With summer almost in full swing, there’s an itch to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather before the humidity sets in. What better way to do that than taking a hike through NoVA. From overlooks to waterfalls, here are five scenic trails in Northern Virginia that offer stunning summer views.
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, there are plenty of camping options including bunk rooms, cottages, a lodge, and camping sites. 18393 Blue Ridge Mountain Rd., Bluemont
The ever-popular national park is ready for the new season as hikers prepare to trek winding trails that surround its natural wonders, as well as enjoy 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 wildlife experience at this Alexandria-area park, which doubles as a wetland viewing area . Hike the park’s two trails. They encompass almost 5 miles. This hike is kid-friendly, but also perfect for nature lovers and bird-watchers. Take note: Dogs are restricted to certain areas along the trails. 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. Or make it a camp trip. The park has two campgrounds, as well as a primative camping area. 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 nearly 400-acre park, with its impressive rocky terrain and calming waterfalls. The hike is a low-level, 2-mile loop, and includes additional interconnecting trails, but should be followed with caution to avoid slippery rocks and to not damage surrounding wildlife. Other trails in Scott’s Run require hiking up steep hills and have rugged terrain. 7400 Georgetown Pk., McLean
This post originally published on July 30, 2020. For more stories like this, subscribe to Northern Virginia Magazine’s Health newsletter.