Potomac Overlook Regional Park is a surprisingly large scenic park located in the North part of Arlington, Virginia that is easy to walk around and navigate.
As the name suggest, the park once offered amazing views of the Potomac River. These days, you actually can’t see the river until the leaves fall from the trees in the winter.
Then you’ll have a nice view!
Previously, the Potomac could be seen but the trees have grown so much in the past 50 years, you can no longer see it when they are full of leaves.
The park is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy the beauty of nature. Potomac Overlook Regional Park is a popular spot for both locals and visitors to Arlington.
This is also a great place to have a picnic.
Things to Do at Potomac Overlook Regional Park
Potomac Overlook Regional Park has a number of amenities that makes it more than worth multiple visits. At the park you’ll find:
- A nature center with live animals and exhibits
- Aviary (with 2 rescued owls and a falcon)
- An organic fruit and vegetable garden
- Native species garden
- Frog pond
- Hiking trails
- Lots of bird watching
- Programs and events
- Outdoor concerts (during the summer)
- Picnic pavilion
- Streams for lots of water play and wildlife watching
This is also a beautiful place to visit to see wildflowers in the springtime.
Kids love to run and explore in the open places.
The garden is a nice place to stop as it has signs teaching visitors about vegetable gardening.
Located just minutes from the hustle and bustle of the D.C. metro area, Potomac Overlook Regional Park is a haven of natural beauty and serenity.
And this is one great place for visitors to enjoy a peaceful hike along one of the park’s many trails, take in views of the Potomac River (in winter), or simply relax and take in the sounds of nature.
Hiking & Trails
If you’re looking for a nature hike in the area, the Potomac Overlook Regional Park is a great option. As this is a quite popular park, you’ll likely pass other people and dogs along the way.
The trails themselves are relatively easy to walk around and navigate. There are some small hills.
The park has a 2.5 mile nature trail that winds through the woods and offers beautiful views of the Potomac River. The trail is well-marked and easy to follow, making it perfect for hikers of all levels.
While there is a main walking trail, you’ll also find several trails that split from the main trails. You’ll see Heritage signs that explain some of the local history about the land which is interesting. Trails are all relatively easy.
Along the wa there are several places to play in the water.
One of our favorite trails is one the runs along the creek. You will need to cross it to continue and when the water is higher at some points during the year, it can be a bit difficult to get across. Either way, the kids will definitely enjoy playing in the water.
Bring some water shoes and be careful crossing the streams and wet rocks.
If you’re concerned about having the kids play in the water, check-in at the nature center and the staff can let you know if it’s currently safe to do so.
Wildlife & Nature
The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, foxes, and bald eagles. Along the trails you can also expect to see a variety of plant life, including oak trees, hickory trees, and wildflowers.
There is a small, wood-themed playground for little ones and elementary kids at the top of the loop.
The main part is a log tree house with swings, monkey bars, a small rock wall and a few slides. And of coure, plenty of open space to run and play.
Visiting the Nature Center
Potomac Overlook Regional Park has just one of many amazing nature centers in the area.
The nature center at Potomac Overlook Regional Park has live animals,hands-on exhibits and more to explore.
There are different snakes to see, plus other reptiles. Kids can learn about the reptiles, touch snake skin, view skulls and more.
What to Bring
- Water shoes
- Good footwear
- Towel and change of clothes for the kids
- A picnic and / or snacks
Programs & Events
Potomac Overlook Regional Park also has some fun programs, events and even camps to attend.
Events are typically around widlife and nature as you can imagine. This is a great way to see some wildlife up close and also learn more about their behavior and the different ecosystems.
You can see their upcoming events here.
Hours, When to Go & Admission
Potomac Overlook Regional Park is open every day from dawn until dusk and admission is free for all visitors.
The nature center is open Tuesday thru Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Sundays from 1pm to 5pm, so if you want to visit the nature center as well, make sure to visit during those times.
Good to Know
- The park is dog friendly
- There are restrooms available at the parking lot
- The nature center is about 0.2 miles from the playground
- Birthday parties can be hosted here with a hands-on nature program
Getting There & Parking
Go as far down Marcey Road as you can, stopping at the gate. On your way to the park, it looks like a residential area and then you’ll see it opens up to a local park.
Parking can be a bit tough as the park is popular so you may need to circle the lot a few times, especially if you go on the weekend. Another option is to park along the street in the traffic circle.
The park is located at 2845 Marcey Rd., Arlington, VA 22207.
Your Visit to Potomac Overlook Regional Park
All in all, Potomac Overlook Regional Park is a great place to spend the day with friends and family. There are plenty of activities to keep everyone occupied, and the views are winding through the huge trees is relaxing and fabulous. I highly recommend a visit to this park!