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Huntley Meadows Park, Alexandria

4.7
#10 of 39 in Things to do in Alexandria
Nature / Park
Huntley Meadows Park, the largest park operated by the Fairfax County Park Authority, is located in the Hybla Valley area of Fairfax County, Virginia, south of the city of Alexandria. The park features a visitor center, a beaver-created wetland with boardwalk, wildlife observation platforms, and an interpretative trail system. The park is home to abundant wildlife and is known for attracting many birds, amphibians, and plants that are considered less common in the region. Secondary-growth forest, sprinkled with several small, native-grass and wildflower meadows surround much of the wetland habitat. The main bodies of water that flow through the park are Dogue Creek at the western border of the park, Barnyard Run, the source of the park's Central Wetland, and the headwaters of Little Hunting Creek.HistoryIn 1757 the land was purchased by George Mason. About 1825 his grandson built Huntley, on a hill overlooking the property. Huntley is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Another grandson held Okeley Manor which is now the northwest portion of the park. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the area was used for dairy farming.In colonial times, this land was part of the extensive property holdings of George Mason IV. Thomson Francis Mason, a grandson of George Mason, built a summer residence on the property in 1825. The house, now known as Historic Huntley, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Virginia Landmarks Register, and the Fairfax County Inventory of Historic Sites.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
132 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • This combines a lovely forested walk with a wetlands boardwalk. The wildlife and wildflowers are amazing. It's a hidden, quiet secret in a populated area.  more »
  • The walkway through the wetlands provides the opportunity to see a good sampling of Virginia's most beautiful wildlife. In a single hour you can see otter, beaver, kingfishers, pileated woodpeckers, C...  more »
  • Very good place for bird watching. Varied landscape attracts different species. A very rich biodiversity. A route well prepared and marked.
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  • This is a beautiful park with both wetlands and forest to walk through and observe wildlife. From large water birds to small perching ones, its great for birding- bring your binoculars! That's not all; there are dragonflies, butterflies, frogs, snakes, muskrat, beavers, deer, and more that you don't see. Great for teaching kids about different kinds of animals and the outdoors.
  • This is one of my favorite parks. Nestled in a suburban metropolis is this oasis just off route 1. The park has a plethora of wildlife quite visible to average visitor. The area holds a large wetland which is navigable by a well made boardwalk, from which you can spy water foul, turtles, frogs and other wildlife. There is a visitor center filled with fun and engaging information. My kids always enjoy our Huntley Meadows walks.
  • Peaceful and calming park to go on a walk, run or ride our bike. There was wildlife and the trees are just beautiful. The park was clean with trash cans and benches around the sidewalks. You will need bug spray but I love this this park.
  • I've been coming to Huntley Meadows for the last 30 years. It is probably the only place in Fairfax county that remains untouched (aside from maintenance and improvements to the boardwalk). A fantastic escape and my daughter loves to visit - always seeing frogs, tadpoles, turtles, geese, muskrats, and deer. But if it's close to dusk don't forget your bug spray!
  • This is a nice place for nature walking. There is a nice variety of wildlife and it is quite relaxing. We try to go there often. It is also a great place for birdwatching.

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Where to stay in Alexandria

Old Town boasts a number of high-end hotels that provide easy walking access to some of Alexandria's most popular restaurants, bars, and attractions. However, these are not typically budget-friendly; those looking to save a few dollars should consider a hotel or motel located on Jefferson Davis Highway. Though not technically within the city boundaries, these accommodations are considerably cheaper and often within walking distance of the metro. Alexandria is also home to a number of charming bed and breakfasts, several of which are located inside historical buildings.
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