Hit the Trail at Turkey Run Park

Making our way down to the Potomac Heritage Trail, which runs through the park


This weekend’s spell of nice weather prompted this post about an area hike. As I discussed a long while back, going hiking is one of our favorite ways to seize the day outdoors. It’s important to Levi and me that our city kids get a regular dose of nature, plus walks in the woods always make for great family outings. They’re such an easy, peaceful, fun, and active way to spend time together — in a pretty outdoor setting.

Family tramping

Turkey Run Park is a great option for hiking with kids. Located right off the GW Parkway near 495, it contains nearly 700 acres of woods, trails that ramble along the Potomac, streams that flow down from the woods to the river, great views from the shoreline, and a variety of wildlife.

Pretty Potomac views

Bigs rocks by the river to are nice rest stops

Cutest guide on the trail

Hikes are fairly easy, and you can opt for trails anywhere from about one to four miles long. We usually start from Parking Lot C, taking the “stairs” down to the river before walking along the banks for awhile and up through the woods,  then hopping on a trail that leads back to the lot, about a 3-mile jaunt altogether. There are clusters of big rocks on the riverbanks where it’s nice to stop and take in the views (or have a picnic if you’re so inclined). There are sometimes fallen trees to scramble over or walk upon and a few small footbridges to cross over streams. Birds and squirrels are easy to spy, and we always keep our eyes peeled for deer.

Skipping along a patch of sunlight

Navigating the rocks together

A stream runs through it

A few picnic areas with tables are perfect for lunch al fresco, and there’s also some open space to toss a Frisbee or kick a ball around.

Plenty of room for a picnic

And frolicking, too.

Turkey Run Park is accessible via the GW Parkway, right before the Beltway. Hours are 6am -10pm. There is no admission fee. Check out the trail map ahead of time to help plan your visit there.


Filed under All ages, Free, Outdoor, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

2 Responses to Hit the Trail at Turkey Run Park

  1. Thanks for the post! Based on your recommendation, we hiked there today (for the first time). The kids had a love/hate relationship with all the stream crossings, but other than that we had the perfect afternoon. Thanks!!!

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