Places I Would Take a Newcomer in Dranesville District

Places I Would Take a Newcomer in Dranesville District

Ribbon cutting for new trackless train and picnic shelter at Clemyjontri Park.

Ribbon cutting for new trackless train and picnic shelter at Clemyjontri Park. Photo contributed


The Orientation Room is an instructional space for educational programs at Turner Farm. The observatory features a retractable roof that rolls over the top of the fixed roof that covers the Orientation Room.


Supervisor Foust with Town of Herndon Mayor Lisa Merkel, Town Council Members Grace Wolf Cunningham and Bill McKenna, and Redevelopment and Housing Authority Board Member Melissa Jonas at Friday Night Live! in June 2018.

We are fortunate to have many wonderful parks, historical features, and community events in the Dranesville District. The following are some of my favorites.

Clemyjontri Park: Since opening in 2006, more than 200,000 visitors have enjoyed this playground where children of all abilities can play side-by-side. Equipment allows children who have physical, sensory or developmental disabilities to have a parallel playground experience of fun and exploration. The park also includes a carousel, picnic pavilion, and new trackless train. The parking lot is currently being expanded so more visitors can enjoy the park. 6317 Georgetown Pike, McLean

Riverbend Park: This park offers over 400 acres of forests, meadows and ponds. Trails include a 2.5 mile portion of the Potomac Heritage Trail that links national and regional parkland. Kayaking, canoeing and fishing are all available on the Potomac River. The nature center and picnic shelter are available for rent. Through a grant received this year, new canoes will be purchased for the park. 8700 Potomac Hills, Great Falls

Colvin Run Park: Colvin Run Mill offers visitors a chance to step back in time. There are tours of the restored mill, which was built around 1811. A general store offers stone ground cornmeal, wheat flour, grits, “penny candy” and snacks and drinks. Trails are available for quiet walks. Live music, craft demonstrations, ice cream making, and seasonal activities are available from February through December. 10017 Colvin Run, Great Falls

Turner Farm: Originally the site of a dairy farm, the 52-acre park offers a unique mix of educational and recreational facilities. In 2016, a new roll-top observatory opened in Observatory Park at Turner Farm. The observatory offers the public a chance to see the night sky from one of Fairfax County’s darkest spots through permanently mounted telescopes. The Analemma Society partners with the Park Authority to provide astronomy programs at the observatory. Equestrians can enjoy a cross country course and a large multi-purpose arena with stadium jumps and dressage makers. Small children can enjoy a tot lot. 925 Springvale Road, Great Falls

Runnymede Park: The Town of Herndon is located in the Dranesville District. The Town owns and maintains this 58-acre park. It is the site for many community nature-related events such as the annual Nature Fest. Situated near the Sugarland Run Stream, the park attracts over 100 species of birds, plus deer, fox and other wildlife. Two park shelters are available for rental. 196 Herndon Parkway, Herndon

Scotts Run Nature Preserve: One of the few nature preserves in the County. The 336-acre preserve, formerly known as the Burling Tract, had at one time been slated for development. Scotts Run offers wonderful hiking trails of varying difficulty, some of them leading to the bluffs of the Potomac River. 7400 Georgetown Pike, McLean

Spring Hill Recreation Center: Visitors can take advantage of the indoor swimming pool, a 2-story fitness center and a gymnasium with an elevated running track. The gym features a single high school-sized basketball court with two overlay basketball courts and a volleyball overlay court. 1239 Spring Hill Road, McLean

MPAartfest: Every October, the McLean Project for the Arts converts McLean Central Park into a free, one-day festival of the arts. Thousands of area residents attend. Vendor tents display the works of numerous juried artists, which are complemented by the exhibitions of children’s’ and seniors’ artwork, an Open Studio demonstration, and performances by local musicians. McLean Central Park, 1468 Dolley Madison Blvd., McLean

McLean Day: Sponsored by the McLean Community Center, McLean Day is held on the third Saturday in May. The festival features live entertainment, carnival rides, exhibitions and delicious foods for visitors of all ages. The event also includes booths where artisans, local businesses, civic organizations, nonprofit groups, and local officials showcase their wares. Lewinsville Park, 1659 Chain Bridge Road, McLean

Herndon Festival: Held in early June, the Herndon Festival offers something for the whole family. The festival features three entertainment stages, 10K and 5K races, a Kid’s Alley with hands-on arts, food vendors, fireworks, and more. Enjoy four days of fun-filled activities and entertainment. 777 Lynn Street, Herndon

Claude Moore Colonial Farm: Visit Claude Moore Colonial Farm at Turkey Run to experience life on a small farm just prior to the Revolutionary War. Claude Moore Colonial Farm is a living history museum dedicated to providing visitors with an authentic look at life in Virginia in 1771. Throughout the year, Claude Moore Colonial Farm hosts several events, typical of those a farm family would have experienced and enjoyed, such as the 18th century Market Fair held in May and cutting of tobacco and hanging it to dry in August. 6310 Georgetown Pike, McLean

Great Falls Freedom Memorial: The Great Falls Freedom Memorial was created in 2004 to honor all who have served our country. The Freedom Memorial hosts three annual ceremonies, on Memorial Day, September 11, and Veterans’ Day, as well as a 5K race on July 4. It is a special place to pay respects to and remember those who have served and sacrificed for our country. 9830 Georgetown Pike in Great Falls (Behind the Great Falls Library)

Herndon Friday Night Live!: Friday nights during the summer, Friday Night Live! concerts are held on the Herndon Town Green. Concerts are free and feature popular local and regional acts. Most featured bands play rock and roll covers from classic to modern rock but country and original music are also included for good measure. Herndon Town Green, 777 Lynn Street, Herndon