Opportunities abound in Reston and its environs to get outdoors for fitness, relaxation and fun.
The Reston trail system is wonderful, but don’t feel confined to the trails in your neighborhood. Check out the ones across the community as well. Venture onto the Fairfax Cross County
Trail and hike or bike to Great Falls. Jane and I have walked the Cross County Trail in segments; check for a map at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/cct/.
Within easy driving distance of Reston are unique and special parks at all levels of government. They are free or low cost and at various levels of rigor.
Less than two hours away is the East Coast’s national park—Shenandoah National Park—for great sightseeing and hiking. (www.nps.gov/shen/index.htm) Travel out Route 66 to enter the Park at its northernmost point or take a leisurely drive south on Route 29 to Route 211 and enter the Park. Stay overnight at Skyland Resort, where I worked in the summers as a teenager, or at Big Meadows Lodge. The park is a great attraction any time of the year but is particularly popular in the fall when the leaves turn colors. There have been more black bear sightings this year than I have ever known; just follow the advice of the rangers, and you will be safe with the bears! Very rigorous hikes like Old Rag Mountain or short, flat hikes like Stony Man Mountain are among the options, while White Oak Canyon offers beautiful waterfalls.
For state parks, check out Sky Meadows Park about an hour from Reston.
(www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/sky-meadows#general_information) It has one of the best views of the Virginia Piedmont that I know of, and its trails are fairly flat. Birders love this park.
A great regional park is Meadowlark Gardens (www.novaparks.com/parks/meadowlark-botanical-gardens) just minutes from Reston. We visit often enough to buy an annual membership. Blossoms abound throughout the spring and summer, and some of its trails offer just enough grade for a cardio workout.
Fairfax County Parks are great as well. My grandchildren grew up thinking that I owned Frying Pan Park because I took them there so often. (www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/fryingpanpark). Kidwell Farm is a great educational outing for suburban children to experience a little of life on a farm. In the spring there are new baby animal births regularly that provide education and entertainment for children.
No need to travel far if you live in Reston for a healthy and fun outdoor adventure. If you see me on the trails, please say hello. I am always glad to talk with constituents around Reston!