the awesome views and assorted wildlife along the drive. We’ve been fortunate enough to see a bear, turkeys and of course of tons of deer. If you’re not into hiking or camping, a drive along Skyline Drive is also a great option to getting close to nature without being in the middle of it. In addition to the Drive there are a couple visitor centers along the way to visit, Dickey Ridge and Harry F. Byrd, Sr. Visitor Center with exhibits and information desk. For food options, check out the several food stops along the Skyline Drive by clicking on this link.
As you can tell my family and I just love Shenandoah National Park. If you’re going to make a day of it you can also check out Luray Caverns which is not that far from the National Park. Luray Caverns is another spot we love to head with the boys with it’s great stalactites and stalagmites. If you’re looking for a fun family outing or just a great hike with friends check out Shenandoah National Park in Luray, VA!