Aerial photo of forest near body of water during daytime

The Best Local Hikes in Northern Virginia in the Fall

The fall is a beautiful time to hike in Northern Virginia. The leaves change color, the air is crisp, and the crowds are smaller. Here are a few of the best local hikes to enjoy the fall foliage:

Great Falls Park

Great Falls Park (difficulty: moderate, length: 4 miles): This park is located on the Potomac River and offers stunning views of the falls. The Mather Gorge Trail is the most popular trail in the park, but there are also several other trails to choose from, ranging from easy to challenging. The hike to the bottom of the falls is a steep one, but the views are worth it. There are also several other trails in the park that offer different perspectives of the falls.

This overlook is the last place that the Falls can be viewed.

Sky Meadows State Park

Sky Meadows State Park (difficulty: easy to moderate, length: 4 miles): This park is located in the Piedmont region of Virginia and offers rolling hills, open meadows, and forests. The Piedmont Overlook Trail is a great option for families, as it is mostly flat and easy to walk. The trail winds through a variety of habitats, including meadows, forests, and streams. There are also several overlooks that offer stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

An image of two people walking down the trail

Burke Lake Park

Burke Lake Park (difficulty: easy, length: 5 miles): This park is located in Fairfax County and has a 5-mile trail that circles the lake. The trail is mostly flat and easy to walk, making it a good option for families. There are also several places to stop and enjoy the views of the lake, including a boathouse, a marina, and a swimming beach.

Green trees beside lake under cloudy sky during daytime

Seneca Park

Seneca Park (difficulty: easy to moderate, length: 2 miles): This park is located in the Town of Vienna and has a variety of trails, including the Potomac Heritage Trail, which follows the Potomac River. There is also a small waterfall and a scenic overlook. The Potomac Heritage Trail is a great option for a longer hike, as it continues for several miles along the river. The waterfall and scenic overlook are also worth a visit.

Woodland Trails in Seneca Park

Scotts Run Nature Preserve

Scotts Run Nature Preserve (difficulty: easy to moderate, length: 3 miles): This park is located in McLean and has several trails that wind through forests and meadows. There is also a waterfall and a swimming hole. The trails in this park are all relatively short, but they offer a variety of scenery. The waterfall and swimming hole are also popular attractions.

A stream running through a forest filled with lots of rocks

These are just a few of the many great hikes in Northern Virginia. No matter what your experience level or interests, you’re sure to find a hike that you’ll enjoy.

Here are some additional tips for planning your fall hike:

Check the park website for trail conditions and closures.

Wear sturdy hiking shoes or boots.

Bring a map and compass, just in case.

Be aware of your surroundings and watch out for wildlife.

Leave no trace.

I hope this information helps you plan your next fall hike in Northern Virginia. Have fun exploring! If you have any questions about these hikes or would like more recommendations, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

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