We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great hiking close to the city”

Scott's Run Nature Preserve
Ranked #4 of 21 things to do in McLean
Attraction details
Reviewed 23 December 2013

This wonderful woodland park offers an easy hike to one of the best waterfall picnic sites in the DC area. Several looping trails through the woods offer a variety of easy routes for a pleasant day's walk. The trail along the Potomac River provides several nice overlooks.

Thank Scott-Michaud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
Reviews (67)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

57 - 61 of 67 reviews

Reviewed 1 December 2013

The fair weather stream crossings were easy even for a whimp like me. You will encounter 2 of them if you park in the lot directly across from Swinks Mill Road and take the gravel path alongside Scotts Run. If you turn left after the intersection with the other trail at the top of the hill after the 2nd stream crossing, you will head downhill to the Potomac and the waterfall. This is the shortest out & back route to the waterfall & the Potomac. Look east for the American Legion Bridge. You can head there by hugging the riverbank - this is the Potomac Heritage Trail, and will lead you further east & south to parallel the shoreline and the GW Parkway (Turkey Run park and GW Parkway HQ). You can enjoy a longer trip back via the woodland trail - bear left at the intersection where you had previously headed downhill. I could not figure out which trail led back to the Swinks Mills parking lot, so I bushwacked a bit and then walked along route 193 (not recommended for the faint of heart or when the leaves and thorns are more prevalent in warm weather).

1  Thank k s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2013

This is one of the best kept secrets in Northern VA. The park is free, unlike Great Falls park, and has lots of beautiful trails that lead down to waterfalls and the Potomac River. My husband and I met each other and got married in this park three years later between towering trees one gorgeous fall afternoon. The park has interesting history. Many years ago local townspeople blocked bulldozers that attempted to remove the forest and replace it with homes and driveways, fortunately, the townspeople won. Come out and enjoy this beautiful Nature Preserve, you won't regret it.

Thank CLKeegan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2013

The nature preserve offers great loop trail with offshoots down to the water. Old home site and a waterfall among the features. Not difficult or hard to find. Somewhat limited parking at lot nearest the beltway-495 on Hwy 193. Well maintained. From this park, once can pick up the trail along the Potomac into Georgetown.

Thank Martha W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2013

Just outside the Beltway is an enclave of woodland peace and tranquillity, with well marked trails leading through the forest, across Scott's Run stream, and down to the Potomac for a waterfall view. Two parking lots but no other facilities.

1  Thank Maureen G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Scott's Run Nature Preserve also viewed

McLean, Fairfax County
McLean, Fairfax County
 
McLean, Fairfax County
McLean, Fairfax County
 

Been to Scott's Run Nature Preserve? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing