As the leaves change colors and the weather becomes crisp, autumn is the perfect time to explore the natural beauty surrounding Alexandria, Virginia. The city is blessed with an abundance of hiking trails that showcase the colorful fall foliage and offer a refreshing escape. In this blog, we will guide you through some of our favorite fall hikes in and around Alexandria, along with recommendations for the best spots to grab food or drinks nearby after your hike.
Huntley Meadows Park:
Located just south of Alexandria, Huntley Meadows Park is a hidden gem for nature enthusiasts. The park boasts a variety of trails, including the popular Wetland Boardwalk Trail. As you hike through the wetlands, you’ll be surrounded by vibrant autumn colors and have the chance to spot wildlife such as beavers, herons, and turtles. After your hike, head to a local favorite, The Haven, for a pizza, a wide selection of craft beers, and ice-cream next door.
Mount Vernon Trail:
For a scenic hike along the Potomac River, look no further than the Mount Vernon Trail. This 18-mile trail stretches from George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate to Theodore Roosevelt Island, offering breathtaking views of the river and the city skyline. During the fall, the trail is adorned with colorful foliage, making it a picturesque spot for a hike. Why not stop into The Mount Vernon Inn and savor the flavors of early America.
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Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve:
Nestled along the Potomac River, the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve is a haven for nature lovers. This serene marshland is home to a diverse range of bird species, making it a bird-watcher’s paradise. The preserve features a loop trail that takes you through wetlands, forests, and meadows, providing ample opportunities to immerse yourself in nature’s beauty. After your hike, head to the Portner Brewhouse, a local brewery and restaurant, where you can savor unique beer flavors and indulge in delicious comfort food. Afterward, head into Old Town for drinks at O’Connells or a fancy dinner at the Old Town establishment, Landini Brothers.
Great Falls Park:
Just a short drive from Alexandria, Great Falls Park offers awe-inspiring views of the Potomac River cascading over dramatic rock formations. The park features several hiking trails, including the Billy Goat Trail, which offers a more challenging hike with enjoyable vistas. After exploring the park’s rugged beauty, head to the Old Angler’s Inn, a historic tavern offering a cozy atmosphere and a menu featuring classic American cuisine.
The Bottom Line:
Fall is the perfect time to lace up your hiking boots and explore the natural wonders around Alexandria. Whether you prefer wetlands, river trails, or rugged landscapes, there is a hike for everyone. After your adventure, reward yourself with a delicious meal or refreshing drink at one of the nearby establishments we mentioned. So go ahead, embrace the beauty of autumn and embark on a memorable hiking experience in Alexandria, Virginia.
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