Scott’s Run Nature Preserve
Scott’s Run Nature Preserve is suffused in natural beauty with steep hills and valleys featuring rare flowers. This natural space stems from a 1960s conflict in which citizens protested housing development on the grounds. With this history in mind, the natural splendor of Scott’s Run becomes even more remarkable. Its jagged topography, with rocky inclines and uneven ridges, make this place especially unique.
In the almost fairy tale-like forest, oak, beech, hemlock and cherry trees stretch toward the sky. An idyllic spot for hiking, Scott’s Run has two entrances into the stream valley park, one near the stream and another that leads to cliffs overlooking the Potomac River rapids and a waterfall; nesting bald eagles reside on an island to the north. “It feels like you’re in the mountains,” says John Callow, Riverbend Park site manager. “It feels like you’re in Shenandoah National Park.” Hiking trails vary in difficulty with some offering leisurely paths through woods and flowers and others requiring actively traversing steep, uneven rocks and crags. One of the benefits of Scott’s Run in the summer is that the oaks and hemlock trees provide natural shade, keeping hikers and visitors cool. / McLean; fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/scottsrun