Scott's Run Nature Preserve, McLean

4.5
#4 of 7 in Things to do in McLean
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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Scott's Run Nature Preserve Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
70 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • What I love about this hike is the reward: although it isn’t a big one, there is a waterfall at the end of the hike.  more »
  • A nice short walk - parking can be tough and the stream crossings can get your feett a little wet. Lots of dogs.  more »
  • Great parking - two different access points. The most Western access has best parking and is trail head for main trail. Great trails. Accessible and stepping stone creek crossings. Gravel and dirt tra...  more »
Google
  • This park is very popular so the parking runs out fast. Also groups of people tend to spend the day drinking at the waterfalls and take over the area as well as leave their trash. So planning is a must for this hike so you can enjoy the trails. and water But there are other trails and areas of the park and the trails are in good condition.
  • Such a beautiful place for some fresh air to get away from the city life. The hike is the perfect amount to get to the waterfall where you can swim and take pictures. We had a nice little picnic while we pet dogs. The only issue was parking but luckily we got there early!
  • Great place to swim. It's VERY crowded so you will need to be patient when parking. A sewage line runs under the path so some parts stink.
  • Ok so first off I'm a nature Lover. The woods are the one place i can be happy being instead of doing, which is great when we live in a city life side hussle economy. This park I a real gem in such a developed area. It's a nice oak, poplar and birch forest with a decent amount of topography that rolls it's way to the Potomac river. The trails are easy to navigate and well maintained. The forest itself varies from rolling hills to some decent rock cliff faces down by the river. It has trail good for the families with small children to adventurous athlete's. The main sights are of course the waterfall and the Potomac overlook bluff but for the more adventurous there are some great sights off trail. In all I'd say there are about 12 miles of trails and a million reasons to visit. This park takes weeks of my time every year and it's time well spent.
  • I was walking the 100-mile NOVA Loop Trail. New signs enplaced by PHTA to guide you from Scott's to new trail sections of Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, both north, Live Oak Dr. and south, along and across Georgetown Pike.

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