Updated January 11, 2023. Sure, you can jump on the treadmill, but electronic equipment is no substitute for the fresh air and sunshine you’ll experience on a trail. In this region, we are lucky to have parks offering picturesque views of the river and falls, hardwood forests, and historic battlefields. A walk or hike at one makes for a much more fun to hit your target on that FitBit. Here are seven spots to try this season.
One of the area’s most popular parks, this one features an easy 4.7-mile loop trail that follows the shoreline; the American Hiking Society named it one of the 10 Best Fitness Trails in the nation. 7315 Ox Rd., Fairfax Station
Among the many features at the 2,000-acre park in Fairfax Station is a moderate 5.6-mile loop trail that is good for hiking and walking. Plus, it’s dog-friendly. 10875 Hampton Rd., Fairfax Station
The area played a vital role in American history from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War. It has a moderate 5.9-mile out-and-back trail along the river, which can be accessed via Old Yates Ford Road in Clifton. Reward yourself afterward with a glass of wine at Paradise Springs Winery. 10875 Hampton Rd., Fairfax Station
Various trails and stunning scenery await at the popular park where the Potomac River descends through a dramatic gorge; the 4.6-mile loop trail takes you throughout the park. 9200 Old Dominion Rd., Great Falls
The site of two major Civil War battles, this national park also has a series of great trails for getting in those steps. Try the First Manassas Trail, which is 5.4 miles, or the 6.2-mile Second Manassas Trail, both of which are moderate for many fitness levels. 6511 Sudley Rd., Manassas
Start at the Turkey Run Ridge Trail at the visitors center, then take a combination of the South Valley Trail, North Valley Trail, and Quantico Cascades Trail, which add up to about a 5-mile moderate trail. 18170 Park Entrance Rd., Triangle
This 444-acre forest adjacent to Manassas National Battlefield and Route 29 is a mixture of pine and old-growth hardwood trees. With its more than 5 miles of unpaved trails, hikers and walkers can enjoy this hidden gem and get in your daily steps. Gainesville
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