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“A gem in the middle of the burbs”

Huntley Meadows Park
Ranked #9 of 90 things to do in Alexandria
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
North Wales, Pennsylvania
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“A gem in the middle of the burbs”
Reviewed September 13, 2012

Just minutes off of Rte 1, nestled behind apartments and schools, Huntley Meadows Park is a nature-lover's dream. Beautiful woods, an informative staff and great visitor center are all present to enhance the experience. The trails and boardwalk are immaculately maintained, but well-used. The wetlands are amazing and the boardwalk that runs through it puts you right in the middle of an incredible habitat. We got there late in the morning, so the birding was a little soft, but we did manage to see a red shouldered hawk, white egret, numerous common yellowthroats, a marsh wren and heard a pair of pileated woodpeckers. We can't wait to go back this winter for the waterfowl.

Visited September 2012
Thank Gretchen1960
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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130 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Alexandria, VA
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Stroll the Boardwalk in a Marsh”
Reviewed July 19, 2012

Huntley Meadows Park combines a woodland and marsh setting right off busy U.S. Route 1 in Alexandria. You can stroll through the woods to reach the boardwalk that leads through the wetlands where beavers still patrol the waters, turtles sun themselves on rocks and exposed logs, and herons and egrets stand perched on their spindly legs ready to dip into the water and pull out a still wriggly fish for lunch or dinner. it's a tranquil oasis with a small but informative park educational center and shop.

Visited July 2012
Thank Alexandria_VASusan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newark, Delaware
Level 6 Contributor
63 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Waterfowl Oasis in the Heart of Suburbia”
Reviewed May 31, 2012

Going to Huntley Meadows Park is perfect in all seasons, if you enjoy woodland and wetland walks. I've never been disappointed with a trip t this park - there's always so much to see! With the exception of the well-maintained paths, the park is in its natural state - beautiful! The boardwalk through the wetlands passes through cattails and native grasses, accompanied by sights and sounds of frogs, turtles (LOTS of turtles!), herons and other birds, bright colored tiny lizards, and brilliantly colored dragonflies. In the spring, flowering dogwoods decorate to parking area. Go up the lookoout tower to get a good look at the beaver lodge. At dawn and dusk, you may see beaver out gathering. Dogs and bikes aren't allowed on the boardwalk so the birdlife isn't startled away very often. It's the best viewing of blue and white heron and dragonflies I've ever seen!
The park has a great website that lists events and nature walks for children. Sometimes the have a game day for children, with games like spin the wheel, bean toss and hop scotch that have nature themes. The park office has a lovely, though small if you're used to museum displays, display of the animals inhabiting the park and information about the park. It has restrooms inside (none that i could find outside) that aren't accessible when the office closes, fun items to purchase and bottled water. It also has a drinking fountain. There are usually great (and cheap) used bird books that have been donated to help raise money for the park.
Since I had to pick a month and year for my visit, I did, but actually I visited the park every month I lived there, in every season.
This park is what I miss most about living in Alexandria, VA.

Visited June 2011
Thank janetlorraine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sterling, Virginia
Level 6 Contributor
369 reviews
126 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 190 helpful votes
“Always something to see”
Reviewed May 16, 2012

I am a local Alexandrian. If you are in the area and you want to see birds and/or wildlife or learn something about nature, this stop is for you. There are 2 "sides" to the park. You can enter from South Kings Highway or from Lockheed Blvd.

Lockheed Blvd: A trail through the woods leads you to a boardwalk that takes you over the marsh where you may see frogs, waterfowl, warblers, beaver, muskrat, turtles, raptors. At the end of the boardwalk, there's an observation tower and the trail loops around through the woods to return to boardwalk or visitor's center. I come here often (very often, sometimes more than 1x/week) and I come in every season. I never leave feeling like I didn't see something. It may be the secretive rail or bittern, or the common Canada goose. Every Monday, they conduct bird walks and they also have a calendar of special events throughout the year.

South Kings Highway: Dirt trail through wooded habitat that ends at the other side of the marsh from the Lockheed Blvd side. Lots of birds & owls.

Visited May 2012
2 Thank Imzpickle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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