Scott's Run Nature Preserve Trail

EASY 324 reviews

Scott's Run Nature Preserve Trail is a 2.5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near McLean, Virginia that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
2.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
337 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

cross country skiing

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

This hike features river views, a waterfall, wildflowers, and ruins. Visitors have flocked to Scott's Run for years to witness the spring wildflowers that grow there. Sources say that trail-ing arbutus, Virginia bluebells and trillium blooming on the steep hillsides create a small oasis of rare and fragile plants. Remarkable and rare species grow along the precipitous cliffs, in steep valleys and throughout the mature hardwood forest of very large oak and beech trees, ancient hemlock and wild cherry trees that stand as tall as the oaks. Scotts Run Nature Preserve consists of a rather hilly, wildflower-riddled tract of riverside woodlands scarcely 4 crow-miles northwest of Washington. For songbirds and other wildlife, it's a true sanctuary.

2 days ago

Nice and close to DC! Right off of 495. We got there around 1030am and the first parking lot was full. It's super tiny. If you drive down a little ways on the right you'll reach the 2nd parking lot which had more spaces. Others reported lots of trash on the pathway but it wasn't too bad. When we first started the hike it smelled like sewer water but didn't last too long. We did the 2.5mile loop. It starts off pretty flat, turns rocky and then hilly. Lots of lose rocks. I know you can bring dogs but I'm not sure I'd bring mine since it was a good amount of time walking on rocks. Waterfall was pretty and quaint. We enjoyed climbing on the rocks in the river to get a better view. Once you past the waterfall, we were pretty much by ourselves on the trail. I'd definitely go back even though the way back up required a few breaks!!

hiking
2 days ago

hiking
4 days ago

hiking
6 days ago

Great Hike pay attention to signs is easy to end up on a different trail than you intended.

hiking
7 days ago

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8 days ago

8 days ago

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9 days ago

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10 days ago

hiking
14 days ago

14 days ago

lovely waterfall

hiking
15 days ago

hiking
15 days ago

18 days ago

I really enjoyed the trail and the waterfalls. The trail was VERY busy when we went on a Sunday and we got the very last parking spot. If you want some serenity, you can follow a few side trails that are less trafficked. We also went on a Tuesday morning and it was much quieter so maybe try to hit it on a weekday if you're able! Unfortunately as others have mentioned, the trail was covered in trash. It's really disappointing that people have left it that way. There were clothes and shoes left behind, beer bottles, take out containers, and entire garbage bags full of trash. If you're able to, I really recommend bringing a bag with you to help clean up the trail. The trash really detracts from the view and it's obviously horrible for the environment. The trail also smells really bad in a few places from what is apparently sewage. Aside from the trash and the occasional smelliness, this trail was great and we will definitely be back (with trash bags!).

19 days ago

hiking
19 days ago

Trail was good until we go to the river then the trail had washed out so we couldn't make the loop. We had to backtrack uphill. Good exercise but still to see the waterfalls would've been the icing on this cake. Still good trail someone needs to reroute the trail near the water. Kind of dangerous on that side.

trail running
19 days ago

hiking
22 days ago

hiking
22 days ago

23 days ago

The kids love walking through the streams.