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Parks Guide : Regional parks/Northern Va.

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Bull Run Regional Park
7700 Bull Run Drive, Centreville
(703) 631-0550

Bull Run’s spacious fields accommodate groups by the hundreds, even thousands, for picnics, camping or special events. Bull Run’s scenic woodland and trails offer miles of hiking and solitude. In springtime, acres of bluebells and other wildflowers bloom beside a meandering stream.

Hemlock Overlook Regional Park
13220 Yates Ford Road, Clifton
(703) 993-2059

Hemlock Overlook Regional Park serves as an Outdoor Education Center operated jointly by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority and George Mason University. The university offers a variety of outdoor and environmental education, summer camp, team development programs for public and private schools, religious groups, community groups, sports teams, corporations, professional organizations, as well as local, state, and federal government and military agencies. Programs at Hemlock Overlook are open to the public and groups by reservation. Only the hiking and horse trails may be used without prior arrangement.

Bull Run Marina
12619 Old Yates Ford Road, Clifton
(703) 250-9124 (Fountainhead Regional Park)

Located on the waters of the Occoquan Reservoir, Bull Run Marina is part of the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority’s 5,000 acres of preserved Bull Run-Occoquan Stream Valley land. The water at this location offers opportunities for high school crew practice and fishing and boating. Open for training, competitive rowing practices and by special permits to anglers and boaters.

Fountain Head Regional Park
10875 Hampton Road, Fairfax Station
(703) 250-9124

Miniature golf, fishing, nature trails and picnic tables are among the many attractions of this park on the Occoquan Reservoir. The parks’ Marina Building offers sandwiches, snacks, beverages, bait and tackle, fishing licenses, scale, deck and rest rooms. The park is open daily from March 20 to November 13. Open from dawn to dark. Closed Nov. 14 for the winter.

Sandy Run Regional Park
10450 Van Thompson Road, Fairfax Station
(703) 690-4392

Sandy Run offers a facility for team training and competition for Olympic, college, high school and club canoe, kayak and crew athletes. This park has a 2,000-meter racecourse and three boathouses. The park is open for Regattas only, which happen throughout the year. Contact the office for information.

Occoquan Regional Park
9751 Ox Road, Lorton
(703) 690-2121

This spacious park is scenically located on the Occoquan River diagonally across from the Town of Occoquan. It offers 400 acres of recreational space and a touch of the past with its historic brick kilns and the memory of imprisoned women suffragists. Features include a marina, batting cage, walking trails and concessions. March 13 through November 28. Open daily, 7 a.m. to dark. Closed Nov. 29 for the winter.

Pohick Bay Regional Park
6501 Pohick Bay Drive, Lorton
(703) 339-6104

The Indians called this land “Pohick,” the Algonquin word for the “water place.” Today, Pohick Bay is still the water place – a water-oriented park 25 miles south of the nation’s capital. The park occupies a spectacular bayside setting on the historic Mason Neck peninsula in Fairfax County. Mason Neck is an ecologically fragile land that shelters a profusion of wildlife, especially the bald eagle. The developed recreation areas are concentrated where they will least disturb the delicate balance of nature. Features include an 18-hole 72-par golf course, fishing, camping and boat rentals as well as guided canoe and kayak tours.

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens
9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court, Vienna
(703) 255-3631

A picturesque gazebo, three sparkling lakes surrounded by weeping cherry trees and a profusion of colorful blooms are the centerpiece of this beautiful 95-acre garden. The public is invited to enjoy and participate in the growth and beauty of Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. Features include The Atrium at Meadowbrook Botanical Gardens, a meeting and reception facility featuring indoor gardens; gazebos available for weddings (reservations (703) 255-3631 ext. 104); a visitor center with a gift shop, restrooms, exhibits, rental meeting and activity space. The Gardens are open year-round, but closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and when snow or ice covers the trails. March through November, admission is $4 for ages 18-59, $2 for ages 7-17 and 60 and older and free for ages 6 and younger. Admission is free December through February. An annual pass is $25.

Upton Hill Regional Park
6060 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington
(703) 534-3437

Upton Hill Regional Park offers visitors a wooded oasis in the heart of the most densely populated area of Northern Virginia. A large outdoor swimming pool complex is a sparkling attraction in this wooded, urban park, which straddles the boundary line between Arlington and Fairfax counties. The deluxe miniature golf course boasts one of the longest mini golf holes in the world and the batting cages include baseball and softball cages.

Cameron Run Regional Park
4001 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria
(703) 960-0767

There’s plenty to do at this Northern Virginia park, which boasts the Great Waves Water Park. Other attractions include miniature golf and a batting cage. The pool is open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Batting cage and mini golf are open mid-March through October. Hours vary.

Carlyle House Historic Park
121 N. Fairfax Street, Alexandria
(703) 549-2997

On the National Register of Historic Places, Carlyle House is architecturally unique in Alexandria as the only stone, 18th-century Palladian-style house. Daily tours of the house, programs for schoolchildren, special events and lectures explore the life and times of John Carlyle in pre-Revolutionary Alexandria. The site may be rented in the evenings for private functions and weddings. Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4:00 p.m. Closed Mondays. Tours on the half hour. $4 for adults, $2 for students age 6-17 and free for children age 5 and younger.

