Summary: This is a flat, woodland trail following the jagged contours of 218 acre Burke Lake. The hike is a clockwise circuit, at first paralleling the miniature railroad, then circling to the far side of the lake to skirt the edge of the campground and an orienteering course. A natural area harbors a variety of wildlife including beavers, red fox, deer and muskrats. Vesper Island, visivle for the lake edge, is a state waterfoul refuge.
Although often crowded in summer and warm weekends, this is a delightful walk at any time of year. The lake is a wintering spot for numerous species of waterfowl, spring brings an array of wildflowers, and fall is a riot of color.
Trailhead: I-495 to I-66; I-66 west to VA 123; VA 123 south about 9 mi to park entrance on left, just beyond golf course. Follow signs to marina and park in lot. (An entrance fee, $6, is charged seasonally for non-residents of Fairfax County) (Lat:38.76096 Lon:-77.30161)
Trail Guides for Burke Lake:
Circuit Hikes in VA WVA MD and PA
by Potomac Appalachain Trail Club (PATC)
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Bikes,
Ranger Contact: VA parks and recreation 703 323 6601
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Joe Cross, who has posted 56 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 2 Submit your own review
Reviewed by James on 5/26/2011
This is one of my favorite park. The lake is beautiful but really crowded on weekends.
Reviewed by Vickie on 8/5/2009
Fantastic hike with my 11 and 8 year olds. They made it all the way around the lake on their first hike on a hot July day. We also enjoyed doing the fitness stations on the West side of the lake - extra fun! We will definitely hike this one again!
Reviewed by Viewer on 7/13/2009
Offers lots of fun for the whole family...time and time again.
Reviewed by Viewer on 7/7/2009
Cost to non-residents of Fairfax is now $8 per car on weekends and holidays only. No charge for weekday use. Cyclists, joggers and walkers share the well groomed trail that runs quite flat around man-made Lake Burke. Traffic on the Monday after 4th of July consisted of runners, walkers and cyclists in a generally tranquil setting, though some portions of the lake run close enough to a major road that vehicle traffic noise was fairly loud but a road was visible only for about 1/8 km. There is an orienteering route on-site. The lake gets used for some fishing by electric or paddle-powered boats, but sailboats are banned. Wild fauna sighted: hawk or falcon and a squirrel. Many fishermen (no women) caught no fish.
Reviewed by Joe on 9/29/2007
This trail is just perfect for joggin.
Reviewed by SMK on 5/30/2006
Went hiking Memorial Day weekend 2006 for the first time. Was very please with the maintenance of the park. There is a fee for non VA residents but was happy to pay in exchange for a well kept park. There is a lot to do other than hike, play grounds, mini golf, lots of wide open grass to let the kids run around. The ice cream shop was a great end to a beautiful day.
Reviewed by SJS on 9/26/2005
Nice views but I found this trail extremely busy! Easy terrain and a nice trail overall.
Reviewed by Brett on 11/28/2004
I hiked around Burke Lake in February 2004, and the trail was icy to the point of being quite difficult. I don't know if that's typical or not for this trail; it was ice formed not by an ice storm, but by the freezing, thawing, and refreezing of snow over several days, combined with the heavy foot traffic which compressed the snow. Looked like it would be lovely in the non-winter months, and I hope to return in a warmer season!
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: Virginia Hiking, Virginia Trails, Virginia Hikes, Fairfax County Hiking, Fairfax County Trails, Fairfax County Hikes