Cedar Trail, Deer Trail, and Heron Trail Loop is a 2.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Alexandria, VA that features a great forest setting and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round.
Metro Friendly Huntley Meadows Park ranks as one of the metro area's largest close-in parks. Whether you come to hike, wildlife watch, or simply to relax, Huntley Meadows Park will provide you with a premiere nature experience for the entire family! This Fairfax County Park's key attraction is a beaver-created wetland with excellent viewing stations. Also, the visitor center has excellent exhibits at this park! Huntley Meadows lies in a wet lowland that was carved out by an ancient meander of the Potomac River. The resulting freshwater wetland is one of the rarest habitats left in Fairfax County. Acre for acre, a healthy wetland supports more life than almost any other habitat. Wetlands also purify polluted waters and control the destructive power of floods and storms Its centerpiece is a 500-acre freshwater marsh-the area's largest-surrounded by mostly deciduous woodlands. The result is a protected natural habitat with a remarkable array of plants and animals. Huntley is an attractive year-round hiking venue, especially for people keen on natural history. Some of the best wildlife watching in the Washington metropolitan area is enjoyed here. From the ½ mile wetland boardwalk trail and observation tower, people have excellent views of beavers, frogs, dragonflies and herons. Huntley Meadows is well known as a prime birding spot, with over 200 species identified in the park.
I always filter my trails by those that are dog friendly. This trail is listed as dog friendly, and it is not. Dogs aren't allowed on most of the trail, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
Very pretty especially at sunset. Hard to do a run because The Heron trail is a no jogging zone. But its definitely worth a trip (bring binoculars).
Wouldn't recommend for dog owners. Dogs are not allowed on a large portion of the trail which means you walk to a certain point and have to turn around and head back. Trail was overcrowded with families and children that did not have good dog manners. With all the other options for dog friendly trails in the area, I'd skip this one.
Winter walk unsatisfying with dead trees and hardly any animals out. Early summer has birds, beavers, turtles, etc. If you're looking for a peaceful and quiet walk, you may want to go early in the morning because there are lots of noisy kids and families.
I brought my son's cub scout troop here in late August and they loved it. The trail and boardwalk are wide enough for a large group and there's plenty to see. We must have seen 10 snapping turtles, dragonflies of every color, and the marsh mallows were is spectacular bloom. The boys were also happy to see beaver lodges and a great blue heron. The visitor center has a nice little museum and restrooms, which makes for a handy stop after the trip. Great intro site with creature comforts for the younger ones but plenty of wildlife to keep the older ones interested too.
Thought the trail was really great. Go to observation tower which provides great views of the wetland. Saw many kinds of wildlife
Lovely trail in the winter. Still a good crowd, but no weekend congestion. Paths are wide and easily accessible for strollers (infant and those wishing to take their time). Easy to get to, as well.
the boardwalk was very nice. we saw lots of frogs, a beaver, and snakes!! the outlook post gives u a nice view of the landscape.
A really nice and easy out and back and great for kids. Lots to see along the way from the multitude of turtles, tadpools, birds, signs of beavers and the occasional snake in the marsh. Raised walkways can get crowded during the nice weather and lots of school groups there during the day.
Water has been almost dry lately, but still teaming with wild activity.
Went on 10/13/2011 and the boardwalk was brand new. Hike includes informational signs, several benches, and an observation tower. For any adventurous folk: there is a trail (looks like it might've been a fire road at one time), that branches off the main trail just slightly past the observation tower that roughly doubles the distance of the hike and takes you to the back of the park. There is a sign saying use at your own risk because it is not maintained by the park but I found it to be great for wildlife and solitude. I followed the trail all the way to the power lines but once you get in the grass the trail gets hard to follow. I didn't want to blaze a trail through a wildlife preserve so I turned around at this point. The trail runs parallel to the main flow of water down through the wetlands and since it is rarely used, i observed a couple white-tail deer and a group of mating turtles. Points to note on this section: about 1/4 mile in a tree blocks the trail (you can see where everyone else has walked around it), bring bug spray because there are a ton of Mosquitos, wear waterproof boots because the trail becomes a stream for about 20 yards and I imagine It can get worse after it rains, look out for giant spiders that spin their webs across the trail. Also, this extension does not have gravel, benches, or signs. It is not maintained and should be used only at the hikers own risk. Other than the noisy group of pre-schoolers coming down from the observation tower, this trail makes for a nice stroll through the woods with no elevation change, but great views of wildlife.
Kinda boring. Boardwalk through the middle was closed for repair so it turned out to be .8 mile nature stroll.