Scott's Run Nature Preserve, McLean

#1 of 7 in Wildlife in Fairfax County
Wildlife Area · Nature / Park
Scott's Run Nature Preserve is a nature preserve in Fairfax County, Virginia, United States. Located in McLean, it is bordered by Virginia State Route 193 to its south, Interstate 495 to its east and the Potomac River to its north. It encompasses 336 acres (136 ha) of woodland with its namesake, Scott's Run, flowing through its west side. Scott's Run originates in nearby Tysons Corner and enters the Potomac on the northwest side of the preserve. The preserve is noted for including eastern hemlocks among its plant life, which are rare for the area. It is a popular destination for recreation and hiking and is operated by the Fairfax County Park Authority.
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Scott's Run Nature Preserve reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
86 reviews
  • I love Scott’s run because it’s a short hike to the Potomac River. Children and dogs on leash are welcome and the leaves are fantastic in the Fall. Just remember that you are going downhill to the...  more »
  • This place is such a peaceful nature preserve to walk, hike, or just hangout by the water. It is pet-friendly, so feel free to bring your four-legged friend with you as well. There are a few trails in this park - some which loop around (maybe a mile round trip), and some that are more ... intense (could take a few hours). My first time there, I was not paying attention and ended up going on what I believe was the blue trail; that wasn't a bad thing, it just ended up being a longer hike than I normally planned. If you do the quick trip to the waterfall and back, you're not really taking too much time at all. The hike isn't too bad - there is a bit of a climb to go to the waterfall, but it's well worth it. There, you can just hangout and relax if you want (it's often frequented by people that just want to sunbathe there as well). As always, and this goes without saying, make sure to stay hydrated on the trail, especially if you get lost - you want to make sure to be prepared for anything. In any case, the short trail is definitely kid friendly and family friendly (and again, pets welcome!)
  • We picked a very popular weekend. Got there early enough to find parking, but just barely. Good elevation change, some steep hills. Multiple trails and ways back. Fairly well marked, we did get off trail without realizing it and stayed on the shore too long. But were able to find a cut through without turning back. Apparently we aren't the only ones. Waterfall had swimmers, a little tough to figure out how to get over to it and no good pics with the photo bombers. Would like to come back during the week see if traffic is less.

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