Its June and the Fairfax County Park Authority is ready to celebrate National Great Outdoors Month. This celebratory month started in 1998 as the Great Outdoors Week and expanded to a month log celebration in 2004. National Great Outdoors Month became official when the U.S. Senate officially designated June 2019 as ‘Great Outdoors Month.’
National Great Outdoors Month is a great opportunity for families to get outside and play. The outdoors is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Spending time outdoors can be fun and affordable. Go for a hike, have a picnic, take a nature class, go camping, rent a boat, go geocaching, explore fishing or enjoy a bike ride. We have so much to celebrate, come join us and enjoy National Great Outdoors Month!
Did you know that the Fairfax County Park Authority manages over 22,000 acres of land including over 334 miles of trails in the county park system alone? While trails are used for a variety of recreational purposes, they also serve the community by providing connectivity as transportation corridors between homes, businesses, schools and parks. The Park Authority's trails are shared by bike riders, walkers, joggers and horseback riders alike.
Use our trail buddy app to find the trail closest to you.
View a full screen (mobile-friendly) version of Fairfax Trail Buddy.
If you’re looking for a hike of 15 to 20 miles or more, check out some recommendations on daylong hikes.
One is the Gerry Connolly Cross County Trail, also known as the Fairfax CCT, is an amazing achievement for a well-populated area like Fairfax County. Over 40 miles long, it crosses the entire county, from the Potomac River in the north to the Occoquan River in the south, passing through many of Fairfax County’s best parks along the way. We particularly like the northernmost segment from Leigh Mill Road to the Potomac River.
National Trails Day is an annual event to celebrate trails with friends and loved ones, encourage stewardship of community hiking paths and raise awareness. The Fairfax County Park Authority seeks to do just that by providing educational resources and ways to maintain our beautiful trails across the county while bringing our communities together. Learn more about hiking, accessible trails, biking on trails and trail development.
Fishing is a sport that everyone can participate in and brings many people pleasure. Fish is also one of the healthiest dinners people may choose to eat. Our fisheries are not a finite resource, so we must learn to protect them to ensure that future generations may enjoy the sport. Learn more about our latest fishing articles, watch the most recent Fish Survey, get some fishing tips and check out our bragging board.
Free Fishing Days in Virginia are June 3–5, 2022 (no license required)
Many people think that camping is just a way to go out and connect with nature, but there is so much more to it than that. Camping with friends or loved ones – or even just camping with a four-legged friend – can strengthen bonds, reduce stress, and improve your mental health. It also gives you an opportunity to develop new skills such as pitching a tent, building a campfire, and cooking over an open flame. Overall, camping out in the woods is a great way to create new lifelong memories that everyone in your group will cherish for years to come. All you’ll need is a tent, sleeping bags, enough food for your group, respect for nature, and a sense of wonder for the great outdoors.
– Maureen Kraus, Burke Lake Park Naturalist
If you've never tried geocaching before, this National Great Outdoors Month is the perfect time! Geocaching is an outdoor treasure-hunting game in which participants (called "geocachers") use a Global Positioning System receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers (called "geocaches" or "caches") anywhere in the world. You can even find some caches in your very own Fairfax parks!
If you are an avid paddler, or just starting out, there are many opportunities to explore boating within the parks. Some of our parks have boat rentals and/or launches for your own boat, and some allow you to carry a personal kayak or canoe to the water. For a full list of offerings, to find rentals close to you, or to learn more about boating rules, visit our boating page.
Use your talents, energy and time to connect with the earth. Far more than just doing a good deed, volunteering is a way to develop skills, learn about career options, make professional contacts, socialize and have an impact on your community. More than 7,000 people volunteer in Fairfax County parks each year, providing close to 200,000 hours of service. Find volunteer opportunities online or join a Friends Group to support a specific park.
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Fairfax, VA 22035