Scott's Run Nature Preserve, McLean

4.5
#1 of 7 in Wildlife in Fairfax County
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
73 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • We were looking for somewhere to take an afternoon hike to a waterfall without having to drive a great distance, and I came across the information for Scott's run. It was a very quick trip from our ho...  more »
  • Nice creek and Potomac River hike. Birds, frogs. Waterfalls. Sadly, too much litter. Dogs ok. Folks don't puck up their dog poop bags, picnic crap. Be more considerate when you hike.  more »
  • Stumbled across this little gem with my daughter. A beautiful scenic trail...very family friendly, not too hazardous. It was a very easy trail with a lot of natural beauty.  more »
Google
  • The parking lot is extremely small and this was my third attempt to go because every time I go there are never any parking spots. I went on a very cloudy / rainy day so I guess that’s why there was one spot open for me. When you first walk on the path you will smell the most disgusting rancid smell ever but it only lasts a few min . I had to walk a lot of incline to get to a very teeny tiny water fall ( if that’s what you want to call it ). There were a ton of people hanging out near it and having a picnic etc so I didn’t get as close as I wanted. Then to walk toward another trail is a ton of inclines and you walk on gravel the entire time so it’s not the easiest or most pleasant trails. Some of the trail is pretty nice and I didn’t notice all the garbage other reviews talked about so I’m guessing it has been cleaned up. Make sure you wear bug spray. I didn’t wear any and got ate up. There are little odd tree stump steps or whatever you have to walk across to get to the other side so if you find that difficult be prepared for very wet feet/ shoes. Overall , I don’t think I will ever go back. If you want a really nice hike visit Great Falls. You have to pay 10.00 parking fee at Great Falls but it’s a two day pass , Little more crowded but plenty of parking , no stinky trails and more scenery
  • Beautiful and quiet park and easy to hike. Some of its trails located the riverside are sand. You can feel sandy cushion while walking the trails. I enjoyed it much. You can be reached Potomac River, and a small but pretty falls. It is another joy of this park.
  • 10-15 years ago this was a beautiful, clean and quiet place. It is a SHAME what has happened to this place. Broken bottles, cig butts, pizza boxes and other trash everywhere. Nothing but foreigners/immigrants and their kids swimming in water peppered with broken bottles. Retards. ICE should pay a visit to this place...... Diversity is grand; ........except for when the culture that comes along with it includes leaving trash everywhere and NO RESPECT for nature or other people. I will always have fond memories of what this place was in the past. Unfortunately, it will NEVER be the same.
  • The amount of garbage people leave behind is upsetting. Great place to walk around in the streams with the kids. There are signs that say no swimming or wading but seems they are posted as a way the county protects themselves from injuries or drownings. There are people enjoying the water and falls which I think is great. People have to make sure the clean up their garbage and this place would be great.
  • A great place to go hiking when you don’t want to drive far to get there. I went during the weekdays to walk my dog so there were barely any people using the trails. However, I do not recommend walking to the highly touristic waterfall spot as the trail is more of a huge walkway and it smells like trash the majority of the way there (from weekend visitors not picking up after themselves). Once you get to the waterfall it is very underwhelming as it is just a garbage dump for people unwilling to bring their trash back with them😡 However, what I wrote above is just ONE trail of many here. Just use ANY of the rest and you can still hike to the river, honestly love the rest of the trails
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