Discover Parks through Discovery Trail: Presidential Edition

What are you doing this summer? You could visit eight Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) parks, learn about United States presidents, and win big!maptitle16

Visit our sites, learn about the presidents, and receive a prize package along with the chance to win one of three bikes, courtesy of the Fairfax County Park Foundation and Spokes etc.

So, how do you do all of these fun activities? You take part in Discovery Trail. Get a map at a staffed FCPA location or print one online at Before September 5, 2016 visit eight of the 12 selected sites in the program, and collect a sticker at each one to put on your map. Turn in your completed map to get the prize package that includes admission tickets for mini-golf, a carousel ride, a train ride, a tour boat ride, a pedal boat outing, camping, a wagon ride, a RECenter pass, AND a boat rental! Enter to win a bike, too!

Participating sites are Sully Historic Site, Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, Huntley Meadows Park, Colvin Run Mill, Frying Pan Farm Park, Riverbend Park, Hidden Oaks Nature Center, Green Spring Gardens, Hidden Pond Nature Center, Burke Lake Park, Lake Accotink Park, and Lake Fairfax Park. After visiting eight parks, redeem your map at Burke Lake Park, Lake Accotink Park, or Lake Fairfax Park. Directions to each of the parks can be found on the Park Authority website.


Each site in the program has a connection to a former United States president. Did you know that President Lyndon B. Johnson played golf at Burke Lake Park? The first president of the United States, George Washington, used to own the Colvin Run Mill property. Learn what the turkeys at Frying Pan, the vegetable gardens at Green Spring, and the railroad remnants at Lake Accotink have to do with former U.S. Presidents. Discover what Presidents Eisenhower, Roosevelt, and Madison did while in Fairfax County.

Discovery Trail is a great way for students to keep the knowledge flowing during summer months and to learn how history shapes the present in Fairfax County. Get into the parks, learn, and win!


Author Lauren Rhodes is a student at Oberlin College and a summer intern for the Resource Management Division of the Fairfax County Park Authority.

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About Fairfax County Park Authority

About Fairfax County Park Authority HISTORY: On December 6, 1950, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors created the Fairfax County Park Authority. The Park Authority was authorized to make decisions concerning land acquisition, park development and operations in Fairfax County, Virginia. To date, 13 park bond referenda have been approved between 1959 and 2016. Today, the Park Authority has 427 parks on more than 23,000 acres of land. We offer 325 miles of trails, our most popular amenity. FACILITIES: The Park system is the primary public mechanism in Fairfax County for the preservation of environmentally sensitive land and resources, areas of historic significance and the provision of recreational facilities and services including: • Nine indoor RECenters with swimming pools, fitness rooms, gyms and class spaces. Cub Run features an indoor water park and on-site naturalist • Eight golf courses from par-3 to championship level, four driving ranges including the new state-of-the-art heated, covered range at Burke Lake Golf Center • Five nature and visitor centers. Also nine Off-Leash Dog Activity areas • Three lakefront parks including Lake Fairfax, Lake Accotink and Burke Lake, with campgrounds at Burke Lake and Lake Fairfax. The Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole at Lake Fairfax, Our Special Harbor Sprayground at Lee as well as an indoor water park at Cub Run RECenter • Clemyjontri Park, a fully accessible playground in Great Falls featuring two acres of family friendly fun and a carousel, as well as Chessie’s Big Backyard and a carousel at the Family Recreation Area at Lee District Park • An ice skating rink at Mount Vernon RECenter and the Skate Park in Wakefield Park adjacent to Audrey Moore RECenter • Kidwell Farm, a working farm of the 1930s-era at Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon, now with historic carousel • Eight distinctive historic properties available for rent • A working grist mill at Colvin Run in Great Falls and a restored 18th century home at Sully Historic Site in Chantilly • A horticulture center at Green Spring Gardens in Annandale • Natural and cultural resources protected by the Natural Resource Management Plan and Cultural Resource Plans, plus an Invasive Management Area program that targets alien plants and utilizes volunteers in restoring native vegetation throughout our community • Picnic shelters, tennis courts, miniature golf courses, disc golf courses, off-leash dog parks, amphitheaters, a marina, kayaking/canoeing center • Provides 263 athletic fields, including 39 synthetic turf fields, and manages athletic field maintenance services at 417 school athletic fields. PARK AUTHORITY BOARD: A 12-member citizen board, appointed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, sets policies and priorities for the Fairfax County Park Authority. Visit for Fairfax County Government's Comment Policy.

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