More than 50 square miles of public parkland beckon county residents to enjoy the great outdoors. The Fairfax County Park Authority operates 420 parks, eight recreation centers, five nature centers, a working farm and mill, equestrian trails and numerous public golf courses on more than 24,000 acres. The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority operates numerous regional parks, including five located in Fairfax County. The county is also home to Great Falls National Park and Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge, America's first refuge for the bald eagle.
Fairfax County is within a one-day or weekend drive of several popular attractions throughout the region. The Blue Ridge Mountains offer scenic overlooks of Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. During the winter, skiers enjoy the slopes in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. In warmer months, county residents enjoy popular beach resorts in Virginia Beach, VA; Ocean City, MD; and Rehoboth Beach, DE. The Chesapeake Bay is renowned for some of the best fishing available on the east coast.
Fort Hunt Park
(George Washington Memorial Parkway, Alexandria; 703-289-2550)
Situated along the Potomac River, Fort Hunt Park was originally part of George Washington estate. The fort was built during the Spanish-American War as a defense fortification for the nation's capital. During World War II, the park served as an interrogation camp for captured German submarine crews. Today original batterys are still accessible to visitors.
George Washington Memorial Parkway
(Turkey Run Park, McLean; 703-289-2500)
This national park hugs the shoreline of the Potomac from Great Falls down to Mount Vernon. Sites along the 20 plus mile park include Great Falls Park, Fort Marcy, Turkey Run Park and Fort Hunt Park.
Great Falls National Park
(Georgetown Pike and Old Dominion Drive, Great Falls; 703-285-2966)
Great Falls National Park is one of the capital area’s most scenic views of the Potomac River. This 800-acre park has extraordinary views of Great Falls, 15 miles of hiking trails and five miles of horseback riding and biking trails.
Green Spring Garden and Horticultural Center
(4603 Green Spring Road, Annandale; 703-642-5173)
Green Spring Gardens, a 27-acre park and demonstration garden, was once a plantation. The restored historic manor house is available for tours and offers full English teas and educational programs on gardening and history. The Horticulture Center contains a research library, exhibits, and a greenhouse display on houseplants. Demonstration gardens throughout the grounds include a kitchen garden, fruit garden, wildflower garden, blue garden, rock garden, backyard wildlife habitat garden, water-wise garden, and children's garden.
Huntley Meadows Park
(3701 Lockheed Boulevard, Alexandria; 703-768-2525)
Huntley Meadows Park, the largest park in Fairfax County, contains 1,425 acres of diverse habitats including wetlands, meadows and mature forest. Some of the best wildlife watching in the Washington area is enjoyed here. From the half-mile wetland boardwalk trail and observation tower, visitors have excellent views of beavers, frogs, dragonflies and herons. Huntley Meadows is well known as a prime birding spot with more than 200 species identified in the park.
Mason Neck Wildlife Refuge and Mason Neck State Park
(Mason Neck NWR, 14344 Jefferson Davis Highway, Woodbridge; 703-490-4979)
(Mason Neck State Park, 7301 High Point Road, Lorton; 703-339-2385)
Two connected parks, Mason Neck Wildlife Refuge and Mason Neck State Park are situated on a peninsula formed by Pohick Bay on the north, Belmont Bay on the south and the Potomac River on the east. The peninsula is the site of an active heron rookery. Both areas attract several migrating and non-migrating species of birds, including whistling swans and assorted species of duck. Bald eagles also inhabit the area. The park boasts several hundred acres of hardwood forests consisting of oaks, holly, hickory and other species of trees.
Meadowlark Gardens Regional Park
(9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court, Vienna; 703-255-3631)
Meadowlark Gardens Regional Park is one of the hidden treasures of Fairfax County. A picturesque gazebo and three sparkling lakes surrounded by weeping cherry trees and a profusion of colorful blooms are the centerpieces of this beautiful 95-acre garden park.
The Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park
(21293 Smiths Switch Road, Ashburn; 703-729-0596 )
The Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park is the narrowest park in Virginia. It’s also one of the longest—stretching the entire length of Fairfax County, along the former roadbed of the W&OD Railroad. You can walk it, run it, bike it or ride it on horseback. Along the way are parks, par-course fitness stations and trails that lead off in all directions.
Bull Run Regional Park
Lake Fairfax Park (Water Mine Park)
Pohick Bay Regional Park
Bull Run Marina
Fountainhead Regional Park
Lake Fairfax Park
Pohick Bay Regional Park
Numerous golf courses are available for players in Fairfax County. The Fairfax County Park Authority maintains eight golf courses; the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority has several courses in the area, including one in Fairfax County. From par-three to championship length, the Park Authority offers courses to suit beginner and expert golfers alike. All courses are professionally designed and carefully conditioned and maintained to provide the finest golfing in Northern Virginia. All courses are open year round, weather permitting.
Burke Lake Golf
Greendale Golf Course
Jefferson District Golf Course
Laurel Hill Golf Course
Oak Marr Golf Complex
Pinecrest Golf Center
Pleasant Valley Golfer’s Club at Richard Jones Park
Twin Lakes Golf Course
Additional golf courses in Fairfax County include:
Fairfax National Golf Club
Herndon Centennial Golf Course
Penderbrook Golf Club
Pohick Bay Regional Park Golf Course
Reston National Golf Course
Westfield Golf Course