Featuring more than five miles of singletrack and doubletrack trails, Wakefield Park in Annandale, Va. offers a nice challenge for trail runners in a compact footprint. The park sits in the middle of Fairfax County, Virginia and is around 15-20 miles from Washington, D.C., depending on how you get there. Within the park is the Audrey Moore Rec Center, a county-run facility that boasts a fitness center, lap swimming pool, and outdoor amenities such as tennis courts, athletic fields, and more. As for trail runners, Wakefield Park is a good option in the suburbs.
What Makes It Great
It's hard to say exactly how many miles of trails exist in Wakefield Park because new ones are frequently added and existing ones are often extended. The park is actually a popular place for mountain biking; there are several races held within the park every year. But where there are trails, runners will follow. Right?
Most of the park's trail system is either singletrack or doubletrack, and there are a few hills to climb on some of the trails. Other sections contain obstacles like fallen logs, so stay alert and come prepared with a good pair of trail running shoes that offer good traction.
Also running through the park from north to south is the Cross County Trail, a popular trail for hiking and trail running that stretches 40 miles from Great Falls on the Potomac River (northern end) to the Occoquan Regional Park on the Occoquan River (southern end).
Wakefield Park's trails range from grass and natural surfaces along streams to dusty hillsides, so don't think you'll leave here with clean shoes and legs. But that's part of what makes trail running fun, right? If you need to shower afterward, there are locker room facilities in the Audrey Moore Rec Center.
A piece of advice: A popular mountain biking spot in Wakefield Park is the power line section. You might want to avoid running here, since it can get pretty full with riders navigating the twisty route at top speed.
Who is Going to Love It
Families enjoy Wakefield Park because it has so much to offer, from a fitness center and athletic fields to miles of trails for running and mountain biking. Trail runners appreciate the park for its varying terrain and surface, which ranges from singletrack to doubletrack and grass to dirt.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Wakefield Park borders the Capital Beltway (Rt. 495). From the north and south, get off the Beltway at exit 54B. The park entrance is a half mile down on the right.
There are plenty of parking spots available, so there's no need to worry about that. Using the trails is free, although entering the Audrey Moore Rec Center will cost $8 for Fairfax County residents and $10.50 for non-residents. There are different types of passes available that will allow you to use all of the county's rec centers.