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Scott's Run Nature Preserve, McLean

Categories: Wildlife Areas, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.7/5 based on 50+ reviews on the web
Scott's Run Nature Preserve is a nature preserve in Fairfax County, Virginia, United States. Located in McLean, it is bordered by Virginia State Route 193 to its south, Interstate 495 to its east and the Potomac River to its north. It encompasses 336acre of woodland with its namesake, Scott's Run, flowing through its west side. Scott's Run originates in nearby Tysons Corner and enters the Potomac on the northwest side of the preserve. The preserve is noted for its plant life to include hemlocks, which are rare for the area. It is a popular destination for recreation and hiking and is operated by the Fairfax County Park Authority.HistoryBefore the property was owned by Fairfax County, it belonged Edward B. Burling, a co-founder of the Covington & Burling law firm. During the 1920s Burling purchased the land for $200 an acre and built a cabin on the north side. He used the property for relaxation and informal business meetings. After Burling's death in October 1966, his descendants sold the property to Miller & Smith Associates (MSA) to avoid its tax burdens. MSA planned to build 309 luxury homes on what was known as the "Burling Tract". Plans also included leaving 52 percent of the land relatively untouched. When Elizabeth Miles Cooke, who lived next to the tract, noticed it was slated for development, she help organize an opposition. After a lengthy debate between citizens, the Virginia Governor, several U.S. senators, developers, and local organizations, voters opted to raise their taxes in a referendum on 14 July 1970. The measure would secure $1.5 million in order to help purchase the land. An additional $1.5 million in funding was provided by the Department of the Interior and $0.6 million from state and local governments. On 5 September 1970 the tract was officially purchased by Fairfax County for $3.6 million.
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  • The smell along the trail was awful--sewage. Small waterfall. Lots of people in the water and on the rocks so it was hard to get any uncluttered pic. Easy wide path though. 
  • There are trails provided for hikers of all levels of fitness. Parking is very limited, so on weekends (especially during summer), remember to come early. At the bottom of the trail is a lovely waterf...  read more »
  • This is a beautiful park on the edge of the Potomac River with hiking trails through wooded parkland. It's not nearly as crowded as Great Falls National Park, which is right next door. There's also no...  read more »
  • A great escape 30 min from downtown DC. Easily done with children. Beautiful creek that runs into the Potomac via a small waterfall. Need confortable shoes
  • A beautiful hiking area close to Washington, D.C. The park is not as crowded as Great Falls and you can spend 3 hours or more here and be very content. Today I came with a few friends to see the waterfall that sits along the river. It's a wonderful place to go on a date or bring the kids. The parking lot is much smaller then Great Falls to be prepared for that. Trails are easy to intermediate level.
  • Beautiful place, family friendly. Fun swimming spots in the summer.
  • Great place to take a hike and cool off
  • It's a cool place. The walk and the climbing is all worth it.
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