The fall weather is finally here, with cooler temps and bright, crisp sunshine. Before the cold winter weather settles in, it might be fun to get out and enjoy the beauty that our area has to offer!
Here's a list of some of the best fall hikes in Loudoun County:
1. Bear's Den - a great point to jump on Loudoun's portion of the Appalachian Trail. This hike offers amazing views from the high rocks of the Shenandoah Valley to the west. On the other side of Route 7, above Round Hill, the trail heads down the mountain along a set of stones that form a natural staircase leading to the Blackburn Trail Center log cabins. To round out your day, check out More Better on Route 7 for some Bavarian style food, or head to Bear Chase Brewery for some craft beer and even more stunning views!
2. Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve - this 725-acre nature preserve south of Leesburg has more than 20 miles of marked trails through woodlands in the rolling hills and valleys along Goose Creek. To make a day of it, head to nearby downtown Leesburg for lunch!
3. The W&OD Trail - a hotspot for bikers, runners and horseback riders, this trail also makes for a great hike. You can make the end of line in Purcellville your destination and enjoy Gruto's Soft Serve Ice Cream, or maybe a heartier meal at Magnolia's at the Mill . If you're a bit further east, check out Carolina Brothers BBQ located right on the trail in Ashburn.
4. Algonkian Regional Park - located on the banks of the Potomac River in Sterling, this park features over 800 acres with paved and unpaved hiking trails. The trails run through wooded areas and open fields and even head up cliffs to offer beautiful views of the Potomac River. If you're looking for something extra after a good hike, head to Cascades Overlook Town Center where you can enjoy a delicious Italian lunch at Urbano or grab some soft serve custard at Abbott's.
5. Red Rock Wilderness Overlook - here you can hike winding nature trails and explore wooded areas. The park is also home to a few historic buildings dating back to the 1800s, and an overlook that offers scenic views of the Potomac. If you've worked up an appetite from your hike, you can head to nearby Lansdowne Town Center and grab lunch at one of several restaurants, including a quick and delicious sandwich at The Deli.