Potomac Overlook Regional Park
2845 N. Marcey Road, Arlington
(703) 528-5406

On the Potomac Palisades in north Arlington, Potomac Overlook offers 100 acres of peaceful woodland. Potomac Overlook’s Nature Center serves as the regional center for the Park Authority’s year-round programs of outdoor adventure and environmental education. Youth and nature-oriented groups and schools may make arrangements for special programs. Park open all year during daylight hours. The Nature Center is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday and is closed Monday.

Algonkian Regional Park
47001 Fairway Drive, Sterling
(703) 450-4655

Located on the scenic Potomac shore, this park features an 18-hole par-72 golf course, a driving range, a pro shop, the Downpour Water Park, a snack bar, river front cottages, RV and boat storage, a children’s play area and nature trails. Park open all year. Golf course open all year, weather permitting. Pool open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Mini golf open April through October. Hours vary.

Washington and Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park
21293 Smiths Switch Road, Ashburn
(703) 729-0596

The 100-foot-wide W&OD has been called “the skinniest park in Virginia.” It is also one of the longest parks – 45 miles of paved trail for walking, running, bicycling and skating and 32 miles of adjacent gravel trail for horseback riding. Built on the roadbed of the former Washington & Old Dominion Railroad, the multi-use W&OD Trail runs through the urban heartland and countryside of Northern Virginia.

Brambleton Regional Park

42180 Ryan Road, Ashburn
(703) 327-3403

This scenic park is home to the Regional Park Authority’s newest championship 18-hole, par-72 golf course. Brambleton offers a variety of challenging holes with scenic woods and water holes, large bunkers and plush putting greens. Features include a driving range and professional instruction. Open all year, weather permitting.

Red Rock Wilderness Overlook Park
43098 Edwards Ferry Road, Leesburg
(703) 737-7800
This off-the-beaten-path park offers panoramic views of the Potomac River. No public restrooms. Open year-round, dawn until dusk.

Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Regional Park
Ball’s Bluff Road, Leesburg
(703) 737-7800

Surrounding the Ball’s Bluff National Cemetery, this regional park preserves the site of the Battle of Ball’s Bluff, the largest Civil War engagement to take place in Loudoun County. Hiking trails and interpretive signs aid in understanding this important and tragic part of American history. No public restrooms. Open year-round, dawn to dusk.

Temple Hall Farm Regional Park
15789 Temple Hall Lane, Leesburg
(703) 779-9372

The 286-acre working farm in beautiful Loudoun County provides educational programs to introduce school and youth groups to Northern Virginia’s farming heritage. At Temple Hall, goats, hogs, peacocks, chickens, ducks, sheep and other farm animals are raised. The farm also raises Orchard grass for use as feed. Temple Hall is not a petting farm. All animals remain in fenced pens. A farm interpreter leads tours and guides children as they participate in farm-related activities such as feeding the animals or working in the garden. Sunday – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Closed Mondays; Tuesday to Friday – Groups By Reservation; Closed Saturday.

Burke Lake Park
7315 Ox Road, Fairfax Station
(703) 323-6601

Its 888 acres feature a 218-acre lake with fishing, boating, rowboat rental, tour boat rides, camping, a miniature train, a carousel, outdoor volleyball courts, an 18-hole golf course, disk golf, an ice cream parlor and snack bar, picnic areas, playgrounds and a brand new miniature golf course. The new fishing pier is accessible to persons with disabilities. Privately owned boats with electric motors are permitted on the lake.

Lake Accotink Park
7500 Accotink Park Road, Springfield
(703) 569-3464

Its 493 acres include a 55-acre lake with boating, fishing, hiking, miniature golf, a carousel, snack bar, tour boat rides, trails, picnic areas and playgrounds. Boats powered by electric motors, sailboats under 15 feet and kayaks are allowed on the lake. Swimming and windsurfing are prohibited. Nominal fees are required for miniature golf, the carousel, rowboat, pedal-boat and canoe rentals.

Lake Fairfax Park
1400 Lake Fairfax Drive, Reston
(703) 471-5415

This 476-acre park includes a 18-acre lake, an outdoor swimming pool enveloped by a lazy river; pedal-boat rental, fishing, a carousel, campgrounds, trails, playground and picnic areas. Nominal fees are charged for boat rentals, The Water Mine, carousel and camping.

Rock Creek Park
1500 Glover Rd.,Washington, D.C.
(202) 895-6070

Called the “gem of the nation’s capital,” this city park offers something for everyone. Nature trails abound, as do areas to play soccer, picnic, hike, bike and rollerblade, play tennis, fish, horseback ride, listen to a concert, or attend programs with a park ranger. Open year-round from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Andrew Leitch Park/Waterworks

5301 Dale Boulevard, Dale City
(703) 680-7137

This Prince William County Park boasts baseball fields, softball fields, a water park, picnic facilities, volleyball courts and playgrounds.

Anne Moncure Wall Park
4450 Waterway Drive, Dumfries

Tennis courts, basketball courts and picnic facilities are among the amenities at this Prince William County Park. Open year-round.

Birchdale Recreation Center/Turley Fields

14730 Birchdale Avenue, Dale City
(703) 670-9118

Operated by the Prince William County Park authority, this park is home to Little League fields, playgrounds, picnic facilities, basketball courts and tennis courts. Restrooms on site.

C. Lacey Compton Neighborhood Park

17301 River Ridge Blvd., Dumfries
Operated by the Prince William County Park Authority, this is one of the only public parks in the area with an in-line skating rink and in-line skating trail. Other features include playgrounds and picnic pavilions.

* Sources: Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, Virginia Department of Conservation/Recreation, U.S. Department of the Interior, Fairfax County Park Authority, Prince William County Park Authority.

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