Family Weekender: Washington, D.C.

Scotts Run Nature Preserve
By Mary Burnham
  |  Gorp.com
Go Guide: Scotts Run Nature Preserve
Who can go : Infant and up.
Activities : Hiking, fishing, history, wildlife viewing.
Distance from D.C.: 30 minutes.
Getting there : From the Beltway in McLean, take exit 13. Go left on Georgetown Pike and in less than a mile, turn right into the parking lot.
Contact : There are no facilities at Scotts Run; call Riverbend Park, (703) 759-9018, or visit www.co.fairfax.va.us/parks/parks.htm.
Reference : Country Walks Near Washington by Alan Fisher (Rambler Books, 800-476-9206).
Extra treats : From the eastern edge of Scotts Run, you'll find signed access to the Potomac Heritage Trail, which runs south for 10 miles along the Potomac to Theodore Roosevelt Island, (202) 338-1118.
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Within just 380 acres, Scotts Run Nature Preserve features hikes ranging from easy to difficult, from level, wooded paths to strenuous rocky bluffs that drop steeply to Potomac River bottomland.

Throw in an old homesite that will fascinate the kids, a picturesque waterfall where Scotts Run enters the Potomac, and plenty of water snakes, and you have an adventure package not even a mile off the beltway.

Scotts Run is also a great place for a tree identification lesson, with a mix of specimens normally found at much higher elevations: hemlock, tulip poplar, birch, maple, chestnut oak, river birch, cottonwood, and sycamore.


Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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