Although Northern Virginia is slowly opening back up, social distancing is still recommended to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The good news is that it doesn’t mean you have to stay stuck inside. Northern Virginia has a wealth of outdoor destinations for hiking, biking, horseback riding and fishing.
TripAdvisor lists these as the best hiking trails in Northern Virginia.
- Deep Cut Loop Trail – Manassas, VA – This trail is about a 1.25 mile loop and takes about an hour to complete. It’s also part of the National Manassas Battlefield park and is steeped in Civil War History. You can learn all about it on the National Park Planner website.
- Conway Robinson State Forest – Gainesville, VA – This is a 444-acre pine forest. Virginia Department of Forestry calls it an “urban oasis.” It’s one of the largest tracts of undeveloped land in Northern Virginia and has 5.1 miles of trails. Learn more on the Virginia Department of Forestry website.
- Fairfax County Cross Country Trail – Lorton, VA – Also known as the Gerry Connolly Cross Country Trail, this trail is 40 miles longs and goes from one end of Fairfax County to the other. You can go to the Fairfax County Park Authority website for trail maps.
- Sugarland Run Stream Valley Trail – Herndon, VA – This trail runs about three miles with three additional miles of side trails. The entire trail is paved. You can access the trail through neighborhoods. For more information go to the trail map.
- Lake Accotink Trail – Springfield, VA – This trail is considered an easy one to hike. It’s 3.9 miles long and is also good for mountain biking and birding. The trail is part of Lake Accotink Park.
- Bull Run – Occoquan Trail – Clifton, VA – This trail is part of NOVA Parks and is considered it’s longest natural surface trail. It’s also good for biking and horseback riding.
- Custis Trail – Arlington, VA – Also known as the Martha Custis Trail, this trail is about four miles long and can be accessed from the foot bridge of the GW Parkway. It’s a popular biking trail as well and connects to the W&OD trail.
- Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail – McLean, VA – Here is a trail rich in history that you can take by foot, bike, horse or even boat, as it is linked to the Potomac tidal basin. You can find trail maps and other information at the National Park Service website.
- Pohick Loop Trail – Fort Belvoir, VA – This is a 0.5-mile paved loop trail next to wetlands. It’s primarily used for hiking and running, and it is wheel-chair accessible and dog friendly. A trail map is provided by AllTrails.
- Lake Ridge Marina – Here you will have access to the Occoquan Reservoir where you can catch largemouth bass, bluegill and crappie.
- Locust Shade Park – Locust Shade Park has an 8-acre pond stocked by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. From November to April, you can catch trout. Channel catfish can be caught in the spring, and bluegill, largemouth bass and crappie can be caught year-round.
- Leesylvania State Park – This park boasts a pier over the freshwater Potomac where you can catch largemouth bass, striped bass, catfish and perch.
- Prince William Forest Park – Here you will find 18 miles of streams and waterways where you can hook bluegill, pumpkinseed, largemouth bass and channel catfish.
- Silver Lake Regional Park – This park in Haymarket has a 23-acre lake surrounded by 230 acres of meadows and pine forests. Look to catch bluegill and largemouth bass.
- Greenville Farm Family Campground – This is another good fishing area in Haymarket. It’s a 200-acre working farm with four ponds stocked with bass, bluegill and catfish.
Wherever you decide to go, avoid gathering in large groups, maintain a minimum of 6 feet of distance from others (besides your family members), avoid touching shared surfaces and take your trash with you when you leave.
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