Hike the Scott's Run Nature Preserve Trail
Virginia › Scott's Run Nature Preserve Parking
Added by Jayce Christine
In the middle of the suburban sprawl that is McLean lies a small nature oasis of 300+ acres in Scott's Run Nature Preserve, bordering the Potomac River.
This nature preserve can be hiked year-round and is a sanctuary for rare wildflowers, birds, and other wildlife including deer and fox. There are six main interconnecting trails that run through the preserve; winding their way around matured hardwood forest, sheer bluffs, and rocky cliffs overlooking the Potomac River.
There are two parking lots with trailheads linked by a connector trail. To start this loop, park at the larger western parking area just past the intersection of Georgetown Pike and Swinks Mill Rd. Start down the path from the trailhead entrance, where in 0.3 miles you will turn right to cross over the river at the cement pillar stepping stones. Head uphill for 0.1 mile until you reach the junction of the wooden stairs, where you will turn left and continue downhill for 0.1 miles. At the bottom of the hill is the waterfall, which converges with the Potomac River.
For a short hike, you can return back the way you came, or to continue the loop, turn right at the waterfall and continue hiking 0.5 miles along the riverbank on the Potomac Heritage Trail, until you reach Stubblefield Falls Overlook on your left-- a rocky outcropping that looks out over the Potomac. From the intersection of the Potomac Heritage Trail with the overlook, turn right onto the yellow blazed Stubblefield Falls Overlook Trail. Continue on this trail for about a mile to the smaller eastern parking lot. Once you reach the lot, turn right to return to your starting point via the purple parking lot connector trail.
- Comfortable hiking shoes or sneakers
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ReviewsLeave a Review
Don't Come For The Falls
Once we got here we hiked directly to Scott's Run Falls thinking it would be the highlight of the hike. However, there was trash and litter everywhere as well as Tina of people and noise. The real beauty is in the rest of the park. My favorite 2 places are the Potomac Heritage Trail running along the river and the overlook trail. The Potomac heritage trail traverses some steep cliffs and goes through lush greens. Truly beautiful. The overlook at the end of the overlook trail is also very nice. Don't come for the Falls though.
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