Cooper’s Hawk Restaurant

Cooper’s Hawk is a series of restaurants that take the casual upscale dining experience to the next level. They offer delicious meals that cater to every diet type. From vegan to gluten-free, everyone will be served with warm hospitality at Cooper’s Hawk.

What Is Casual Upscale Dining?

Casual upscale dining is the best of both worlds. It gives customers upscale and classy food with the service and friendliness of a casual staff. The experience toes the line between a fancy restaurant and family-friendly restaurant. It is the perfect medium because the food is of top quality, but it is not overpriced. The service is 5-star restaurant staff with the smile and friendliness of having a family dinner.

What Makes Cooper’s Hawk Stand Out?

Cooper’s Hawk has become widely known as a premier casual upscale dining establishment. They have their own winemaker who prepares all their wines with special Illinois-based grapes. These wines are specially created, packaged, and sent to locations all around the U.S. The wine is all grown and made in the United States, so there is no lack of quality in their beverages.

Cooper’s Hawk also hosts wine tasting events in their special wine room. These tasting sessions are more affordable than their extremely pricey counterparts but still offer the same amazing wine-based experience. The events are monthly, and Cooper’s Hawk takes pride in being able to provide the wine tasting to everyone who wants it (if they are of legal drinking age, of course).

What’s on the Menu?

 The menu is tailored to anyone who enters. There are options to make everyone feel as if they are a part of the Cooper’s Hawk experience. Their wine menu is extensive, boasting over 50 different varieties, all homegrown and uniquely flavored. They also offer other types of alcohol from domestic and international beers to specialty cocktails made in-house.

Of course, there are non-alcoholic beverages offered as well, for those under the legal drinking age. There is coffee, tea, and various different Coca-Cola products.

The appetizers give customers a taste of different cultures around the world, while also having a distinctly American flavor.

The entrees are divided by their main protein and range from juicy burgers to tasty fish dishes. There are also salad options for those looking for something lighter and healthier. They also offer most of their entrees in lunch sizes for a fraction of the price (in case you’re not feeling as hungry).

Lastly, Cooper’s Hawk desserts are to die for. They offer creamy cakes, melty sundaes, and even dessert wines to enjoy. The restaurant also offers a special kid’s menu, catering, and carry out if you call them or order online.

Restaurant Atmosphere

 Cooper’s Hawk is a perfect place for a date or a family night out for those in the Ashburn neighborhood. Their designs are chic and modern but add a touch of hominess to make customers feel classy but comfortable. If you love eating good food in a relaxed atmosphere, then you’ll love dining at this Ashburn restaurant.

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Ashburn Ice House: Skating for All

Ice-skating is a classic favorite for people of all ages to enjoy, and that’s why Ashburn Ice House is so popular among the residents of Ashburn. The Ice House has all the amenities necessary for you and your family to partake whether its lessons, leagues, parties, or a simple day on the rink. They provide all of this and more for the Ashburn community.

Learning for Everyone

If you’re new on skates, there’s no need to worry because the Ice House has opportunities through their Learn to Skate program. It’s the only program endorsed by USA Hockey, US Figure Skating, US Speed Skating, and Special Olympics. They have age-specific levels for all types of experienced skaters and even for adults.

Skate Sessions and More

To add a little excitement into your workweek, their public skate sessions allow open skating for all individuals along with rentals for you and your children. A complete schedule of these dates and times can be found on the calendar online.

More casual sessions for young children are the Wednesday morning “Playground on Ice” events. Ages two to twelve can attend fun games including a hockey shoot out zone or art on ice, all supervised by an on-staff team member. Parents skate for free of course!

Weekend Relief

For a little Friday night fun, join Ice House for some skating and original DJ mixes hosted by Elliot Root.

Each first Saturday of the month is reserved for Parents Night Out where you can drop off children ages six to eleven. The kids will be hosted by activities and food, and you’ll have your evening free to do whatever you decide.

