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Three Great Family-Friendly Walks in Arlington

Walking is a fun activity for the whole family—it’s accessible for children of all ages and allows for conversation and exploration. It also has many benefits for kids and families. Walking is a way for kids to meet their recommended 60 minutes of physical activity a day while interacting with and exploring their environment. Research has also shown that children’s walking behavior positively affects adult walking habits.

Whether your little one is in a stroller, rolling, or striding confidently on their own two feet, these walks are great for helping families explore Arlington through a kid’s eyes.

1. Bluemont/Bon Air

  • Length: 2.5-mile main loop with 1.5-mile extension
  • Terrain: Mostly level streetscapes and adequate for all ages, with an extension to accommodate more active walkers
  • Highlights: This walkabout is in the Bluemont/Bon Air neighborhood, which has a network of trails, six parks, and a retail core. The walk itself showcases the Caboose at Bluemont Junction with its historical exhibit, Beaver Pond wetland, a section of the Custis and W&OD Trails, and multiple parks. Stop to refresh at the village center on Wilson Boulevard.

Download the Bluemont/Bon Air Walkabout

2. Donaldson Run

  • Length: 1.5 miles
  • Terrain: Relatively flat on sidewalks and groomed pathways, with an option for added exploration
  • Highlights: This walkabout includes three parks—Marcey Park, Lee Heights Park, and Zachary Taylor Park—as well as an elementary school. The path features towering beech trees as you walk on paved and unpaved parts of Donaldson Run Trail. More experienced walkers can traverse from here into Potomac Overlook Regional Park if you’d like to explore a little more.

Download the Donaldson Run Walkabout

3. Shirlington

  • Length: 2 miles
  • Terrain: Flat with a few short, steep parts; bonus viewing of dog park included
  • Highlights: This walkabout is full of kid-friendly sites to visit. Fire Station #7 will do tours on request (check ahead of time for opening status), the Animal Welfare League of Arlington always welcomes people to socialize with dogs and cats (check ahead of time for operating status), and Arlington Trades Center has the County’s stash of big trucks. Pop over to Four Mile Run, rest and re-fuel at the Village at Shirlington, or enjoy amenities at Fort Reynolds Park or Abingdon Elementary.

Download the Shirlington Walkabout

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Author: Katy Lang