Loudoun is beloved among outdoor enthusiasts for its kayaking, zip-lining, hiking and cycling trails, and by kids, families and sports lovers for its indoor adventures – everything from ropes courses and go-karting to trampolining and baseball batting cages. Yet, so far, the county has never had an Adventure Trail – a guide to direct hikers, thrill seekers, adrenaline junkies and regular fitness enthusiasts to all the adventure opportunities in the county.
That changes with Visit Loudoun’s launch of the official LoCo Adventure Trail, a campaign to promote not only energetic outdoor adventures on land and water but fun, pulse racing indoor adventures too.
So which adrenaline adventure to choose?
Here we select three fun and exciting itineraries to suit every need and interest.
Time to hit the trail!
Adventures on Land
Cycle - Get an early start – and the blood racing – with a cycle ride on the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, the narrowest park in Virginia. The trail runs through Loudoun for 20+ miles and while you can walk, jog or even ride a horse on it, we recommend two wheels. A good stretch for a ride? The scenic section from Leesburg to Purcellville, forest and farm fields all around. Refreshment stops: Vino 9 Market, Paeonian Springs; Magnolias at the Mill and Doppio Bunny, Purcellville.
Zipline - Make your way to Harpers Ferry Adventure Center on a rugged hilltop past Hillsboro in far northwest Loudoun. The seven-stage zipline course takes you through and above a dense forest canopy and includes a heart-in-mouth descent from a 100-foot sky bridge. Experienced guides are on hand to keep you safe. Refreshment: Harpers Ferry Brewing; Stoneybrook Farm Market, Hillsboro.
Paintball - There are few more fun outdoor activities than paintball. Pev’s Paintball Park south of Leesburg is a 48-acre venue with 14 themed playing fields that includes a prison-stye fortress with watch towers. Practice your jailbreak. Nearby, Hogback Mountain Paintball is a 70-acre park with 14 themed courses. Refreshment stops: Stone Tower Winery, Leesburg; Quattro Goombas.
Hike - There are so many superb trails in Loudoun including The Rollercoaster, a swooping 13-mile stretch of the world-famous Appalachian Trail above Bluemont and Round Hill in western Loudoun. We also recommend the less arduous Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve south of Leesburg. The 725-acre preserve features more than 20 miles of marked trails through dense woodland in the rolling hills and valleys along Goose Creek. Refreshment stops: The bars and restaurants of King Street, Leesburg.
Sports - End your day with sporty thrills. Segra Field south of Leesburg is home stadium to Major League Rugby giants Old Glory D.C. and soccer stars Loudoun United. Check the website for scheduled games. Alternatively, Dulles Golf Center & Sports Park has a late night driving range and an 18-hole mini golf course. Refreshment stop: Clyde’s at Willow Creek Farm, Ford’s Fish Shack
River Walk - Loudoun is bordered by the Potomac River to the north. Get your bearings on an early morning stroll through Red Rock Wilderness Overlook Regional Park north of Leesburg, spectacular views of the sun coming up over the glassy river from its high, east facing cliffs.
Kayak the Potomac - Time to get on the river. Practice your paddling skills with a kayak excursion on the Potomac with regional operator Paddle Nova. The company offers trips from Kephart Bridge Landing, Lansdowne to Algonkian Regional Park, a downstream trip of about four hours.
Waterparks - After landfall, it’s time to cool down. Algonkian Regional Park is home to the spectacular Volcano Island Waterpark, a vast complex with twisting slides connected to a huge central pool. Another fun option is the AV Symington Aquatic Center outdoor pool at Ida Lee, which has a water slide, floating snake, lily pad crossing and tubes on a lazy river. Magic.
Boating or Fishing - We don’t think of Loudoun as a fishing or boating destination but at Beaverdam Reservoir in Brambleton you can do both. Part of the NOVA Parks system, it features some 600 acres to kayak, canoe, stand-up paddleboard (SUP) or cruise around in a non-gas boat. The reservoir is stocked with several species of fish, too. A Virginia fishing license is required for ages 16 and older.
Public Swim - There are several public pools in Loudoun. The Lovettsville Community Center pool is less busy than most. Enjoy deck chairs to lounge on, a paddle pool for the little ones and a diving board. Further west, Franklin Park Pool in Purcellville has a 25m lap pool, a shallow paddle pool area for kids and a terraced pool one level above. Add in a water slide, lily pad and plastic log crossings and there’s more than enough water to splash around in.
Ropes Climbing - We start our day at Summit Ropes in Sterling, the largest indoor ropes course in the U.S. featuring some 16,550 square feet with multiple levels of obstacles for both kids and adults. Try the Main Course, modeled after the Angels Landing hike in Zion National Park. Participants are required to wear full body harnesses for safety.
Go-Karting - Stay in Sterling and keep the blood pumping at the Autobahn Indoor Speedway complex. The Formula 1-inspired go-kart racing facility has dozens of electric-powered vehicles that can reach speeds of up to 50mph on Grand Prix-style tracks. Thrilling.
Indoor Skydiving - Ever wondered what it was like to fly? Make your way to iFly Loudoun in Ashburn to find out. Modern ride-the-wind technology allows you to float without a parachute in a cylindrical glass wind tunnel. Helmets necessary.
Baseball - We love the cocktails and driving range concept of TopGolf, which is right next door to iFly, but how about channeling your inner Mike Trout – while sipping a cocktail? Ballpark Loudoun on Route 7 a short drive west of TopGolf is an interactive indoor facility with 12 batting cages that combines cutting-edge hitting and pitching technology with a lively bar and restaurant scene. Hit one out of the park!
Ice Skating - Need to cool down a bit? Make your way to open skate at Ion International Training Center south of Leesburg – the twin rink ice-skating facility opened by Romanian figure skater Luiz Taifas. The Olympic-scale rink offers training and competition for figure skaters, hockey players and curlers but there are also daily open skate hours for amateur and recreational skaters.
Axe Throwing - It’s been a busy day. End on a high with a sharp blade in your hand at Elysium Axe Bar in Purcellville. Opened in 2022, hard on the heels of Axes & Os in Sterling, the nightclub-style complex has eight throwing lanes and state-of-the-art projection technology that creates targets for participants to aim at – everything from video game characters to the squares in tic tac toe. Fans of an existing Loudoun trail - the LoCo Ale Trail – will be pleased to discover the venue serves a range of craft beer including from local breweries Lost Rhino, Vanish and Bear Chase.