A Competitive Agenda

Skill-based leagues for adults are offered for two separate seasons throughout the year while leagues for children are offered based on age. A recent highlight is the new Masters league for 40+ intermediate play. So there should be fun for everyone!

If becoming a hockey player or ice skater is all your child talks about, then this is the place for them. AIH Hockey clinics require no equipment and host beginner and youth courses. The figure skating training is hosted by a complete professional staff that has competed in a host of events including US National and International competitions.

Through the ACE (Ashburn Cutting Edge Academy), levels three or above are invited to attend this US figure Skating Bridge Program where a commitment to skill development is welcomed.

Party Planning

From birthdays to private events, Ice House allows you to secure a room for your gathering, and depending on the options, they even allow exclusive rink time just for you. Standard ice skating parties include pizza and drinks as well as skate rentals for everyone. Let this be the place for your next big day!

Good Times on the Ice

The Ashburn Ice House has all you need to get sliding. From attending a pickup event to signing up for hockey courses, you’ll be able to explore a whole new world of indoor skating for any agenda you are looking for.

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Aloft Dulles Airport North Hotel

The Aloft Dulles Airport North Hotel is the premier hotel in Ashburn, Virginia.  Located just ten minutes from Washington Dulles International Airport via the hotel’s complimentary airport shuttle service, this hotel is ideally situated to cater to travelers with an overnight layover as well as visitors to Ashburn.

Ashburn’s location in the heart of the Dulles Technology Corridor places you minutes away from the headquarters of a wide assortment of high-tech corporations such as Verizon and AOL and government contractors like the I.T./cybersecurity firm Telos and defense contractor Airbus, Inc.  Tourists are just a short trek from all the national monuments in Washington D.C. as well as its collection of museums like the Smithsonian.

The Aloft Dulles Airport North is part of the Marriott chain of hotels and features all the extra touches travelers have come to expect like an in-hotel pantry featuring drink and snacks that are available all hours of the day, as well as a lounge for enjoying drinks and unwinding.  There is also an indoor pool for those looking to relax before working out in the hotel’s gym.

Businessmen can utilize the hotel’s meeting space, which has a capacity for 38 people, as well as the business center, where you can keep in touch with the office using the hotel-wide internet connection.  Forgetting your chargers isn’t an issue as the hotel provides a plug and play connectivity station in all their rooms that are also connected to the in-room 42” flat screen televisions.  The Aloft Dulles Airport North Hotel aims to provide guests with a memorable experience in a classy yet modern setting.

Hotel Rooms

The hotel’s 136 rooms feature king-sized beds or two queen-sized ones facing oversized windows. These rooms offer spectacular views of Washington D.C.  The rooms are all equipped with a plug and play connectivity station that is connected to 42” televisions.  The bathrooms are designed to stimulate the senses with eco-friendly dispensers filled with Bliss Spa Bath toiletries.

Hotel Dining

The Aloft hotel offers two 24-hour options for food.  One is a sundry/convenience store filled with drinks, snacks and other products that a traveler may require or desire.  There is also Re:Fuel by Aloft, an eclectic self-service gourmet eatery featuring mix and match meals, a self-serve coffee station, and daily hot and continental breakfasts.  This is ideal for a quick pick-me-up before venturing out into the city for the day.

There is also the re:mix lounge. The lounge features its ample plush seating set in a vivid colorful setting. Here, you can unwind at the end of the day while enjoying a wide assortment of cocktails, beers and other alcoholic beverages.

Fitness

The hotel is home to the Re:Charge gym, which has a selection of free weights, treadmills, elliptical machines and weightlifting machine. The Re:Charge gym means you don’t have to miss your regular workout routine.  There is also an indoor pool that is perfect for cooling down on a hot day or swimming a few laps.

The Aloft Dulles Airport North hotel is an excellent choice for vacationers and business travelers looking to stay in the comfort and elegance of a Marriott hotel.

