Editor’s note: This article was updated on November 16, 2021.
Sometimes taking a walk through the woods needs a reward—and taking this uphill hike will give you just the view you’ve been searching for. This intermediate-level hike is perfect for catching a sunrise or sunset, or watching the summer storms roll in. Since this hike is part of the Appalachian Trail, note that overnight camping and accommodations are currently unavailable. 18393 Blue Ridge Mountain Rd., Bluemont
The ever-popular national park has reopened to the public, with winding trails that surround its natural wonders, as well as picnic areas, overlooks, and green spaces. Pack a family picnic to enjoy during or after hiking up to 15 miles of surrounding trails, that range in difficulty from easy-paced walking to low-level, moderate climbs. 9200 Old Dominion Dr., McLean
Depending on when you hike and where you look, you’re sure to get a unique experience at this Alexandria park, which doubles as a local wetland viewing area for visitors. Hike through the 10 miles of trails, cross bridges, and explore the wooded areas for a day full of fresh air. This hike is kid-friendly, but also perfect for nature lovers and bird-watchers. 3701 Lockheed Blvd., Alexandria
Take a ride out of the hustle and bustle of the city to find more than 37 miles of hiking trails in Prince William County, and an estimated 15,000 acres of park to explore. Trails vary in difficulty and length, from casual walks to hiking through heavily forested areas, and many loop easily back to the parking lot, perfect for a solo adventure or a trip for the whole family. 18170 Park Entrance Rd., Triangle
As it turns out, you don’t have to travel far to see hidden waterfalls in Northern Virginia. Head to Scott’s Run Nature Preserve in McLean and explore the 400-acre park, with its impressive rocky terrain and calming waterfalls for all to enjoy. The hike is a low-level, 2-mile loop, but should be followed with caution to avoid slippery rocks and to not damage surrounding wildlife. 7400 Georgetown Pike, McLean