7 Best Parks in Fairfax County: Great Falls Park, Clemyjontri Park & More

Best Parks in Fairfax County

Fairfax County, Virginia, is a treasure trove of lush parks, each offering a unique blend of natural beauty and recreational activities. From tranquil woodland walks to vibrant playgrounds and picnic spots, these parks provide a perfect escape for relaxation and outdoor fun. Whether you're a nature enthusiast, a fitness aficionado searching for the best hiking trails in Fairfax County, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, there's a park in the area that's waiting to be explored. Dive into the green spaces of northern Virginia and discover your next favorite spot for adventure, tranquility, picnicking, or sport. Welcome to the natural wonders of Fairfax County's finest parks.

Bull Run Regional Park

Bull Run Regional Park is a 1,500-acre park with a variety of outdoor activities for everyone to enjoy. This multi-use park in the Centreville community in western Fairfax County strives to offer as many outdoor activities as possible. The outdoor Atlantis Waterpark has a large array of open and enclosed water slides, a splash zone, and a 500-gallon dump bucket. Visitors can enjoy a relaxing weekend and take advantage of picnic shelters, camping facilities, RV sites, or even rent a cottage. 

The Occoquan-Bull Run Trail is nearly 20 miles long, with a trailhead at Bull Run Regional Park. Even hiking for just a mile or two along this wooded outdoor trail presents opportunities for viewing wildlife. 

The Bull Run Public Shooting Center offers skeet, trap, and sporting clay shooting; it also has an indoor archery range. The park also has a disc golf course, a large playground, and an events center that occasionally has live music during summer.

Bull Run Regional Park Additional Information

  • Address: 700 Bull Run Drive, Centreville, VA 20121
  • Hours: Open daily, sunrise to sunset

Great Falls Park

Visit Great Falls Park in McLean, VA

Great Falls Park is a national park that occupies 800 acres on both sides of the Virginia-Maryland border, although the main address is on the Virginia side in the McLean community. Great Falls Park is frequently recognized for having some of northern Virginia's most beautiful outdoor scenery.

Visitors can follow Old Dominion Drive past stately Fairfax County waterfront homes and into the park, where there are several large parking lots available. Stop at the Great Falls Visitor Center before hiking to one of the overlooks to view the falls. The Sandbox Climbing Area is a popular rock climbing spot in Great Falls.

Hiking and sightseeing are the main things to do at Great Falls Park. There are 15 miles of hiking trails to enjoy, some of which are multi-use for horseback riding and biking.

It's important to note that swimming and wading in this part of the Potomac River are illegal. The river's deceptive appearance makes it look safe, but whirlpools can quickly pull a person or a pet underwater, trapping them under submerged rock ledges. 

Great Falls Park Additional Information

  • Address: 9200 Old Dominion Drive, McLean, VA 22102
  • Hours: Closed on certain holidays

Frying Pan Farm Park

In addition to being one of the towns in Northern Virginia with the lowest property taxes, Herndon is home to the Frying Pan Farm Park. This unique park recreates living on a farm from the 1920s to 1950s in America, as farms transitioned from horse-drawn power to early motorized farming machines. This includes mechanical balers, milking machines, and early tractors. 

History buffs will love the Meeting House, a state landmark once used for town meetings and church services. Meanwhile, animal lovers will love the many farm animals at this park, including sheep, cows, pigs, peacocks, and rabbits. Thanksgiving turkeys have even been granted presidential pardons at the White House and make their way to this park, a few miles away, to live out the rest of their days. Finally, children can take classes, workshops, and horseback riding lessons at the Frying Pan Farm Park in the Herndon community

This park has an off-leash dog run in a large indoor arena. Pet owners can reserve a 30-minute time slot for their dog to play in the arena for a fee. Wagon rides around the park are available seven days a week, and the park also has a restored 1920s Herschell carousel to ride and a playground. 

Frying Pan Farm Park Additional Information

  • Address: 2709 West Ox Road, Herndon, VA 20171

Clemyjontri Park

Clemyjontri Park is a unique park designed exclusively for children. Located in McLean, this park is a playground where children with disabilities can enjoy equipment designed with them in mind. There are wheelchair ramps connecting all the structures at Clemyjontri Park. The rubber surfacing makes it easy for wheelchairs to roll anywhere within the park's play area. The playground swings have high backs, armrests, and other safety features. All of the equipment is designed in ways to provide a sensory experience that is safe and fun for all children. 

The park is two acres and features four different outdoor "rooms" to explore. 

