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Scott's Run Nature Preserve, McLean

(55+ reviews on the web)
Wildlife Area
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 including eastern hemlocks among its plant life, 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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  • This is a great place to reconnect with nature after living in a large suburban area. The only problem is that everyone else thinks so too. This place is often crowded with no parking available. When ...  more »
  • My boyfriend and I made the mistake of visiting on a sunny Sunday afternoon.The first and second parking lots were filled to the brim and we ended up having to park on the side of the road in nearby n...  more »
  • As the weather is getting nicer, both parking lots fill up faster and faster. I parked in the West lot which is twice the size as the East and it was almost full by 9:15a on a Sunday morning. When I l...  more »
  • Great area to get away from the city. I imagine it gets very busy during the spring and early summer/early fall months, but during the winter months you can pretty much have the place to yourself. There are a few different trails that you can take and they all link together so that you can combine them if you really want to. There's plenty of fantastic hiking in the D.C. area within a reasonable drive, but if you don't have the time then this place will do.
  • This a nice and easy little hike if you have small kids or something. Good for a quick trip to get outdoors. We went on the first nice warm and sunny day of the year so it was pretty crowded, but you can park along the edge of the street when the parking lot overflows.
  • This is a fantastic hiking spot for dogs. Wide main paths that lead to a really good waterfall. Smaller paths lead around a big circle. Hard to get lost with many tail markers.
  • Was a nice enough walk, I guess. Parts of the trail run along a sewer line, so that's fun... and be sure if you go, you don't do the ORANGE trail. There is nothing on any of the signage to tell you about the trails, and orange looked like a good way to get from the ruins back to the run, so my kids could hop across the stepping stones again. Fifteen minutes in, I thought we were going to be lost in the woods--it's poorly marked and clearly not taken care of (large trees have fallen over parts of it, obscuring it). But then you get to the end. Holy cow. It's basically a ravine you have to try to scuttle down without killing yourself. Maybe if we had hiking sticks or I wasn't with 2 kids that would be ok, but it's definitely NOT a beginners trail at all.
  • Overrun by people who have disregarded the Fairfax County leash law and corresponding $250 fine. Adding to this, the Fairfax County Parks Department employees based at Riverbend Park are either too far away or unwilling to monitor and enforce it. If you have a dog on a leash or small children expect unwanted interactions with untrained dogs owned by inconsiderate idiots. Otherwise it's a great park.