Tuesday, April 17, 2012

We have moved! Now The Next Best Thing can be found at http://www.novaoutdoors.com

Please add the new address to your favorites for more great parks in the Northern Virginia Area!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Red Rock Wilderness Overlook Regional Park in Leesburg, VA!

This weekend the family and I checked out Red Rock Wilderness Overlook Regional Park in Leesburg, VA. This 67-acre Loudoun County park has three different hiking trails, red, orange and white trails that lead to the Potomac River. The ruins that surround the parking lot were built by Charles Paxton in 1869 when he purchased 200 acres in Loudoun County. The farmhouse and ice house are the only structures still standing with the farmhouse being private property.
We took the orange trail then we met up with the white trail which led us to the Potomac River. I recommend taking the white trail if you have little ones. The white trail is wider and a little easier hike. The white trail is located at the back of the parking lot and clearly marked with white rectangles can be seen on the trees along the path. The only area that you wouldn't be able to take the a stroller or wagon on the white is when you get to the Potomac. You have to scale some steep trail and some steps. Once you get down by the water the kids have plenty of area to walk around. The water table was pretty low when we were there so it might not be such a large area in the wetter months. There are no restrooms at the park and it's a take your trash with you site.

If you're into geocaching there are many caches hidden in the park. Like this one that the kids and I found on our walk.
This is great park to walk around as the trails aren't that long for the kiddos. There are several picnic benches near the parking lot and trail heads if you want to pack a lunch or snack. It's too bad that there are no restrooms or we would of have stayed longer. The park is off of Edwards Ferry Road and if you're coming from the West it's hard to see the park entrance. But if you're coming from the East you can see the park sign clearly.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Spring Hill Park in Mclean, VA!

Today the kids and I checked out Spring Hill Park in Mclean, VA. Spring Hill Park is part of the Spring Hill Rec Center in Fairfax County.
The park area includes RECenter, astroturf soccer/football fields, baseball fields, walking trails and fenced in playground. The playground is in great shape with a large piece of equipment for the larger kids and toddler size slide for the younger crowd. Both regular and toddler swings are in the area along with picnic benches. The area also has smaller picnic benches for the kids to sit at under the shade of a tree. Restrooms are located inside the RECenter and also porta potties at each individual field.

This is a cute playground great for bringing a picnic lunch or snack. If you live in the area of Spring Hill Road in Mclean you should check it out!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Brandon Park in Leesburg, VA!

A few weeks ago we checked out Brandon Park in the Town of Leesburg, VA. This small park includes a small piece of equipment equipped with special needs ramps and lots of grass for the kids to run around on.
The piece of play equipment is in great condition with a little bit of shade around it. The best part about the park is the creek that runs along the perimeter and the kids can toss rocks and sticks into the water. Sadly the park doesn't have a restroom but if you're in a real pinch a car dealership is next door with a restroom. If you're driving over to the park there is no parking lot but plenty of open spaces at the dealership right next to the entrance to the park.
This a cute neighborhood park and live in the area or you're stuck at the local car dealerships you should walk over and check them out!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Franklin Park in Purcellville, VA!

Today we were out in Western Loudoun County and decided to hit up Franklin Park in Purcellville, VA. This 203-acre park has lots of natural space and plenty of activities for everyone. Franklin Park Performing and Visual Arts Center is also located in the park.

The park has many different sports venues including inline skating rink, volleyball court, tennis courts, soccer fields, baseball fields, disc golf course and swimming pool. In addition to the sports venues there are two different trails an outer loop used for hiking, walking and biking and the inner loop is used for horseback riding. A catch and release pond is located by the baseball fields and has several docks to fish from.

A large fenced in playground is located over by the baseball fields along with an indoor restroom and picnic pavilion. The playground has two large pieces of equipment and both toddler and regular swings. The play area has plenty of shade near and over the equipment.

This is a very nice park with plenty of activities for everyone. The park has a great natural feel and the kids had a great time walking the trails. If you live in the Purcellville area I would highly recommend checking out this park.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Tuscarora Creek Park in Leesburg, VA!

Last week we checked out Tuscarora Creek Park in the Town of Leesburg, VA. A local Dad had told me about the park along with a few others. The park gets it's name from the Tuscarora Creek which sits below the park near the W & OD Trail. Trail access is available right next to the park and a paved path takes you down a slight hill to the trail.

The park has one piece of play equipment which is more appropriate for the older kids than the younger crowd. There are both toddler and regular swings available. There is no shade over the equipment but the kids can escape the sun either under the pavilion or amongst the trees that surround the park. A picnic pavilion is available to rent along with the restrooms. Sadly the restrooms are only available during the rental periods.

The Tuscarora Creek Park in Loudoun County is small but great if you live near the Battlefield Parkway Expansion Bridge. With access to the W & OD Trail if you live near you could use the trail to access the park. An added bonus is the small creek down the paved trail where the kiddos can check out the frogs and throw rocks into the water.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Greenway Park in Leesburg, VA!

Today we checked out Greenway Park in Leesburg, VA. The park is located in the single-family home neighborhood of Greenway Farms in the Town of Leesburg.

This is a very cute neighborhood park with a tot lot, nature trail and basketball court. Sadly there are no restrooms or swings but the kids had a great time playing on the equipment. There isn't any shade over the equipment but there a few picnic tables in the shade between the playground and basketball court.

Great park and if you live near the Greenway Farms development in Loudoun County you should check it out!