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Huntley Meadows Park, Alexandria
(4.6/5 based on 100+ reviews on the web)
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
  • We enjoy visiting Huntley Meadows in every season. The park has well-drained trails and elevated wooden walkways that make it easy for anyone to get up close to the wetland without getting a foot wet....  more »
  • I was ingressing. It's a park. big ducks, harbor, I have great photos of the harbor area. nice landscaping. people don't pick up the dog poop there. I was surprised. Maybe it's a Western States thing? 
  • This is a great place to see wildlife close to the city. Boardwalks over the water get you close. It is different every time you go. 
Google
  • Very nice place for a short walk with a family. This little ecosystem consists of a mixed forest and a lake and wetlands. This attracts birds, turtles, beavers and photographers. Archers can hunt deer in the forest. Dogs can visit this park but are not allowed on the boardwalk. The lake area is a good place for bird watchers. Two types of herons are often there, egrets, woodpeckers and king fishers are easy to spot too. There is a visitors center there and rangers are happy to tell you more about this park. Parking lot is not small, but can be full during weekends, especially when weather is nice. Entrance is free but you can leave some donation at the visitors center. You can also rent a roofed space there for a bbq party.
  • This park is my favorite place to walk my dogs. The front part of the park has a few side trails and 1 main trail. I like that the trail is wide to allow for bikers and runners to go around walkers easily. The back side of the park has even more trails and an amazing trex boardwalk that goes around the wetlands area. I've seen all kinds of wildlife out there and the boardwalk puts you right in the middle.
  • It's beautiful and the paths are in extraordinary condition. Plenty of easy, safe walking available including the boardwalk, and the fall foliage in contrast with the marshy meadow is extraordinary. We'll be back.
  • Awesome escape from the city. First park I've been to in the area where you can't see buildings! Perfect distance and family friendly as well. The trail is clean and the walkway over the marsh is nicely built. Expect to see turtles, butterflies, birds, beavers, maybe even some deer or snakes.
  • This is a great park. Nice and clean with great scenery. First time I went I saw some nice birds and got a nice picture! A very calm place to go on a stroll to. And the little help center has some cool stuff inside it as well.