Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Greenbrier State Park in Boonsboro, MD!

Today my friend and I took the kids to Greenbrier State Park in Boonsboro, MD. It took us about 55 minutes to get there with very little traffic during the weekday. The reason we were headed to the state park was for the sandy beaches around the lake. It cost $4 dollars for each adult and the kids were free.

We were excited to see two different roped off areas for the younger and older kids to swim with two different beaches fully staffed with lifeguards. Before you hit the beach there were plenty of picnic tables in the shade to enjoy lunch. Park restrooms with showers were extremely clean and very close to the beach area. If the beach wasn't enough fun they also have a huge playground for the kids to run around.

We are definitely going to hit up Greenbrier State Park again. The drive with the kids was easy and we were told by a local mom that the weekends are pretty crazy so the best time to go is during the weekdays. So if you are looking for a fun getaway for the kids within an hour drive check out Greenbrier State Park!

Next Stop...Hadley's Park in Sterling, VA!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ida Lee Park in Leesburg, VA!

Yesterday we checked out Ida Lee Park in Leesburg, VA for the first time. This Western Loudoun County park is very nice. It includes a community garden share, water park, tennis courts, basketball courts, walking trails, library, recreation center and two playgrounds. Since we were coming from Potomac Falls we had a nice drive through the historic section of Leesburg to arrive at the park.

When we went it was in the afternoon hours and the playground was in complete shade. There was plenty of benches and picnic tables to sit and watch the kids play.  Also a small shaded pavillion was available for groups or parties. A porta potty was available next to the park but the library is very close if you want a clean indoor restroom. The play equipment was in great shape and the kids had a blast.

We are definitely going to come back and play at this park again! The kids had a great time and the park was nice and clean.

Next Stop....Greenbrier State Park in Boonsboro, MD!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Poplar Tree Park in Chantilly, VA

Last week we checked out Poplar Tree Park in Chantilly, VA. This Fairfax County Park is located off Stringfellow Road between Route 50 and Route 29. The park is located amongst older single family homes and newer planned communites including townhomes, condos, and single family homes.

Poplar Tree Park is more of a sports park complex but it does have a set of equipment for the kids to play on. The park has 4 softball/baseball fields, two turf soccer/football fields and a grass soccer field. The park does have clean restrooms and not porta potties. The playground equipment is older and one slide was shut down when we were there. But there was plenty of shade for the equipment during the morning hours.

I probably won't return to the park but for a local community park this one has a lot to offer local sports clubs. The fields are in great shape with lots of bleachers for spectators.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Elizabeth Mills Riverfront Park in Ashburn, VA!

The other day we checked out Elizabeth Mills Riverfront Park at the advice of a friend. Located in Loudoun County you have to drive through the neighboorhood of Lansdowne on the Potomac to arrive at the entrance to the park. You'll find the pathway takes you right through The Golf Club at Lansdowne golf course. Just follow the signs as you stroll down the cart paths towards the Potomac River. I felt a little odd walking through the course but the marshalls were there pointing the way to the Potomac along with the signs.

Once we got down to the Potomac a small set of wooden steps led us down to the river. Since the water level was lower large boulders were available to explore along with small river shells for the kids to collect. Once the kids got bored we walked back up the steps and along the section of Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail that lies inside the park. It was a nice shady walk with the kids. We did use our stroller most of the way. If you are a geo-cacher this place is great for searching for hidden caches. After the park we hit up the golf courses' small snack bar located at the entrance of the trail. They had no problems serving a non member and allowed us to sit at the tables and chairs to eat our lunch. Plus there is restroom attached to the snack bar.

We are definitely coming back to this natural park for some more fun! It was a beautiful setting to take the kids and burn off some of  that extra energy they always seem to have.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Northside Park in Vienna, VA!

While we were in Vienna,VA we checked out Northside Park. It is a 26 acre undeveloped park with unpaved hiking and walking trails throughout. This Fairfax County park is located just off of the W&OD Trail tucked next to a nice older neighborhood.

This park is a great location to take the kids hiking/ walking through the nature trails. Also if you enjoy geo-caching then this is the perfect place for you. Northside Park is a nice natural park found in the middle of Vienna. The family and I will definitely return here to check out all the trails.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Glyndon Park in Vienna, VA!

