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USA/South: Leesburg, VA

That Cursed Ball's Bluff

Outdoors

Walks and Hikes

Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Regional Historic Park, site of an early Civil War battle two miles from the heart of Leesburg, features woodland trails atop a bluff above the Potomac River. Guided battlefield tours are at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. weekends from early April through November.  Downloadable self-guided audio tours are another option. A small National Cemetery in the park contains the remains of 54 soldiers who perished at the Battle of Ball’s Bluff on Oct. 21, 1861. 

Red Rock Wilderness Overlook Regional Park boasts spectacular views of the Potomac River with moderate to strenuous trails on 67 wooded acres. 

Morven Park has 1,000 acres of woods, fields and gardens, including two loop hiking trails completed in 2014. The .81-mile Wood Thrush Trail winds between the complex’s athletic field to its Turkey Hill Farm and has an optional .47-mile loop. The more strenuous 1.24-mile Ridge Top Trail boasts a scenic overlook with views of the estate’s historic mansion. A short connector links the trails. Detailed maps for each are available at the visitor center. 

Cycling

Portions of the Washington & Old Dominion Regional Park—at 100 feet wide and 45 miles long, dubbed “the skinniest park in Virginia”—cut through Loudoun County. The multi-use, paved trail is particularly popular among cyclists, though it’s shared by skaters and walkers. Built on the roadbed of the former Washington & Old Dominion Railroad and popularly known as the W&OD Trail, its terminus is in Purcellville, 10 miles west of Leesburg. 

Trails End Cycling near the historic Purcellville train depot, rents bikes and also organizes bike tours to area wineries. 

Water sports

Harper’s Ferry Adventure Center in Purcellville covers the spectrum from white-water rafting and tubing to canoeing and kayaking on the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers. 

Farmers Markets 

Farmland may be giving way to residential development, but Loudoun County retains its agricultural roots with 70-plus farms selling their bounty to the public. Among them is Great Country Farms in Bluemont, 16 miles west of Leesburg, with you-pick produce, hayrides, mazes and more. Open March-November. 

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