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Alamo Drafthouse Cinema: More Than Just Movies

If you are someone who loves to go to the movies, then you understand just how important a good movie theater can be. You can see a lot, the movie-watching experience is immersive, and you usually get some great prices. There is also a certain welcoming atmosphere that you find at a local movie theatre.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema was founded in 1997 by Tim and Karrie League, a pair who always had a passion for film, food, and drinks. The mission/motto of Alamo is “good food, good beer and good film, all at the same place!” The first Alamo Drafthouse Cinema was created in the city of Austin, Texas. The original building featured one screen and was even hand built.

From that starting point, they have grown and changed, but they have always remained dedicated to a quality experience for their customers. Although it has many locations all across the country, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema works hard still to build the local feel in every location they offer, and that is exactly what they do for the Ashburn location as well.

Interaction and Special Offerings within the Local Ashburn Community

Besides their main service of being a local movie theater where Ashburn residents can go to see the latest big blockbusters, Alamo hosts a variety of special programs and movie series. They give the average movie goer something more than the biggest box office sensation of the week.

For example, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema likes to present a lot of new and innovative films, like smaller independent ones that premier only at annual film festivals. They aren’t afraid to show films that make you question the world and challenge your way of thinking. They also like to remember all the great films that have come before. They often do different events that showcase special classics. One of their most popular programs is their Afternoon Tea series, where they screen period films while serving treats and tea.

Another way that Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is active in the local Ashburn community is through their support of local businesses. To do their part for the local economy, they often make efforts to hire local companies for services they need like building maintenance and ordering of food and other items. For example, when they need work done to repair their roof (which is important to protecting their valuable equipment), they might turn towards Ridgeline Roofers, which is locally based and specializes in roofing work.

They Craft a Fun Environment for Many Ages and Groups

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has often been praised for their attention to creating a unique environment that virtually any movie goer can feel comfortable and welcomed in. For example, a large demographic that comes to visit their Ashburn location is families. For this reason, it is naturally a very family friendly environment. But at the same time, they also provide an atmosphere where adults and young adults can come to relax, enjoy a couple of beers, and see a movie!

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Ashburn, Virginia

Located in Loudoun County, Ashburn, Virginia is a census-designated city that is 30 miles outside of Washington D.C. between Dulles International Airport in D.C. and Leesburg, Virginia, which is the county seat of Loudoun County. According to the 2010 United States Census, Ashburn has a total area of 17.287 square miles of which 0.262 square miles consists of water while the other 17.025 square miles is land.

Demographics

According to the 2010 census, Ashburn has a population totaling 43,511 citizens while the greater surrounding area has a population of 54,086 citizens.  The population is an almost even split with 49% of residents being male and 51% being female with an average age of the entire population being 31.6 years old.

Because Ashburn is located within the Dulles Technology Corridor, 42% of the population have earned a B.A. and 18% have earned a Master’s degree.  This high level of college education can be attributed in part to the tech boom going on in that part of Virginia, and it is a major factor in 80% of the population being homeowners of properties with a median value of $345,000.

Economy

Being part of the Dulles Technology Corridor has meant that many high-tech businesses have opened offices there.  When Verizon Communications took control of MCI WorldCom in 2006, they took over MCI’s headquarters to house one of their major offices.  Ashburn is also home to several government and military contractors.  Chief among these is Telos, an information technology and cybersecurity firm that works closely with the United States Department of Defense.

Ashburn is also home to one of the corporate offices of Airbus, Inc., which was formerly known as the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company. They are a defense contractor helmed by Sean O’Keefe, a former NASA administrator.  Other tech institutions affiliated with Ashburn are the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus and George Washington University’s Virginia Science and Technology Center as well as the Wikimedia Foundation’s primary data center.

Education

The Loudoun County Public School system oversees all the local public elementary and secondary schools, and there are several private schools that offer both a secular as well as a non-secular education. Ashburn is also home to Strayer as well as George Washington Universities. Additionally, George Mason University has announced in 2009 that they planned on opening a campus in Ashburn.