  • Rainbow Room: swings and integrates Braille, sign language, and pictures while teaching the colors of the rainbow 
  • Schoolhouse & Maze: a maze, maps, a globe, and clocks to explore 
  • Movin' and Groovin' Transportation Area: swings and rides built to look like airplanes, trains, and other transportation options
  • Fitness & Fun: a large, accessible jungle gym

This park is also home to Virginia's first "Liberty Swing," which allows a child to swing in their wheelchair without having to transition.

Clemyjontri Park Additional Information

  • Address: 6317 Georgetown Pike, McLean, VA, 22101
  • Hours: Closed when snow, ice, or extreme temperatures are present

Fountainhead Regional Park

Fountainhead Regional Park is located in Fairfax Station, which is considered one of the best places to live in Northern Virginia. At 2,000 acres in size, the park offers a wide range of activities for those who enjoy the outdoors, from boating to hiking to mountain biking. It has a trailhead access point for the Bull Run Occoquan Trail, which is nearly 20 miles. 

Situated on the banks of the Occoquan Reservoir, this park offers a variety of boating and fishing activities. Kayaks and paddleboards are available to rent at the marina. Visitors are welcome to bring their own boats—under 10 horsepower—and launch from the marina.

Fishing is allowed on the water or from the fishing pier. Largemouth bass, bluegill, and crappie are the most common fish species that anglers try to catch, although there are also some catfish and northern pike.

There are also several trails in the park to explore, including nature trails, mountain biking trails, and equestrian trails. Finally, the marina building at the park offers several different amenities, including concessions during peak months.

Fountainhead Regional Park Additional Information

  • Address: 10875 Hampton Road, Fairfax Station, VA 22039
  • Hours: Open daily; hours vary seasonally

Pohick Bay Regional Park

Visit Pohick Bay Regional Park in Lorton, VA

Pohick Bay Regional Park is in the Lorton community, which is the southernmost part of Fairfax County. The park sits on the shores of Pohick Bay and Gunston Cove, which both feed into the Potomac River to the east. The park is open from March 1 to October 31, from dawn to dusk, with specific hours of entry depending on the season.

Boating is extremely popular at this park. Visitors can bring their personal watercraft or rent a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard at the facility next to the shore. There is also a public boat launch for motorized boats.

There are plenty of activities available for those who don't want to spend a day on the water. Picnic shelters are available for rent, and there are cabins and campsites for those who want to stay longer. The Pirate's Cove Waterpark is a big draw between Memorial Day and Labor Day. It's filled with kid-friendly water slides, spraying palm trees, and other delights for everyone to cool off. 

Golfers may want to check out the Pohick Bay Golf Course at the park. It is considered one of the more challenging public courses in Northern Virginia. This 18-hole, par-72 course measures 6,400 yards from the back tees and has a slope rating of 132. 

Fishing, mini golf, equestrian trails, and a disc golf course are additional amenities at the park.

Pohick Bay Regional Park Additional Information

  • Address: 6501 Pohick Bay Drive, Lorton, VA 22079
  • Hours: Open daily, between March 1 and October 31

Ellanor C. Lawrence Park

Ellanor C. Lawrence Park is located in the western part of Fairfax County, in the Chantilly community. The 650-acre park boasts forests, streams, meadows, and a pond to explore. 

The Walney Visitor Center is usually the first stop at the park. The center is in a converted 1780 farmhouse and has historical and animal exhibits. There's also a sensory touch table for children, a greenhouse, and a classroom. 

There are several additional historic structures located outside the visitor center, and about four miles of hiking trails set out from the center. Mountain biking is allowed on Walney Road and the Big Rocky Run Stream Valley Trails. Wildflowers bloom along the trails during the summer months.

The park is also a popular spot for bird watching. The center offers several historical tours to see the various buildings and learn about the people who first settled in this part of Virginia. Wagon rides are also available, which usually culminate around a campfire with sweet treats.

Foxes, raccoons, white-tailed deer, beavers, and turkeys are just some of the wildlife that can be viewed when walking through the park. Snakes are occasionally seen during the summer. 

Ellanor C. Lawrence Park Additional Information

  • Address: 5040 Walney Road, Chantilly, VA 20151
  • Hours: Closed on Tuesdays in the winter

Fairfax County’s Top Outdoor Spaces

The parks of Fairfax County are inviting havens, each offering a unique slice of nature's bounty and recreational delight. From the serene trails winding through dense woodlands to the lively playgrounds echoing with laughter, these parks cater to all and provide great opportunities for those moving to Northern Virginia to get to know the region. Venture out and embrace the natural beauty and vibrant spirit of Fairfax County's parks, where every visit enriches your life with memorable moments and a rejuvenating escape from the everyday. 

If you're relocating to Fairfax County, call Your At Home Team at (703) 286-1333. Our local agents can help you find the perfect home in Fairfax County.

Post a Comment