Fall starts next week and the Metropolitan DC area contains many parks, hiking trails and outdoor activities to help you enjoy the cooler weather and fall foliage. Here is a quick list of local parks, orchards and trails that are the perfect places to explore, while we continue to practice social distancing guidelines.
Green Springs Gardens: Located in Alexandria, Virginia just off of Little River Turnpike, Green Springs Gardens is a great place to visit on a sunny day. Walk along the paved pathways that lead to several different ponds, enjoy the blooming flowers or pop into the gift shop. There’s plenty of open space, so you can keep your distance from others, while enjoying some fresh air. (Bonus: if you’re an artist, Green Spring Gardens is an excellent place to draw or paint!)
Roosevelt Island: Nestled between Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia, Roosevelt Island sits on the Potomac River and offers excellent views of Rosslyn and Georgetown. There are three hiking trails that run around or through the island. Placards contain information on the history of the island, the wildlife in the area and President Theodore Roosevelt’s connection to the park. If you’re lucky, you may even cross paths with a deer, rabbit or other local critter. Roosevelt Island is a great way to spend a cool fall morning or afternoon!
Scotts Run Nature Preserve: Interested in a more rigorous hike? Drive down Georgetown Pike to Scotts Run Nature Preserve. Boasting seven marked trails with various degrees of difficulty, the preserve brings you closer to nature. You can choose a trail that leads to the bluffs overlooking the Potomac River, walk and observe the wildflowers that grow in the area or sit on the craggy rocks and dip your feet in the flowing streams. One day is not enough to fully explore Scotts Run, so be sure to make multiple trips while you can.
Apple/Pumpkin Picking: No fall is complete without a visit to a local apple orchard or pumpkin patch and luckily there are plenty of farms in the surrounding area. Cox Farms will open up their Drive-Through Market next week and will offer goods such as apple cider, apple cider doughnuts, fresh produce and other treats available for pick up. The market will run through November 2nd, so there’s plenty of time to place an order. Great Country Farms in Bluemont, Virginia is now open for apple picking and their pumpkin patch will open later this month. Though the farm is open every day for apple picking, you must purchase tickets to visit during the weekend. This year’s apple picking season will feel different with farms and orchards implementing social distancing and mask guidelines. Be sure you read and understand the rules before making a trip for some freshly picked apples!
Whether you're a hiker on the hunt for the next challenging trail, a baker in need of some fresh fruit for your favorite holiday treats or just a student in need of a quick respite, there are countless ways to socially distance and enjoy this fall!