Sports and Entertainment

Ashburn is home to One Loudoun, a new multimillion-dollar entertainment, sports and residential development that has been planned to be the focal point of the new downtown area for Loudoun County.  There are also ties to the National Football League, with the Washington Redskins housing their training camp at Redskins Park in Ashburn.

Famous People and Places

Ashburn is the location of two residences on the National Register of Historic Places.  These are the Belmont Manor House, notably used as a safe haven for President Madison during the War of 1812, and the Janelia Mansion, famed for being the home of artist Vinton Pickens and her husband, writer and Associated Press correspondent Robert Pickens.  Ashburn was also where famed Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Wilson Pickett lived at the end of his life.

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Volcano Island Waterpark

There are few things that are more enjoyable in the middle of summer than relaxing at a water park.  You can kick back on a reclining deck chair and soak up some rays before hopping into a pool for a refreshing dip to cool off and then do it again.  Algonkian Regional Park in Sterling, Virginia is home to one such place, the Volcano Island Waterpark. This Nova Parks masterpiece is the perfect place to escape a humid summer day in Virginia.  

Whether you decide to visit as a special treat or you have an annual pass and go there weekly, Volcano Island is designed for the entire family’s entertainment.  With an assortment of water features, an 18-hole miniature golf course, and a restaurant for when hunger strikes, this island themed waterpark will keep you wanting to come back time and time again.

Cool Off with Refreshing Water Features

Volcano island features two multi-story waterslides.  One is a 230-foot long open slide that takes you through multiple twists and turns before splashing down in one of the parks many pools.  The other water slide is a 170-foot closed slide, where you gather speed in total darkness only to be blinded by the sun reflecting off the water as you exit into one of their refreshingly cool pools.  No matter how many times you climb the steps to the top, you will never tire of sliding down, out of control towards the pool.

The centerpiece of Volcano island is a large pool featuring a 500-gallon dumping bucket.  This massive play feature consists of multiple open and tube slides, squirt guns, fountains, platforms to jump from and the oversized bucket that will surprise you with the massive deluge it produces.  Located in one of the shallower pools, this feature is fun for the oldest adults and the youngest children.

Another feature you can’t miss is the large main pool with enough space for everyone to enjoy.  This pool is ideal for swimming or simply floating around and socializing. There is even a small tree stump slide.  This short but fast ride has you gaining speed until you are spit out into four feet of cold water.

Lastly there is the splash pad.  This water feature is full of cannons, buckets, sprinklers and showers.  It is a great spot for the kids although parents will love it too.

Simon Says

Remember the old electronic game Simon you probably played as a child?  Well Volcano Island features its own version, the Neos game. Like the game Simon where you had to repeat the sequences that the computer picked for you, this attraction is almost the exact same except reproduced on a scale that is ten feet wide.  This free game is perfect for when you need a respite from the water and feel like drying off for a bit.

Beat the Heat and Enjoy the Shade

If you find yourself getting a bit waterlogged and need a break from the water, you can relax under the tiki themed canopies and enjoy watching the palm fronds blowing in the wind.  This is a great spot for those who wish to kick back with a book to help pass the day.

Not Just a Waterpark

While the aquatic features are what draws you to the park, there are other options to enjoy.  Next to the water portion of the park is an 18-hole miniature golf course. You can challenge your friends and family to a quick round and see if you can make a hole in one.

Dine in Paradise

Volcano Island features the Paradise Café, where visitors can choose from an assortment of foods that everyone loves.  Choose from pizza, burgers, hot dogs and even vegetarian options to fill your stomach. It doesn’t matter if you get messy either, because you can hop right back in the pool.

Group Fun

Volcano Island is perfect for throwing birthday parties or hosting other groups. They specialize in hosting groups of 10 to 25 people in one of the three separate areas designed for parties.  They offer packages featuring your choice of foods, refreshments and dessert as well as providing free invitations. Contact them ahead of time to plan a memorable experience for your child’s birthday.

