Ashburn, Virginia, is a beautiful city with equally beautiful parks and preserves. If you’re looking for an outdoor activity you and the whole family can enjoy, there are a number of locales with various amenities and features to take advantage of. Parks give you the opportunity to get fresh air, enjoy wildlife, participate in recreational activities, and bond with family. It’s hard to say no to that winning formula! Whether you’re looking for something to do for the day or the whole weekend, check out some of these parks we’ve highlighted below.
Have Fun at the Water Park at Algonkian Regional Park
The Algonkian Regional Park offers 838 acres of outdoor adventure with both paved and natural surface hiking trails in Sterling, Virginia. This park is situated on the Potomac River and offers an array of activities for a day trip or weekend getaway with your family.
What makes this park special is its versatility; there are beautiful wooded areas and open fields, cottages, and more. The par-72 golf course offers a beautiful field with a putting green, driving range, full-service pro-shop, and the Algonkian Grill. Looking to stay at the park? Book one of the beautiful riverfront vacation cottages and make use of amenities like miniature golf, picnic tables, and boat and RV storage and ramps. And don’t forget about Volcano Island, the water park that sits within Algonkian. It’s got a pool, slides, and more to keep your family cool during summer.
Experience “Virginia’s Rollercoaster” at Appalachian Trail
Image via Flickr by watts__photos
The Appalachian Trail is one of the most expansive trails, stretching over 2,000 miles from Georgia to Maine. Virginia has more mileage of the Appalachian Trail than any other state. The Appalachian Trail enters Virginia right in Loudon County. One of Virginia’s most popular trails, its winding paths led to the nickname “Virginia’s Rollercoaster.” The trail has areas for all skill levels, so it’s a great place to take your kids for a fun day out.
Bring Your Canoe to Elizabeth Mills Riverfront Park
The Elizabeth Mills Riverfront Park includes 122 acres of parkland, leading to bodies of water like the Potomac River and Goose Creek. The best way to access them is the Kephart Bridge Landing, which is a landing on the park for non-motorized boats to dock. Elizabeth Mills is located in Lansdowne, right near Leesburg, Virginia. The park is also home to the historic Elizabeth Mills canal lock system and contains a section of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail. This trail is rich in history, scenery, and wildlife, so it’s a trek you don’t want to miss.
See the Wildlife at Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve
The Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve is special for numerous reasons. The preserve is 725 acres with over 20 miles of trails among the rolling hills of Goose Creek in Leesburg, Virginia. The preserve is also pesticide-free, allowing numerous types of wildlife to flourish. There are various habitats that are home to different types of plants and animals along the trails. And here’s a fun fact to share with the kiddos: In 2016, goats from Willowsford Farm were guided through the preserve to manage unwanted vegetation by eating it.
Experience Amazing Views at Red Rock Wilderness Overlook Regional Park
Get winding trails and amazing views at Red Rock Wilderness Overlook Regional Park in Leesburg, Virginia. The loop is about 1.2 miles long and leads you past several historic buildings and varieties of native plants and wildlife. There are informational signs outside the ruins to give you some more information on the history of the buildings, like the Restored Ice House. Once you get to the overlook, the views overlooking the Potomac Mills and distant foothills are stunning. The park is tucked away, allowing you and your family to get away from the hustle and bustle and enjoy the peace and quiet. Another fun fact: Red Rock was the site of the Balls Bluff Battlefield during the Civil War in 1861.
Register for a Nature Program at Rust Sanctuary
Rust Sanctuary is another preserve with unspoiled woodland and meadows in Leesburg, Virginia. The sanctuary covers 68 acres with a number of trails. It’s open from dusk until dawn for walking and hiking. Rust Manor House also sits on the land and includes a beautiful garden with majestic, historic trees for you to explore and appreciate. Rust Manor is available to book for weddings and other big events. A unique thing about Rust Sanctuary is that they have nature programs for you and the kids. Register for the Fresh Air Kids Nature Program or some of the other courses to learn more about local ecosystems, flora, and fauna.
Ride Your Horse Along Washington and Old Dominion
Washington and Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park is a popular trail running from Shirlington to Purcellville, including Ashburn. It’s also known as Virginia’s skinniest park for its peculiar long, thin shape. The path is paved, allowing for easy walking and biking for you and the family. Horse lovers can also ride their horses along the long, 32-mile pathway. The trail runs through urban areas and Virginia countryside so you get the best of both worlds when you visit. Even if you’re just walking, be sure to keep an eye out for equestrians on their horses; your kids will love seeing the exotic method of transportation.
Experience History at White’s Ford Regional Park
This historic regional park covers an astounding 295 acres along the Potomac River in Leesburg, Virginia. You can canoe and kayak along the Potomac or hike along the trails of this beautiful piece of land. You can even throw a line out and spend a relaxing day fishing on the river. Walking is much easier since a boardwalk winds around certain parts of the park.
At Crème de la Crème of Port Potomac, VA., we know the importance of getting outdoors time with your little ones, which is why we offer a number of recreational programs that are equal parts fun and learning. Is there a park in the area that we may have missed that you think should have made the list? Be sure to let us know.