Bird Hike! Metro Friendly Huntley Meadows Park: A 4.6 Very Easy/Newbie Friendly Hike!
Covering 1,424 acres just south of Alexandria, ... more »Huntley Meadows Park ranks as one of the metro area’s largest close-in parks.
Whether you come to hike, wildlife watch or simply to relax, Huntley Meadows Park will provide you with a premiere nature experience for the entire family!
This Fairfax County Park’s key attraction is a beaver-created wetland with excellent viewing stations. Also, the visitor center has excellent exhibits at this park! Huntley Meadows lies in a wet lowland that was carved out by an ancient meander of the Potomac River. The resulting freshwater wetland is one of the rarest habitats left in Fairfax County. Acre for acre, a healthy wetland supports more life than almost any other habitat. Wetlands also purify polluted waters and control the destructive power of floods and storms
Its centerpiece is a 500-acre freshwater marsh—the area’s largest—surrounded by mostly deciduous woodlands. The result is a protected natural habitat with a remarkable array of plants and animals. Huntley is an attractive year-round hiking venue, especially for people keen on natural history.
Some of the best wildlife watching in the Washington metropolitan area is enjoyed here. From the ½ mile wetland boardwalk trail and observation tower, people have excellent views of beavers, frogs, dragonflies and herons. Huntley Meadows is well known as a prime birding spot, with over 200 species identified in the park. Parts taken from the book "50 Amazing Things You Must See and Do in the Great D.C. Area"
Nearby City: Alexandria
Length: 4.6 total miles
Trail Type: Out-and-Back
Skill Level: Very easy and newbie friendly
Exposure: Mostly shady; much less so in winter
Trail Surface: Mostly fine gravel on main land trails; boardwalk across marsh; dirt on side trail—muddy when wet
Duration: 2-4 hours including stops to enjoy nature and take pics
Elevation Gain: Mimimal and pretty much flat
Scenery: Wetlands, woodlands
Facilities: Toilet at the parking lot; toilets (inside), water, and phone at visitor center less «