Safety Comes First

All Nova Parks put an emphasis on safety.  Every pool features multiple lifeguards on duty, and their rules are designed to make sure that guests enjoy themselves in a setting that has minimal risk.  All staff are tested regularly to ensure they are always prepared for any situation. Volcano Island puts a premium on the professionalism of their staff, so that guests can be at ease and enjoy the park to the fullest extent.  In addition, all Nova parks are smoke free establishments. To learn more about the rules and regulations for Volcano Island and their entire family of water parks, visit the Nova Parks website.

Hours of Operation and Admission

Volcano Island is open every weekend from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.  Once school lets out for the summer we are open daily, generally from 11am through 7pm. Check their website to see the exact hours and days they operate as these are subject to change based on factors such as the weather.  Admission varies depending on whether or not you reside in specific jurisdictions and group rates are available.  Annual passes are also available for individuals as well as for entire families that are valid at all Nova Parks.   Contact Volcano Island at (703)430-7683 for prices.

Summertime always presents a challenge for parents as they juggle work with keeping the kids occupied.  Parents are always looking for ways to entertain their children while not breaking the bank. As the temperatures rise and school lets out children will always want to do something fun while escaping the heat.  Volcano Island Waterpark in Sterling, Virginia offers the perfect solution for families looking to spend a day together or for anyone looking for an escape to a tropical paradise for the day.

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Regal Countryside Stadium 20 Theater

Attending the cinema is one of those activities that everyone enjoys from time to time.  It could be that you want to take someone out for dinner and a movie for a first date, or you simply want to escape for a few hours and lose yourself in a great story while enjoying the cool air.  Whatever reason you might have for attending the movies, the Regal Countryside Stadium 20 in Sterling, Virginia is the place to go for films buffs.

First Run Films in a Stadium Setting

Regal Cinemas features 20 big screens, showing a wide variety of first run films.  All the theaters offer stadium seating, so there isn’t a bad seat in the house. Featuring Dolby Sound and showing certain IMAX films, cinema devotees know the sound quality will be top notch and the visual quality is so vivid, you will think you are watching something in person.   

International Films

Regal Countryside Stadium 20 caters to film lovers of many different cultures.  Not only do they present American and other English language films, but they also present some of the best films Bollywood has to offer.  Regal makes an effort to cater to the large Indian population by showing films in Telugu, Punjabi and Hindi, so that expat Indians are able to get a taste of home and the beautiful films of India.   

Retro Design

Regal Countryside Stadium 20 is a throwback to theaters of the 20th century.  The exterior has a slight art deco vibe to it, and like many older theaters, it is one of the anchors of a local mall.  Entering this Regal location is like stepping back in time to the days when Hollywood was still the home of glamour, and movie stars still had that air of mystique to them.   

Group Events and Private Screenings

Regal Cinemas offer up a wide variety of options for groups to attend the movies.  From hosting birthday parties for children to setting up private screenings for groups of 25 or larger, there are several options to choose from if you wish to attend the movies with a large group of people.   

Special Promotions

Regal Cinemas has a plethora of promotions available to people looking for a little more from their movie going experience.  From something simple like free refills on all large popcorn and soda purchases to discounted tickets, there is an offer for most everyone to take advantage of.  

There is also the Regal Crown Club, which offers participants discounted movie tickets as well as the opportunity to earn points towards free concessions and movie memorabilia.  Regal Countryside Stadium 20 also offers gift cards for those special occasions for that special somebody in your life.

No matter the reason for wishing to go to the movies, be it for a reminder of home with a foreign film or simply to escape reality and lose yourself in a blockbuster film, Regal Countryside Stadium 20 in Sterling, Virginia is the ideal place to see a film.  With its comfortable setting and multitude of different movie going options, you can’t go wrong when you attend a screening here.

