Lace Up Your Hiking Shoes for a Visit to Scott’s Run Nature Preserve

If you find it hard to believe that McLean’s climate was once categorized as “subarctic,” just go for a hike at Scott’s Run Nature Preserve. Its grove of ancient hemlock trees tell the tale. The trees exist because, during the most recent ice age, their leafy ancestors migrated to modern-day Virginia. They’re just one of the rare types of trees and plants you won’t see anywhere else in the area.

They scale the cliffs and survive the steep valley slopes of the nature preserve, cascade across the hillsides and blanket the forest floors. In the spring, the wildflowers attract hikers, while the summer and fall bring folks to see trees like the ancient hemlocks—along with wild cherry, oak, and beech trees. The preserve boasts a wide variety of trails, some of them steep and challenging, and others easy and meandering. Pick your path and enjoy everything that Scott’s Run has to offer.