This week we checked out Glyndon Park in the town of Vienna, VA! Vienna has a hometown feel and the older surrounding neighborhoods are filled with beautiful custom homes.

The cute little park is surrounded by huge older trees with plenty of shade. The 11-acre park has a baseball field, basketball court and two lighted tennis courts. Along with a very nice playground and walking trails a picnic pavillion is available. Restrooms are available at the park.

This is very nice park in a great area. We will definitely will be visiting this park in the future!

Next Stop Northside Park in Vienna, VA!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Horsepen Run in Potomac Falls, VA!

Horsepen Run in Potomac Falls, VA is located in the planned community of Countryside. The Countryside community in Loudoun County was completed in 1991 and consists of Manor Homes, Single Family Homes, Townhouses and Condos. Horsepen Run is 370-acres of undeveloped land that was donated by the developer of the Countryside community. Now Horsepen Run is a protected wetland preserve that has several different trails with the main trail leading to the Potomac River.

Horsepen Run can be accessed from the Parkway Pool parking lot off Algonkian Parkway. Along the main gravel trail you'll find plenty of shade and a few benches on your way to the Potomac. A small creek runs the length of the trail and eventually runs out into the Potomac inlet. Smaller trails like the Bobcat, Deer and Eagle Trails allow you to walk further into the woods off of the main trail. A stroller or wagon can be taken down the main trail with a little effort. The trials are a great place to walk, jog or bike. There are a few geo-caches in the area as well. Once you have reached the Potomac there 6 picnic benches to enjoy a snack or lunch.

The kids always have a great time walking through Horsepen Run. We always spot a turtle or some other type of wildlife. Plus we can't beat having a nice natural walking area so close to our home in the Countryside community. In the future Horsepen Run may be part of Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail System.

Next stop Glyndon Park in Vienna, VA!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Brown's Chapel Park in Reston, VA!

Today we visited Brown's Chapel Park located in Reston, VA in Fairfax County. The park is located near Lake Newport one of the four lakes in the Reston area. Brown's Chapel Park is located off of Baron Cameron Road and Brown's Chapel Road across from the Lake Anne Plaza.

The park includes a small tot lot, baseball fields, basketball and volleyball courts. It also has plenty of areas to exercise including paved and natural trails that are part of the trail system that runs throughout Reston. Restrooms and picnic tables are available as well. Brown's Chapel can be rented for meetings and small gatherings.

 Lake access is available for fishing and hand carried boats. Single family homes, townhouses and condos line most of the shore of Lake Newport but trails weave in and out of the neighborhoods and have plenty of shade on hot days. Also this is a great place to take the family geo-caching.

The area is beautifully wooded and the kids had fun walking trails by the lake and through the wooded neighborhoods. Markers are located along the paths with mileage for each pathway. Numerous maps are available online for the different sections of Reston. The North Point Map highlights the different paths in and near Brown's Chapel Park.

The park is a great place to take the kids for some exercise or just a leisurely stroll along the trails. Once you're done you can walk over to the Lake Anne Plaza for something to eat.

Next stop.....Popular Tree Park in Chantilly, VA!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Lyndora Park in Ashburn, VA!

Lyndora Park is located in Ashburn, VA in a planned community called Loudoun Valley. The Loudoun County community park backs up to open natural space and as you drive to the park you pass large single-family homes. Loudoun Valley was developed by Toll Brothers and the park was designed by them as well. The park is located right next door to the community club house and pool on Lucketts Bridge Road.

The park can be accessed either by Route 28, Route 50 and or Route 267 Dulles Toll Road. The park has a small fenced in tot lot, very well maintained baseball and soccer field. Two Porta Potties were available for restrooms. The best part of the park was the large pond. The pond has a walk out so you can see the geese, turtles and fish swimming in the pond. The pond is also catch and release and many residents were fishing when we checked it out.

Cute little park! The equipment was in great condition but lacked shade. The gnats were pretty bad in the grassy areas but at the tot lot they seemed to be okay. All the natural trees were nice to see in such a newer planned community.

Next stop......Brown's Chapel Park in Reston, VA!