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Rebounderz – Big Fun in a Small Town

Sterling Park, Virginia is rich in history, which is only natural considering how close it is to Washington D.C. If you feel like you have seen it all in Sterling Park, from Algonkian park to Dulles International Airport to the Heritage Farm Museum, there might be something new for you.

It’s this little place called Rebounderz, and it is Sterling Park’s very own indoor trampoline park. These places came onto the scene about a decade ago, and they are a huge hit with both the kids and the kids at heart.

Indoor Bouncing Fun

Rebounderz is similar to those bouncy houses you’ve seen at kids’ birthday parties for years and years, except imagine an entire building like that!

One of the really cool things about Rebounderz is the different activities you can participate in while bouncing around. They offer dodgeball and basketball in addition to what they call “open jump”, which is what you typically would imagine in a trampoline park.

The most popular feature is definitely the ninja warrior course. Its layout is similar to the show, Ultimate Ninja Warrior, and participants can try out the hanging doors, slack line, quad steps, warped walls, and much more.

There are three levels of difficulty, so be sure to try a challenge that is appropriate for you and your kids. The highest level actually ends up being a pretty intense workout for adults!

Games and Chances to Win Prizes

In addition to their jumping sections, Rebounderz has a great arcade complete with claw machines, pinball machines, Skeeball, and a variety of the latest games. Rather than the traditional ticket/token system at most arcades, they utilize a sort of debit card that allows you to easily add “tokens” without carrying a big cup of coins around.s

The points earned from winning games are also stored on the card, so those long strands of paper tickets are a thing of the past. Their card system is simple and environmentally friendly.

Perfect for Kids…and Kids at Heart!

Rebounderz is the perfect place for kids. Summer camps are available for youngsters to participate in hours of jump time as well as numerous other fun activities including the ninja warrior course. They also give parents the opportunity to rent out the whole place for birthday parties.

For those parents with little ones, there is an option for you, too! Rebounderz offers “toddler time”, which is only $10 and allows you and your child under 5 to bounce around in a spot away from all the other commotion. That means you don’t have to worry about your toddler getting trampled by the bigger kids.

Considering the staff members have to deal with kids literally bouncing off the walls all day, they display the utmost professionalism and do everything to ensure you have the best experience.

And for those kids at heart, Rebounderz also offer corporate events. Renting out the facility for the day can be a great way for you and your coworkers to unwind, have some fun, and ultimately bond over this one-of-a-kind experience.

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Potomac Heritage Trail

Residents of Sterling, Virginia who are fans of nature are lucky to have the Potomac Heritage Trail running right through their back yards.  Established in 1983 as a National Scenic Trail, the PHT consists of over 700 miles of existing and planned sections, spanning several states in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States.  

Running through Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington D.C., the PHT traces the outstanding cultural, historical and physical features of the upper Ohio River watershed, which runs through Western Maryland and Pennsylvania; the Potomac River corridor; and the Rappahannock River watershed, which is found in Virginia.  All this is managed by the National Parks Service.

What Makes the Potomac Heritage Unique?

Unlike the Appalachian Trail, which runs almost the entire length of the Eastern United States, the Potomac Heritage trail is a more general route with multiple side paths to explore.  Some of the paths run parallel to one another on either side of the Potomac River and are connected by various roads.

Also, the PHT intersects with the Appalachian just outside of Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, making it possible for the most adventurous explorers to hike along parts of both scenic routes.  The PHT additionally connects with the American Discovery Trail along a portion of the C&O Canal Towpath running from Washington, D.C. to Oldtown, Maryland.

When the PHT originally became a National Scenic Trail in 1983, it consisted of three sections.  The longest was the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath, which ran 184.5 miles along the D.C. and Maryland side of the Potomac from Cumberland, Maryland to Georgetown, Washington D.C.  There was also the 18 miles of the Mount Vernon Trail in Virginia and the 70 miles of the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail in Pennsylvania.

These paths were a mix of different surfaces such as gravel, asphalt and natural surfaces which shows the wide variety of landscapes and cultures that make up the region.  This is unlike other National Scenic paths, which have a more homogenous quality to them.

