Listed below are parks and museums in Fairfax County
Museums & Historic Sites:
Click here for museums and historical sites in Fairfax County.
The Fairfax County Park Authority operates 420 parks including 371 miles of trails, lakes with marinas, historic sites, and nature centers. These parks include 274 athletic fields (30 synthetic turf). The Fairfax County Park Authority also manages the maintenance of more than 500 athletic fields for Fairfax County Public Schools. The Fairfax Cross County Trail is a 40 mile trail for pedestrians, cyclists, & equestrian use. It connects Great Falls National Park (Potomac River) to Occoquan Regional Park (Occoquan River). Facilities of the Fairfax County Park Authority:
NIKE Missile Site W-64, Lorton Virginia, was built during 1954 and was part of the Army Air Defense Command (ARADCOM). A ring of 11 NIKE anti-aircraft missile batteries were strategically positioned around Washington. Three of these were in Fairfax County (Fairfax Station and Great Falls). The Lorton site was the first and largest of the 250 sites nationwide. It was activated in 1954 in cornfields farmed by Lorton Prison inmates. The original barracks, warhead-assembly and fire-support buildings and the 6 launch pads for the 24 nuclear-tipped NIKE missiles at the Lorton site were at the intersection of Hooes Road and Furnace Road. The first missile system (1954) supported 24 NIKE-Ajax missiles. In 1958 NIKE-Hercules with nuclear warheads were placed at the Lorton missile site.
In 1974, defense department budget cuts and the advanced missile threat of the Soviet Union, caused the Lorton NIKE site and several others to close in 1974. The District of Columbia Civil Defense Headquarters Bunker at Lorton Prison also closed following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The archives and artifacts of the bunker were donated to the new Cold War Museum at the WWII Army listening post at Vint Hill Army Base in Warrenton.
Before the Lorton NIKE missile site was built, the only protection from a surprise attack of Washington, D. C. was provided by prison inmates scanning the skies for enemy planes from an observation tower (Penitentiary Tower #1), near the future NIKE Site’s Fire Control Area and the South County Middle School were to be built
City of Fairfax Parks & Recreation
The City of Fairfax maintains 23 parks with sports fields, walking trails, playgrounds, and pavilions. Click here for updates and events from the Fairfax City Parks & Recreation.
Fairfax County Park Authority
Updates for activities and special events in Fairfax County Parks can be found on the Fairfax County Park Authority Facebook page. The Fairfax County Park Authority website has information related to the following services:
- Arts & Crafts
- Athletic Fields & Gyms
- Camps, Clinics, & Classes
- Children’s Programs
- Community Centers
- Equestrian Parks & Farms
- Farmers Markets
- Ice Skating
- Martial Arts
- Off-Leash Dog Areas
- Performing Arts
- Picnic Areas
- Programs & Events
- Nature & Historic Sites
- Senior Centers
- Sports Leagues Directory
- Teen Centers
- Tennis Courts
- Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole
Fairfax County Recreation Centers:
Major Parks in Fairfax County:
- Burke Lake Park (Fairfax Station)
- Clemyjontri Park (McLean)
- Frying Pan Farm (Herndon)
- Great Falls Grange Park (Great Falls)
- Lake Accotink Park (Springfield)
- Lake Fairfax Park (Reston)
- Laurel Hill Park (Lorton)
- Braddock Park (Clifton)
- Mason District Park (Annandale)
- Nottoway Park (Vienna)
- Green Spring Gardens (Alexandria)
- Turner Farm Park (Great Falls)
Northern Virginia Regional Parks
The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority (NVRPA) maintains the following regional parks in Fairfax County:
- Atlantis Waterpark at Bull Run Regional Park (Centreville)
- Bull Run Marina (Clifton)
- Bull Run Shooting Center (Centreville)
- Fountainhead (Fairfax Station)
- Hemlock Overlook (Clifton)
- Meadowlark Botanical Gardens (Vienna)
- Occoquan (Lorton)
- Pirates Cove Waterpark at Pohick Bay Regional Park
- Sandy Run Regional Park (Fairfax Station)
- Washington & Old Dominion Regional Park (W&OD). The W&OD Regional Park is a 45 mile long, 100 feet wide asphalt pedestrian trail, and 32.5 mile crushed stone & dirt equestrian trail which connects Alexandria to Falls Church in Fairfax County, and continues into Loudoun County where the W&OD Trail continues through Leesburg and Purcellville.
Bull Run Regional Park (Bull Run Post Office Road & Compton Road) is in Centreville near Manassas National Battlefield Park in Prince William County. This Northern Virginia Regional Park features Atlantis outdoor water park, boat and recreational vehicle storage, camping grounds, children’s playground, disc golf, equestrian trails, hiking trails, indoor archery, Occoquan Water Trail, picnic grounds, pavilion, shelter, and cabin rentals, public shooting center (sporting clay, skeet, trap, wobble trap), special events center, and soccer fields. Click here for details surrounding the activities, memberships, events, reservations, catering, and all information related to the 11,000 acres of the 31 parks managed by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority featuring golf courses, swimming pools, hiking trails and several other items of interest.
Mason Neck State Park (Lorton)
Click here for more information for Fairfax County Gardens & Nature Centers, and Parks & Trails
- Great Falls Park (Great Falls)
- Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts (Vienna)
- George Washington Parkway (Alexandria).
Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna. In 1966 Catherine Filene Shouse (1896-1994) donated 98 acres of Wolf Trap Farm to the National Park Service for the purpose of becoming the first national park for the performing arts. Wolf Trap Farm Park has grown into a 130 acre performing arts center featuring a 7,000 seat indoor-outdoor amphitheater for a variety of musical artists. Wolf Trap schedules events from May through September. While owned by Mrs. Shouse, Wolf Trap Farm was visited by several foreign dignitaries, and General George C Marshall & General Omar Bradley during World War II. Mrs. Shouse received 13 honorary doctorate degrees, obtained several presidential appointments throughout her life, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Mount Vernon was an 18th century Potomac River plantation south of Alexandria, and home to President George Washington for 40 years. It was first referred to as Little Hunting Creek Plantation, and built in stages from 1757-1778. The estate features a distillery (c. 1797) and gristmill (1771), botanical gardens, museum, 16-sided treading barn, the tomb of George & Martha Washington, and the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant & Gift Shop. The 2,000 acres of Mount Vernon became the sole possession of George Washington (inherited through family) in 1761. George Washington expanded the plantation to 8,000 acres, and enlarged the Palladian style mansion house to 21 rooms and 11,028 square feet. Today, the estate is owned by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association who saved it from disrepair and rebuilt much of the plantation buildings on 500 acres of remaining plantation land. The Mount Vernon Distillery at Dogue Creek sells limited edition rye whiskey for $98/bottle and straight rye whiskey for $188/bottle at The Shops of Mount Vernon. The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association is authorized to sell 5,000 gallons of whiskey each year from Mount Vernon’s distillery operation.