Popular sights and sights around South County


The southern county areas of Springfield, Lorton, Clifton, Fairfax and Fairfax Station are blessed with a wide variety of outdoor and indoor places to enjoy for exercise, nature and history. Here are some of our favorite fun, beautiful, historic, quirky, or practical places for newcomers to explore and discover.

Workhouse Arts Center / Love Sign (8489 Workhouse Way, Lorton)

The Workhouse provides a focal point for local artists and an interesting historical venue for events. Every weekend, you can find Hawaiian dancers, mermaids or Kendo swordsmen. One of the 200 iconic “Love” signs located throughout the Commonwealth is also located in the quad. This is an offshoot of the highly successful “Virginia is for Lovers” tourism campaign, recognized by Forbes as one of the top ten tourism marketing campaigns of all time. The first appearance in “Modern Bride”, March 1969; people travel from afar to collect photos with “Love” sign background, each one has unique setting and style.

Laurel Hill Park Lantern (Central Green, 8780 Lorton Road, Lorton)

Built by inmates at Lorton Prison using native quartz, cement and wrought iron, providing a quirky welcome to park visitors by day and an eerie glow by night.

Barrel Bridge (Laurel Hill Park, 8780 Lorton Road, Lorton)

Historic brick and masonry arch bridge built in 1946 recently replaced by a new bridge for area vehicular traffic, the bridge still supports the entrance to the park. Adjacent to the historic Barrett House, the bridge was built by inmates at the prison using local materials made in the prison’s brickyard. The construction of arch bridges is one of the oldest and most enduring structural forms; it is the only one of its kind in Virginia. Open to foot traffic under the bridge, where strollers are welcome to try out its echo effect.

Historic Blenheim (3610 Old Lee Hwy, Fairfax)

This Greek Revival-style brick farmhouse and property became an encampment for Union soldiers during the American Civil War; the house was used as part of a Union reserve hospital system. The house and adjacent Civil War Interpretive Center are part of Northern Virginia’s Civil War Graffiti Trail, offering insight into the lives of Union and Confederate soldiers as their armies swept through the region leaving behind written messages.

Lucy Burns Museum (9518 Workhouse Way, Lorton)

Chronicling the women and events that led to suffrage over 102 years ago through vintage photos and graphics. Learn about 18th and 19th century activism in the atmosphere of the restored studio where female activists were imprisoned, abused and force-fed for ‘blocking the sidewalk’ in history’s first protest outside the White House .

Laurel Hill Golf Club/Giles Run Disc Golf Course (8701 Laurel Crest Dr / 8409 Lorton Rd, Lorton)

Dramatic elevation changes help place this 280-acre golf course, located on former prison grounds, among the top 100 public courses in the Mid-Atlantic region. “Golf Advisor” describes the greens as “fast and undulating” and “the best conditions of any public course in the area.” The Professional Disc Golf Association calls the 53-acre, 18-hole disc golf course “challenging and intense.” Through an active club, disc golfers frequently join for pair or tournament play and volunteers maintain the fairways.

Farmers Markets – Annandale/Burke/Lorton (8100 Braddock Rd, Annandale/ 5671 Roberts Pkwy, Burke/ 8990 Lorton Station Rd, Lorton)

Three area markets are among ten operating under the Fairfax County Park Authority, providing access to fresh, locally grown food. All products/products are farm sourced or made from scratch. Lorton Market, open May 1 through November 20, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., features producers Linda Vista Farm, Little Green Farm, Kuhn Orchards and Ochoa Produce.

I-95 Fairfax County Recycling and Disposal Center (9850 Furnace Rd, Lorton)

One of two major landfill/transfer and recycling centers in the county that accepts residential waste, including moving boxes, household hazardous waste, and electronic waste from computers and other electronics during days and scheduled times. Useful for newcomers who have moving debris to dispose of or find transported items not working in their new residence.

Burke Lake Park (7315 Ox Road, Fairfax Station)

The park is 888 acres, with a 218-acre freshwater reservoir and a 7.5 km hiking trail. The park is popular for walking, with or without a canine companion; picnicking, camping, boating and fishing. Park facilities include mini golf, disc golf, golf driving range, ice cream parlor and a charming mini-train and carousel.

Gerry Connolly Cross County Trail

More than 40 miles of paved, groomed trails connect Fairfax County from end to end – an incredible feat for a heavily populated region. Named for former Chairman of the Board of Supervisors and now Congressman Gerry Connolly, who championed the track. The multi-use trail begins in Great Falls National Park on the Potomac River and ends in the quaint riverside village of Occoquan, named after its river. Maps are available in 10 sections for trails crossing different levels and types of environments, from natural to suburban. The trail is popular for many forms of recreation including biking, hiking, and dog walking.

Go Ape (7550 Reservation Dr, Springfield)

An aerial ropes and zipline course located at the South Run Leisure Center with several skill courses allowing visitors to choose their level of difficulty. Popular with all age groups, for its twenty obstacles with cargo nets, rope bridges and two zip lines, which suspend adventurers in the tree canopy 40-50 feet above the ground in a harness and an easy-to-use security system.

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