PHT Association

The Potomac Heritage Trail Association is a membership-based organization dedicated to the interpretation, preservation, development and construction of the PHT.  The group works with local, state and federal officials and authorities to develop new sections along the Potomac Heritage National Scenic corridor. The group, along with other advocacy groups sponsor, work trips to maintain and construct natural surface portions of the trail.  These include the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, the Great Falls Trail Blazers, the Appalachian Mountain Club and the Oxon Hill Bicycle Club among many others.

Guidebooks to the Potomac Heritage

There are also two guidebooks dedicated to mapping out the PHT for people wishing to try hiking different areas.  The Potomac Heritage Trail: A Hiker’s Guide exclusively deals with the PHT and all the pathways that it is comprised of while The C&O Companion guidebook has a section devoted to this specific portion of the PHT.

The Potomac Heritage Trail is just one of the many naturally beautiful paths that are part of the National Parks Service.  The PHT is perfect for lovers of nature who enjoy hiking regardless of their level of experience. Luckily for residents of Sterling, Virginia there is a trail just outside their doors waiting to be explored.

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Claude Moore Park – A Little Something for Everyone

In Sterling Park, Virginia, there is a park that is a favorite among residents called the Claude Moore Park. This park has natural habitats, a historical area, recreational facilities and educational opportunities.

History of Claude Moore Park

The park was named after Dr. Claude Moore, the last resident to own private land on the area that would eventually become a staple of the Sterling Park community. Dr. Moore was a medical officer during World War I.

Dr. Moore bought the property in 1941 from the Lane family, who had owned the land for 162 years. He owned it until 1975, when he donated his property to the National Wildlife Foundation. So, the land was only owned by two families over its 200 years of being occupied, a rare occurrence even among the thirteen colonies.

Dr. Moore wanted to keep the site as a place where people could learn about and enjoy nature, so when the land was sold to developers in 1986, he fought in the court system to make sure they would not bulldoze the natural beauty.

He was ultimately successful, with the county buying the land from the developers and designating it as a historical park in his name in 1990.

Historical Trails

Be sure to stop at the Visitor’s Center to pick up a brochure of the Claude Moore Park Lanesville Area Walking Tour. Take time to walk through the Park and its natural beauty and read the interpretive displays along the way.

The Vestal Gap Road, originally a Native American footpath, became a major route for settlers between Alexandria and Shenandoah Valley pre-revolution and served as a byway for troops in the French and Indian War. The road was named after John Vestal, who ran a ferry where today’s Route 9 crosses into the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Historical Buildings

Nestled in the park are several historic buildings: the 1779 Revolutionary War-era Lanesville Ordinary, the schoolhouse, and the Frogshackle.

The Ordinary played an important role in the War of 1812, at one point providing temporary housing for the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The Ordinary is a two story, side gabled frame house with a history that belies its “ordinary” appearance.

The schoolhouse on the property is one of the oldest one-room schoolhouses in Loudon County. The second floor was the residence of the teacher.

Another building of importance is the Frogshackle, a log cabin that today houses the hands-on nature center.

Family Fun and Recreation

There are many picnic areas to enjoy, fishing opportunities, and several hiking trails through the natural habitats, with the longest trail being 3.5 miles. Color-coded markers indicate the trail range from 1/4 to 3 miles. Inside the Visitors Center is a classroom-type arrangement, mirroring the style of the old schoolhouses.

Interpretive programs, classes and camps are offered to encourage children to explore the natural world. Claude Moore Park is ideal for families to picnic and enjoy the great outdoors.

For sports fans, their sportsplex offers baseball, softball, and generic rectangular fields. In fact, the beauty of this park makes it a frequent site of choice for local softball tournaments.

There are also two ponds where fishing is allowed certain times of the year. This park is perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy beautiful surroundings and learn the history of the Vestal Gap Road.

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