Wakefield Park


One of the more popular public facilities in Fairfax County is the Wakefield RECenter, off of Braddock Rd. in Annandale.  With swimming and diving pools, weight and exercise rooms, racquetball, volleyball and wallyball courts, a photo lab and a gymnasium, the place stays busy.  Outside, there are ballfields and picnic areas.  It=s also a very popular starting point for runners and mountain bikers.  The Accotink Trail runs the north/south length of the park. That trail is only a backbone for the maze of other dirt trails that wind through the woods.  Even a mountain bike race course is included in the park.  Leaving the park borders on the Accotink Trail from the south, you can reach the nearby Lake Accotink.  Making a loop around the lake from the starting point described below is only 5.18 miles (see the Lake Accotink section of this guide for a description of this route). 


Getting There


From the Capital Beltway

Take Exit 5 for Braddock Rd. headed west.  Turn right after 0.35 miles into the Wakefield Park entrance.   Park at the first lot on the left.   Routes start from the Accotink Trail head, at the left corner of the lot. 


Area Routes


Long Branch/Accotink (5.6 miles, V)

Part of the Accotink Trail system is the trail along one of Accotink Creek=s tributaries.  The Long Branch Trail (don=t confused this with a trail by the same name that=s part of the Anacostia  Trail system in Maryland or other Long Branch creeks in Virginia) is a pleasant bluestone surfaced trail south and west of Wakefield park.  Mostly flat, the less than 1.5 mile long wooded trail ends at Canterbury Woods Elementary School.  Continue on sidewalks, following suburban neighborhoods roads across Braddock Rd., and then along Rolling Rd.  Use an old railroad grade trail to get into Lake Accotink Park and the lake loop trail (see the Carrleigh route in the Lake Accotink section of this guide for a description of this segment).  Use the flat Accotink Creek Trail to return to Wakefield Park. 


Mill Creek Park (5.65 or 6.15 miles, V or VI)

Trails along the Accotink can be followed continuously over 14 miles from Arlington Boulevard, Rte. 50 in the City of Fairfax, to the Fairfax County Parkway Trail in Springfield.  Very little of this is paved though major segments, with different names, are maintained.  Going north from the parking lot, through Wakefield Park, the way needs some explanation in order to be followed.  The problem in Wakefield Park is not in finding a trail; it=s in finding the correct trail.  So many paths, some paved, some not, intersect and are unmarked so that it may take you a second or third try to go through with confidence that you=re on the main route.  To begin, when facing the field from the parking lot, go up the sidewalk to the right.  The walk becomes a trail.  At the first turn bear right climbing slightly to go into the woods.  Pass the recreation center on your left and eventually get on the park road.  Near the pedestrian bridge that goes over the beltway, on your right, bear left going into the woods again, downhill on a trail.  Round the power substation on your right at the bottom, then follow the road-like gravel trail through the flats.  The longer option gets to the substation by going the other direction on the Accotink Trail first, then taking a dirt trail under the power lines. 


Continuing north from the substation, cross a wooden bridge on your left over Accotink Creek.  Just before you reach what appears to be the end of the trail at Mockingbird Dr., turn right to cross a small stream on a concrete wash Abridge@ to continue the trails.  When this trail appears to end at the Accotink Pkwy., just go on straight ahead.  Americana Park, a ballfield will appear on your right.  Trails continue through this park, going along the creek and under the highways however that will be your return route.  For now, go straight, climbing the steep hill on the road.  Continue on roads, carefully crossing Little River Turnpike, Rte. 236.  After some modest rolling hills through the neighborhood of Mill Creek Park, you will drop back into the Accotink Creek valley.  The point where you join the trail is the end of the Eakin Trail (see Eakin Community Park).  The Eakin Trail goes upstream through Eakin Community Park.  Instead, go downstream into Mill Creek Park.  The way is on an un-maintained dirt trail on the northeast side of the Accotink.  Just before reaching the power lines, turn right and cross Accotink Creek on stones (don=t attempt this route if it has been raining recentlyBthe water may be high and any way, the trail will be muddy).  Turn left again, hopefully still dry, to follow the creek under highway access ramps and Little River Turnpike.  Emerge at Americana Park, and return the way you came on the Accotink Trail. 


