Scott's Run Nature Preserve

7400 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22102

There are two entrances into Scott’s Run off of Georgetown Pike with small parking lots and trailheads leading into the stream valley park. One entrance sits alongside the stream, and the other has trails leading to the bluffs above the Potomac River. Some of the park’s trails are gentle and wind quietly through forest. Other trails require hiking up and down precipitously steep hills and cliffs. Hiking the trails of Scott’s Run can be challenging, requiring a hardier constitution than possibly any other park in Fairfax County. In many places the trails descend sheer bluffs, and visitors must carefully pick their way down rocky cliffs. The rugged terrain is part of the charm of Scott’s Run. Austere, rocky crags and bluffs are covered by delicate wildflowers and sit beside soft gurgling streams. It is a dichotomy that entices hikers to explore the hollows and ridgelines in order to experience firsthand one of Fairfax County’s most diverse natural landscapes. Perhaps the greatest dichotomy of all is the main creek that runs through the site and gives the park its appellation, Scott’s Run. The shimmering creek bouncing through the tranquil hollows actually begins directly below the parking lots of Tyson’s Shopping Center, which is one of the highest spots in Fairfax County. Flowing east through business parks, condominium complexes and degraded stream valleys along the Beltway, the stream enters the deep forests of Scott’s Run and winds to its journey’s end where it spills over a small yet magnificent waterfall before entering the Potomac River.
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