Algonkian Nature Preserve

The area known as “Algonkian” in Loudoun County is one of my favorite places to visit. I’ve written about it before and have an album dedicated to it. There are numerous trails to pick from and all of them are special.

Someone I follow on Instagram posted photos from the Algonkian Nature Preserve. I kept thinking she was in one area of the park but as it turns out there is a whole section dedicated to the preserve. The trail I ran on all last fall passes a playground and I would stop at the playground for Spartan Training. I had never noticed that the path kept going and boy did I miss out. I was excited to go and stay on the trail this time.


I finally reached the Preserve. What a special parcel of land. It is very marshy and swampy and they have done a beautiful job of creating the trails. In fact, the evening I was there, a man was out weed-whacking the trail. I thanked him for volunteering to do that and was amazing at how much he had done (a half a mile at the very least).

I spent a lot of time just exploring and waiting. I was hoping to see some wildlife – anything. While I did see some squirrels and a turtle I didn’t get to see any beavers or wild turkeys. I was also on the lookout for birds. I did see some cardinals and blue birds but nothing bigger than that. While I didn’t see any mammals or birds I did see nature in all its glory.


The trails (as I mentioned above) are very well maintained. They are wide which makes it nice when others are running or passing by. There are also a lot of great trees. I saw one that was just huge (my photo didn’t do it justice) and some that were just interesting. I took a photo of the one pictured below because it was unique in how the branches grew in comparison to all the other trees.


As the path winds its way to the Potomac River you will happen upon a picnic table. The location was just so pretty. And as you look out over the water you see a variety of floating docks with grills on them. Yes, grills. I didn’t see anyone using them but it seems like a fun idea.


The sun had started to set as I was leaving. I wanted to stay for the full sunset but I hadn’t been feeling well and thought I should get home. I definitely want to return for a sunrise and a sunset. I saw plans from 2015 for a boardwalk out into the marsh area. I don’t know what happened to that because I definitely didn’t see one anywhere. I think that would be a fantastic idea. The marsh area in my hometown has one and it is a fantastic way to view swampy area.


I definitely will be heading back here often. The Nature Preserve is a great place for walks, hiking or trail running (very flat).


Algonkian Nature Preserve

About Jennifer G

Nature lover. Being outside keeps me sane and balanced.

Posted on June 21, 2016, in 52 Hike Challenge, Virginia Hiking and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Stephen Johnson, Fairfax, Virginia

    Hello. Thank you for posting about this preserve. I just this morning visited there, and failed to find any public access to the eastern section, east of Sugarland Run. I did manage to hike into the western section, starting at Algonkian Regional Park. I did not pass the sign you show in the photos here. Where is it? And, do you know where the public can access the eastern part of the preserve? Thanks again.


    • Hi Stephen. If you are on the trail from Potomack Lakes Sportsplex (with soccer field on your right) you will take it down until you reach a small playground on your left. You will make a left onto the trail and just go straight. You’ll come to the preserve.


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