Getting out into the great outdoors can be a fun adventure for the whole family, no matter how big or small the park is. And living in Woodbridge, Virginia, offers kids (and adults!) of all ages some fantastic parks to visit, play at, and stroll around in when the weather is nice. The team members at our daycare Woodbridge VA put together their favorite local parks in and around the Woodbridge area.
Leesylvania State Park
“Kids in the park” licensed under CC BY-20 via Flickr by zherun
Leesylvania State Park offers a little bit of everything that puts the “great” in “great outdoors” in Virginia. This park is located along the Potomac River, and you can spend your time bass fishing, kayaking, boating, hiking, picnicking, or just sitting on the beach.
Bring your own boat, canoe, or kayak, or rent one from the park’s rental facilities. Or, you can go hiking, hit the playground, or get in a workout at the 20+ fitness stations. If you get hungry, grab some grub and refreshments at the snack bar. And before you leave, be sure to check out the visitor center, which features exhibits about the area’s Civil War history and some information on the local wildlife.
Neabsco Regional Park
Neabsco Regional Park is 300 acres of natural areas and historical sites. View the Rippon Lodge Historic site and enjoy the sights and sounds of the surrounding wetlands, where you’ll find blue herons, mallards, sparrows, red-winged blackbirds, and much more amazing wildlife.
This park is also home to the beautiful Neabsco Creek Boardwalk portion of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail. Enjoy the gorgeous waterfront of the Potomac while you walk the 0.75-mile wooden boardwalk over the creek. What’s more, you can even walk to and from Leesylvania Park and enjoy the best of both areas.
River Mill Park
Travel less than 3 miles north to nearby Occoquan to visit River Mill Park. Here you can enjoy plenty of open space, a paved trail, and community activities like concerts and family-friendly festivals. This small, 1-acre park is on the waterfront, providing you and your family amazing views as you play in the grass, have a picnic, or hike the small trails near and over the water. You may even spot a “LOVE” sign, a nod to the “Virginia is for lovers” tagline, where you can take a cute family photo.
Marumsco Acre Lake Park
Marumsco Acre Lake Park, located in Woodbridge, is just a bit larger than a football field, but it offers plenty of awesome amenities for the whole family. Host a picnic at one of the picnic tables, and cook up some fresh food on one of the outdoor grills. Let the kids run around the open space, hit the playground, or shoot some hoops at the basketball courts. You can also just sit and enjoy the lake or even go fishing. This small but mighty park is the perfect spot for a quick change of pace that’s not too far from home at all.
Occoquan Regional Park
Head about 3 miles north to nearby Lorton, Virginia, and visit one of the area’s best parks — Occoquan Regional Park. This is another park with a fantastic waterfront view, but this time, it’s along the Occoquan River. You can even see the little town of Occoquan, too.
At the 400-acre park, you can start your adventure along this area’s stretch of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, take a trip on this portion of the Fairfax Cross-County Trail, or experience part of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. The park also has a 5-mile loop in addition to these notable trails.
Aside from hiking, you and the family can hit the batting cages, play some soccer at the fields, take kayaks or paddleboards out on the river, or enjoy lunch at Brickmaker’s Cafe, the on-site restaurant. If you can, try to get a glimpse inside the Packard Center to check out the 1608 Room, which features an interpretative art piece that depicts John Smith surveying the Chesapeake Bay.
Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge
See some of Virginia’s awesome wildlife up close when you visit the Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. This area features wetlands, marshes, and grasslands which house a diverse collection of birds, insects, and mammals.
Take the 1-mile nature drive to see some of the sites and try to spot the animals, or try some of the 3 miles of hiking trails that take you through the grasslands and up to the water. On either excursion, you can chase butterflies, observe ducks on the water, watch soaring raptors like hawks, catch sight of red fox and deer, and listen for songbirds.
If you or your children are into birding, this park is a great location to spot different kinds of birds, including Canadian geese, wild turkey, mourning doves, ruby-throated hummingbirds, and laughing gulls throughout the various seasons. And if you’re not into birding yet, Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge is the perfect place to get started.
Mason Neck State Park
Visit Mason Neck State Park in nearby Lorton for yet another place that offers a little bit of everything Northern Virginia has to offer. This park features multiple hiking trails, 3 miles of paved multi-use trails that are perfect for young ones or strollers, picnic areas, a playground, and lots of open space for running around. You can also rent a canoe or kayak to take onto the water or even bicycles for the whole family to enjoy the scenic trails. This area is great for birdwatching, too, since it’s a great place to spot the American bald eagle!
In addition to these awesome activities, this park is special because you can sign up for guided canoe tours of nearby Kane’s Creek and Belmont Bay as well as explore the wetlands, forest, and open grasslands, and watch for lots of different wildlife at the local refuge.So there you have it, seven of the best parks in and around the Woodbridge, Virginia, area. Did we miss any of your favorite parks? Let Crème de la Crème of Port Potomac know, and we’ll be sure to add it to our list!