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W&OD Trail

I’ll never forget riding the W&OD trail with my father and sisters as a child.  My mother dropped us off at the beginning in Purcellville and we pedalled along much of the day until we reached Leesburg.  There wasn’t much to see in Ashburn back then, but we knew if we kept at it, we could make it all the way into Washington D.C.

Referred to as “the skinniest park in Virginia,” the W&)D stretches 45 miles from Purcellville, Virginia all the way to Shirlington.  There is a 32 mile gravel path available to equestrians and many parking lots along the way to enable travelers to jump on and off the trail.  From Ashburn, you can head out to Purcellville for a day trip and check out the restaurants and shops located at the very end (or beginning!) of the trail.  You can also head east and explore many different areas on the way to DC.  

The Ashburn section of the W&OD runs about 6 miles with entrances at Smith Switch Road off Gloucester Parkway, Farmwell Station Middle School, Trailside Parkway, Ashburn Road, and Belmont Ridge Road.  The Belmont intersection was notoriously a dangerous one, however recent widening of Belmont Ridge Road has created an underpass for cyclists and travelers along the W&OD.  One of our favorite parts of the trail is the Ashburn Road entrance which is home to the greatest barbeque for miles around,  Carolina Barbeque Brothers.

To help plan your trip, you can check out a map of amenities located close to the Loudoun County parts of the trail here.  This was a crowd-sourced project from 2013. I’d recommend double-checking to make sure a business still exists before planning your route around it!

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Legacy Park at Brambleton

If you’re located near Brambleton, Legacy Park is a great outdoors gem for both adults and children. Legacy Park is an 11 acre park along Legacy Park Drive between Belmont Ridge Road and Olympia Drive. This park is mostly wooded with paved trails that connect all areas of the park. There is ample parking on both sides of the park along the road on Legacy Park Drive and Greenside Drive with townhomes and single family homes on both roads.

The park features 2 playgrounds, a basketball court, lighted tennis courts, a beautiful pond, and more. What we find most appealing about the park is the mature trees that create plenty of shade and the beautiful man-made waterfall. One of our favorite things to do when the weather is nice is to ride our bikes to the park, play tennis, and let our toddler run around the 2 playgrounds. After an activity-filled day at the park, we can conveniently head over to the Brambleton Town Center for a nice meal.

Legacy Park is also a great place to take outdoor pictures. We’ve found various scenic backdrops at the park for our family photos and have observed other people doing the same.