This post was updated on Jan. 22, 2020.
Temperatures are low, and the chances of fluffy snow hitting the ground of Northern Virginia are high for the rest of the winter forecast. If and when the powder sticks, locals will be ready to grab their coats, sleds and skis for a day of adventure in the hills.
Here, we share the best sledding and cross-country skiing sites in NoVA.
Jefferson Manor Park: With numerous places to sit (benches, picnic tables and a pavilion), parents can watch their kids frolicking in the flurries. There is plenty of open space and a hill that ends in front of the parking lot, so visitors can either sled, have a snowball fight or build snowmen. // 2909 Farmington Drive, Alexandria
Huntley Meadows Park: This large park boasts 1,200 acres of wildlife-laden trails. Skiers might see white-tailed deer, beavers and foxes if they stay in the outdoors for long enough. // Entrances at 3701 Lockheed Blvd. and 9601 S. Kings Highway, Alexandria
Glencarlyn Park: There are hilly spots within this park’s 95.5 acres, as well as two picnic locations, nature trails and paths leading to the Four Mile Run and Washington and Old Dominion trails. // 301 S. Harrison St., Arlington
Jamestown Park: Though this park is only 6 acres in size, don’t underestimate it. A youth baseball field, grass field, two tennis courts and a basketball court separate its sledding sites. // 3618 N. Dickerson Road, Arlington
Lubber Run Park: When covered in snow, the paved walkway leading to this park’s amphitheater doubles as a slippery sledding slope. Trails can also act as cross-country skiing paths. // 200 N. Columbus St., Arlington
Tuckahoe Park: The hill next to Sycamore Street is great for sledding daredevils, and with multiple walking trails, the 12-acre park also serves as a destination for cross-country skiers. // 2400 N. Sycamore St., Arlington
More Arlington sledding spots: Hayes Street Hill, Lubber Run Community Center and the Reed School Hill
Sledding and cross-county skiing at Fairfax County golf courses is prohibited, but there are still multiple locations where snow-day fun is both welcomed and encouraged.
Accotink Stream Valley Trail: Running 2.4 miles south along Route 50 to King Arthur Road, this wide and flat trail provides plenty of space for cross-country skiing novices. // Entrances at Route 50 S. Service Road approximately 0.75 mile east of Fairfax Circle; Eakin Community Park: 3400 Prosperity Ave.; 8509 Tobin Road, Annandale
Lake Fairfax Park: Visitors of this space can access the park through the main entrance on Lake Fairfax Drive, where a steep sledding hill is located behind the picnic area restrooms. // 1400 Lake Fairfax Drive, Reston
Mason District Park: In addition to a playground, basketball and tennis courts and a baseball field, Mason District Park has hilly spots perfect for sledding. // 6621 Columbia Pike, Annandale
Riverbend Park: Cross-country skiers can enjoy scenic views of animal tracks and the Potomac River, as well as a good workout here. // 8700 Potomac Hills St., Great Falls
Wakefield-Accotink Trail: Those looking for a challenge can take things to the next level by climbing a steep, 1-mile-long-and-2-mile-wide wooded trail with a lakeside view. // Entrances at 8100 Braddock Road, Annandale and 560 Heming Ave., Springfield
Westgate Park: While known for its tennis courts, Westgate also boasts a sled-ready hill behind its second baseball field. // 7550 Magarity Road, McLean
More Fairfax sledding spots: Brookfield Park, Canterbury Woods, Cardinal Forest Park, Crooked Creek Park, Franconia Park, Greenway Heights Park, George Mason Park, Lakeside Park, Marie Butler Leven Preserve, Nottoway Park, Stringfellow Park, Surrey Square Park, Wood Glen Lake Park
C.M. Crockett Park: Cross-county skiers can choose from either the hiking trail or a 1-mile wooded nature trail at one of Fauquier’s largest lakeside parks. There are also picnicking and pavilion spots for spectators. // 10066 Rogues Road, Midland
Franklin Park: With 203 acres in western Loudoun County, Franklin Park offers multiple sledding, skiing and snowboarding spots in view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. In certain locations, leashed dogs are allowed to join in on the fun. // 17501 Franklin Park Drive, Purcellville
Prince William County
James S. Long Park: Both hills and trails can be found at this park, which also contains baseball and soccer fields, basketball and tennis courts, T-ball fields, picnic areas and an equestrian ring. // 4603 James Madison Highway, Haymarket
Manassas National Battlefield Stone House: A large hill lies behind what was once a Civil War hospital, giving us another reason to appreciate this historic spot. // 12521 Lee Highway, Manassas
Signal Hill Park: The name speaks for itself, but there is also open space for other snow-day activities. Plus, a nearby pond will break up the snow-covered scenery. // 9300 Signal View Drive, Manassas
Trench Hill: This spacious spot is so popular in Fredericksburg, it has its own Facebook page for locals to stay up to date when the largest crowds are making their way down the hills. // Sunken Road, Fredericksburg
Northern Virginia’s parks aren’t the only place for lovers of winter to enjoy the great outdoors. Though they may not have to go to class, some children may find the best sledding hills at their own schools, including the ones below.
Algonkian Elementary School: 20196 Carter Court, Sterling
Antietam Elementary: 12000 Antietam Road, Woodbridge
Ashland Elementary School: 15300 Bowmans Folly Drive, Manassas
Ashlawn Elementary: 5980 Eighth Road N., Arlington
Canterbury Woods Elementary School: 4910 Willet Drive, Annandale
George M. Hampton Middle School (formerly Mills E. Godwin Middle School): 14800 Darbydale Ave., Woodbridge
H-B Woodlawn: 4100 N. Vacation Lane, Arlington
Jamestown Elementary: 3700 N. Delaware St., Arlington
Lake Ridge Elementary School: 11970 Hedges Run Drive, Woodbridge
McKinley Elementary School: 1030 N. McKinley Road, Arlington
Nottingham Elementary: 5900 Little Falls Road, Arlington
Old Bridge Elementary: 3051 Old Bridge Road, Woodbridge
Rippon Middle School: 15101 Blackburn Road, Woodbridge
Tuckahoe Elementary: 6550 26th St. N., Arlington
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