Nearby and Connecting Zones


Accotink Park

Eakin Community Park


What to do Afterward


Food and Drink

Tiyaki Grill - 703-913-6300



Entertainment and Edification

Lake Accotink Park - 703 569-3464

Wakefield RECenter - 703 321-7081

Wakefield Chapel - nondenominational, built in 1899 - 703 750-1598

Hidden Oaks Nature Center - 703 941-1065

Long Branch/Accotink

Distance:          5.6 miles

Rating:  V;  bluestone trails and sidewalks; few hills; partly sunny


L     0.0   from parking lot, on the Wakefield Accotink trail, head down to the wooden bridge in the woods

       0.25 trail on R merges


BL  0.3   up to Braddock Rd at the utility bldg


R     0.35 Braddock Rd; bridge over creek


R     0.45 Glen Park Rd


L     0.5   trail between field and parking; Oak Hill Park


L     0.6   at T at end of field; follow trail L/R


CR  0.75 Wakefield Chapel Rd; follow the unmarked bluestone trail along the creek

       1.25 bridge on L


L     1.8   Queen Elizabeth Blvd


L     1.85 Woodland Way


S     2.45 cross Braddock Rd (!); becomes Burke Lake Rd

L     2.75 Rolling Rd

       3.5   Lake Braddock Rd


L     3.6   unmarked road on L into Accotink Park at 5701 Rolling Rd; before the bridge over the RR

       4.0   gate; pavement ends

       4.3   trail X on R


L     4.4   trail X on L to Danbury Forrest Dr for lake loop

       4.45 trail ends; use Danbury Forest Dr


BR  4.7   after Lonsdale Dr on R; down stairs (!) to the trail


R     4.8   over the wooden bridge to stay on loop; Long Branch Trail goes S (unmarked)


L     4.9   at T; Accotink Trail

       5.25 underpass Braddock Rd

       5.3   trail X on R to Braddock Rd

       5.35 trail X on L as trail goes R

       5.6   parking lot



Long Branch/Accotink

Mill Creek Park

Distance: 5.65 or 6.15 miles

Rating:           V or VI; dirt and bluestone trails and suburban streets; shady with one major hill


5.65 Mile Route



R     0.0   along the parking lot on the sidewalk


BR  0.05 cross the wooden bridge on the trail going up into the woods

       0.1   park road X

       0.15 recreation center on L


L     0.2   after recreation center entrance road, L on the gravel road


BL  0.3   trail on L going downhill in the woods; pedestrian bridge ramp on R goes over I-495


R     0.45 wide gravel road-like trail; power substation


L/R 0.85 wooden bridge over Accotink Creek

       0.9   trail X on R (unmarked)


R     1.0   cross the small tributary creek on concrete


BL  1.05 trail X L & R (unmarked); follow pipeline


S     1.3   trail ends; Accotink Pkwy at Pine Ridge Rd

       1.45 road into Americana Park on R (for return)


R     1.7   Pine Ridge Dr; cross Little River Trkp;

               Rte 236 (!)


L     1.8   Millcreek Dr


L     2.05 Woodland Ave


R/L 2.2   Hillcrest Rd/Brittany Dr


R     2.35 King Arthur Rd


R/L 2.6   trail X on R after the bridge over Accotink Creek; L on trail at T; paved trail becomes singletrack and follows creek downstream


BR  2.95 on gravel; trail X on L (paved) goes uphill

       3.2   cross tributary stream

       3.45 trail X on R near a vertical vent pipe


R     3.7   trail X on R before power line clearing; cross the creek on stones (!)


L     3.75 after crossing; stay along creek; trail X on R goes along power lines

       3.95 Little River Trkp, Rte 236; 3 underpasses


R     4.1   to parking and the road in American Park


L     4.2   Accotink Pkwy


S     4.35 trail at end of the road; Pineridge Rd on R


R     4.6   trail X (unmarked)


L     4.65 at T after crossing stream on concrete

       4.7   trail X on L


L/R 4.8   wooden bridge over Accotink Creek


BL  5.2   at substation; trail X on R along power lines


R     5.3   gravel road; pedestrian ramp over I-495 is S


R     5.45 trail on R toward recreation center parking entrance

       5.5   recreation center on R

       5.55 park road X


BL  5.6   after wooden bridge toward parking

       5.65 parking/Accotink Trail head



*6.15 Mile Route


L     0.0   from parking lot, on the Wakefield Accotink trail, head down toward the wooden bridge in the woods


R     0.25 sharp R on trail that merges on the R


L     0.35 to cross the small tributary creek


L/R 0.5   at the gully; merge w/power line trail

       0.6   trail X (unmarked)


BL  0.95 gravel road at substation (pickup cues at mile 0.85 on 5.65 mile route)

Mill Creek Park