Loudoun County offers some of the most amazing scenic views in the region. For those who are not inclined to scale the Swiss Alps or Mount Everest, here is a group of places where an easy stroll is the order of the day to take in some breathtaking scenery, enjoy nature, learn some history and agriculture, and just generally have a fantastic time.
#1 – Edwards Landing Park, Leesburg, VA. As one of the most visited sightseeing places in Leesburg, Edwards Landing Park offers a 32-acre park with a picnic shelter with tables, nature trails, and Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail access. It is open daily from dawn until dusk. It is located at 901 Powhatan Ct. NE, Leesburg, VA 20176. (703) 777-1368.
#2 – Algonkian Regional Park, Sterling, VA. A whopping 838 acres of exploration and outdoor adventures awaits you at Algonkian Regional Park. Visitors can rent a picnic shelter or a vacation cottage along the Potomac River. It also has an 18-hole golf course and, for the kids, Volcano Island Waterpark, or spend hours hiking our paved and natural surface hiking trails. The park includes both natural wooded areas and open fields. There is also the Woodlands event facility which offers full service catering for parties or other events. It is located at 47001 Fairway Dr., Sterling, VA 20165. (703) 450-4655
#3 – Rust Nature Sanctuary, Leesburg, VA. With 68 acres of unspoiled nature and a health dose of local history, Rust Sanctuary provides wooded trails through sprawling meadows and forests in the nature sanctuary. Programs are available such as the Fresh Air Kids Nature Program and other Audubon Naturalist Society courses to learn about local ecosystems, flora, and fauna. The sanctuary also features Rust Manor House along with a beautiful garden with majestic trees. It is located at 802 Childrens Center Rd. SW, Leesburg, VA 20175. (703) 669-0000
#4 – Bles Park, Ashburn, VA. Bles Park affords visitors 124 acres which includes a portion of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail. Amenities include fishing, sports fields, nature trails, restrooms, river views, wetlands, wooded areas and more. Expect to see frogs, bird, and any number of other types of wildlife. The playground has new equipment including swings, teeter-totter, and two sets of slides. It is located at 44830 Riverside Pkwy., Ashburn, VA. (703) 777-0343
#5 – Claude Moore Park, Sterling, VA. This park is replete with 357 acres of mature forests, young woodlands, wetlands, ponds, and meadows. It offers amenities such as trails, sports fields & picnic pavilions. 11 miles of hiking trails, two fishing ponds, a National-Register-listed Historic District, as well as an outstanding Sportsplex provide oodles of opportunities for passive and active recreation. The Visitor Center, home to the Discovery Room and live-animal displays, is a great place to find information about the park. With woodlands, wildflower meadows, wetlands, and ponds provide peaceful surroundings for hikes, picnics, bird watching, and photography. Plan to spend a full day here! It is located at 21544 Old Vestal’s Gap Road, Sterling, VA 20164. (571) 258-3700
#6 – Temple Hall Farm Regional Park, Leesburg, VA. How about visiting a 286-acre working farm? You can learn about and thoroughly enjoy Loudoun County’s agricultural roots on just such a farm at Temple Hall Farm Regional Park. It boasts of being the home of the popular Fall Festival and Corn MAiZE, and visitors can meet heritage breed farm animals and experience what happens day-to-day on an authentic, working Virginia farm. Hiking enthusiasts will want to walk the park’s interpretive hiking trail and learn about the area’s native plants and animals. You can even bring your own horse to ride the equestrian trails, which include natural jumps and water crossings! Bring a picnic lunch and take a walk on the babbling brook trail over the creek and through the woods. It is located at 15855 Limestone School Rd., Leesburg, VA 20176. (703) 779-9372
#7 – Franklin Park, Purcellville, VA. With its 203 acres of rolling hills, Franklin Park affords visitors majestic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Make time to walk the park’s perimeter trail and stop to watch the brilliant colors of the sunset electrifying the settling sky and day fades into night. There are programs and classes to join for all ages. You may bring your own horse partake of the equestrian perimeter trails. The inner trail is used primarily for horseback riding. The outer trail can be used for hiking, walking, cross-country training and dog-walking. Additionally, there is a Sportsplex as well as multiple outdoor sports fields and a playground. Fishing, too! It is located at 17501 Franklin Park Dr., Purcellville, VA 20132. (540) 338-7603
Check with the staff about rules and regulations regarding permission to bring dogs. Parks are generally open from dawn until dusk.