From the woodland paths and riverfront views of Algonkian Regional Park and Ball’s Bluff Battlefield to the ups and downs of The Rollercoaster section of the world-famous Appalachian Trail, accessible at Bear’s Den Overlook, Loudoun is a playground for the active and energetic. Add in the paved Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Railroad Regional Park, the narrowest park in Virginia, that perfectly bisects the county east to west, and you have a slate of hikes and trails to suit both the serious and leisure enthusiast. It’s time to hit the trail.




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 expand into 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 are 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 yourself in the history of those who farmed the land. To keep the adrenaline going, step into the shoes of a blacksmith and enroll in metal forging classes at local blacksmithing facility, Lawless Forge.



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 and spectacular views all around.



Where to Stop

Visit Trinity House to enjoy an espresso dessert to unwind while supporting community growth. 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 “Barrel Select” 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 to the Potomac River and Goose Creek. The park also has 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 tropical island boba tea. 



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 massive Hal and Berni Hanson Regional Park. You can hike, walk or bike paved and natural trails at this 257-acre regional park. Beyond hiking, the park is full of multipurpose athletic fields including four pickleball/tennis courts, 10 multipurpose soccer fields and a skating plaza.



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.



Banshee Reeks Nature Reserve

This little-known, 725-acre nature preserve south of Leesburg features more than 20 miles of marked trails through dense woodland in the rolling valleys along Goose Creek. Hikers can see  diverse forest wildlife and plant life. To assist in preservation, 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. There are half a dozen breweries within walking distance of each other where you can drop in for a cold one to give yourself a little evening boost. Black Hoof Brewing Co has a rotating tap list with emphasis on German-style lagers and European ales.



Washington & 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’s e-bikes are built to enhance your experience on the trail with customizable features. Check out the self-guided tour program, which includes wine and beer excursions or take a picturesque ride to Purcellville to enjoy brunch at the classy farm-to-table restaurant, Magnolias at the Mill.