It’s healthy to get out into the fresh air and Loudoun has plenty of parks and trails to give those hiking boots a good workout. From the woodland paths and riverfront views of Algonkian Regional Park and Ball’s Bluff Battlefield, to the rollercoaster ups and downs of the Appalachian Trail, accessible at Bear’s Den Overlook, we list the eight best hikes in Loudoun to put a spring in your step and the best places to stop for a treat after.




Algonkian Regional Park

Located on the banks of the Potomac River in Sterling, Algonkian Regional Park features 838 acres of outdoor adventure with paved and natural surface hiking trails. The trails run through wooded areas and open fields and rises to cliffs with beautiful views of the Potomac. There are 12 rustic winterized rental cabins within the park if you want to hang around for blazing sunsets or bright sunrises. Dogs on leashes most welcome.  


Where to Stop

While in Sterling, get a taste of Loudoun farm life by stopping by the family-friendly Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum. Experience this interactive museum in many ways, from milking a life-like cow to immersing in the history of those who farmed the land. To keep the adrenaline going, take a few swings at The Ballpark Loudoun. Enjoy the all-American menu and quench your thirst with a local brew on tap.


Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Regional Park

Located on high banks above the Potomac River north of Leesburg, this regional park contains one of the smallest National Cemeteries in the nation, burial place of soldiers who died in the infamous Battle of Ball’s Bluff on October 21st, 1861. The park offers a one-mile hiking trail with interpretive signs, which take you through open ground, past the cemetery through woodland to high bluffs overlooking the river, spectacular views all around.


Where to Stop

Visit cat-friendly café Catty Corner to mingle with the cats while enjoying a fresh cup of Americano to unwind. Too late in the evening for coffee? Enjoy some fine dining at Echelon Wine Bar – where elegance meets urban. From the award-winning owners of the Vineyards and Winery at Lost Creek, Echelon Wine Bar offers an exquisite food and wine experience that embraces farm-to-table style courses and independently produced wines. Try a glass of the Lost Creek Chardonnay to go with your charcuterie board.


Bazil Newman Riverfront Park

With more than 100 acres of open parkland nestled on the banks of the Potomac River, Bazil Newman Riverfront Park is where land meets water. Walk along the woodland trails to gain access the Potomac River and Goose Creek. The park also encompasses a flowing river for canoeing and kayaking activities. It’s the one stop shop for outdoor adventure.


Where to Stop

After your exploration, visit nearby Pho Bar to replenish your energy with a fresh and light Vietnamese dish.  Pair your meal with something from the extensive drink menu; we suggest the special boba tea or a freshly made fruit-infused slushy.  


Beaverdam Reservoir Trail

Part of the NOVA Parks system, this park and reservoir sprawls across 600 acres with a winding six-mile circular trail along its shore and through dense woodland. You’re in the suburbs but a world away. Accessible year-round, the trail is primarily used for walking and nature trips; dogs are allowed but must be kept on a leash. There is also kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding and fishing, the lake stocked with several species of bass and trout. Cast from the banks or hop into a non-gas boat to get the big ones out in the middle. A Virginia fishing license is required.


Where to Stop                                                                                                                                       

The restaurants and bars of Brambleton Town Center are minutes away, including Creole-American inspired bar Nick’s Taverna and family friendly Blue Ridge Grill with its classic crab cakes, steaks, prime rib and ahi tuna.





Hal and Berni Hanson Regional Park

Tucked away in southeast Loudoun near Brambleton is the new Hal and Berni Hanson Regional Park. This 237-acre park goes beyond hiking as it displays 17 athletic fields, a skating area, open fields for recreation and a nature center where you can obtain an educational view on environmental health and hazards. As you walk, run or bike along the cross-sectional paved paths, choose your own journey.


Where to Stop

Greenheart Juice Shop is a convenient place to enjoy an all-natural smoothie, salad, snack or freshly squeezed juice. If you want to give your body extra nutrients – try one of the immunity shots, sure to keep you up and moving.


The Appalachian Trail

Make your way to Bear’s Den off Route 7 in the Blue Ridge Mountains above Bluemont and hike the short but strenuous Loudoun stretch of the Appalachian Trail – known as Virginia’s Rollercoaster. Bear’s Den has spectacular views from high rocks of the Shenandoah Valley to the west, pine trees all around. On the other side of Route 7, above Round Hill, the trail leads you down the mountain along a set of stones that form a natural staircase leading to the Blackburn Trail Center log cabins. A rustic 1910-built lodge, it’s a refreshment station for hikers and available for rent outside of peak season.


Where to Stop

After your exertions, grab a refreshing beer at Bear Chase Brewing, a 66-acre farm brewery on slopes of the Blue Ridge. Nearby, Bluemont Station Brewery & Winery features several acres of outdoor lounging space for time with friends or if it’s cold, sit around the fire pit to get cozy. Food-wise, head over to spacious German-style eatery More Better in the Hill High Marketplace on Route 7 for superb Bavarian-inspired dishes such as breaded pork schnitzel. If your journey continues to take you east, replenish yourself with some Bubble tea at Bubbleology on Village Market Blvd in Leesburg.


Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve

This little-known, 725-acre nature preserve south of Leesburg features more than 20 miles of marked trails through dense woodland in the rolling hills and valleys along Goose Creek. Hikers will see a diverse range of forest wildlife and natural flora, protected due to the Nature Preserve designation. In 2016, goats from Willowsford Farm were guided through the preserve to manage unwanted vegetation.


Where to Stop

Head to downtown Leesburg, a 10-minute drive north, where streets are lined with chic boutiques, cafes, bars and restaurants. Go from the forest to the beach at island-themed restaurant bar MacDowell’s Beach. Sweeten up the palette at dessert café Mocatinas. Choose from the menu of goodies that include pastries, ice cream, tea and coffee for an evening indulgence.


Washington and Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park

Probably the best-known trail in the county, this 45-mile park – the narrowest in Virginia – runs from Sterling in the east to Purcellville out west on the bed of the Washington & Old Dominion Railroad. While you can horseback ride it in sections, it’s best for cycling or hiking, particularly the flat stretch between Hamilton and Purcellville, beautiful farm fields all around.


Where to Stop

Conventionally located in Leesburg and across from the W&OD Trail is electric bike retailer, Pedego. Pedego electric bikes are tailored to provide a unique and accessible experience in tracking along the W&OD giving you all the leeway for minimum work. You can rent by the hour or for the day – stop by to get their guidance for best stops and a step by step on how far the electric powered bikes can take you.