Hemlock Overlook Regional Park serves as an Outdoor Education Center operated by Adventure Links, an ACA Accredited camp, in cooperation with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority. The facility offers a variety of outdoor and environmental education, team development programs for public and private schools, religious groups, community groups, sports teams, corporations, professional organizations, as well as, local, state, and federal government and military agencies. Programs at Hemlock Overlook are open to the public and groups by reservation. Only the hiking and horse trails may be used without prior arrangement. Directions: To reach Hemlock Overlook, take I-66 to Route 123, drive south on 123 to Clifton Road, turn right on Clifton Road and drive 3.7 miles, turn left on Yates Ford Road and follow it to the park entrance.
This trail is a gem tucked behind the estates of Clifton. If you live in the surrounding suburbs, this easy trail offers a quick, welcome getaway from the hustle and bustle. Beautiful groves of mountain laurel and hemlocks nestle themselves in the slopes leading down to Bull Run. The occasional rock outcropping offer the more adventurous a chance to respectfully go off trail and explore. Our sunny but cold winter walk gave us a chance to view the stream looking clearer than ever and we kept our fingers crossed that a VRE train would pass oblong the neighboring tracks. There was only one moderately steep climb in the trail that tested our lungs. Very doable for hearty preschoolers with maybe a shoulder ride or two along the way.
We parked right outside the park and took the yellow trail to blue by the water and picked the yellow trail back up. At times the trail is challenging. There are a lot of geological rocks on certain parts of the path and because of fall, there were a ton of leaves, so at times it was slippery. Fitbit showed we had climbed 32 floors. Sometimes the trail was well marked sometimes it wasn't. I only heard that gun range way off in the distance just for a short period time. This was a well traveled trail on Saturday.
Parking can be a problem since there is a busy winery next door.
I have a small dog and we absolutely loved this trail! Lots of opportunity to get in the water. Lots of rocks, fallen trees, etc. The diverse landscape made it fun and interesting. The first left onto the RED blaze trail was missed because you can only see it on your way back. Now I know and will do the longer journey.