Live Fairfax: Discover the gem that is Riverbend Park

Live Fairfax is a bi-weekly column exploring Fairfax County. This week’s column is sponsored and written by JaneEllen Saums of McEnearney Associates. Questions? Reach JaneEllen at 703-861-3523.

Did you know that living near a park or greenspace increases the value of your home?

According to the University of Washington, residents who live near a large park or “greenbelt” with biking and hiking trails will have up to a 32% increase in home values compared to a home that isn’t located near a park. That’s only one reason why the many parks in Fairfax County are such gems, including Riverbend Park which is located in the northern part of the County on the Potomac River.

Riverbend Park offers something for everyone: it has 10 miles of hiking trails as well as trails for horses and mountain bikes. In addition, the hiking trails connect with the Potomac Heritage Trail, so it’s possible to hike to Great Falls National Park as well as to Algonkian Regional Park for longer hikes.

There’s also a boat launch, boat rentals, a nature center, and visitor’s center in addition to many programs that the Park hosts. These include the iconic Bluebell Festival in the spring which heralds in the beautiful spring ephemeral Virginia Bluebell (Mertensia virginica) which carpet the low land near the Potomac River. There’s also a birdwatching group, fishing (it’s possible to rent a pole for free), adult adventure and art camps, multiple summer camps for kids, kayak classes, and scout programs, to name a few.

Riverbend’s name is well-suited since it’s located at a large bend in the Potomac River. Because the River’s watershed includes the highlands in western Maryland, West Virginia and parts of Pennsylvania, by the time the water reaches the bend where the Park is located, it slows down and deposits silt along with seeds which normally wouldn’t be found in the rest of the area. This makes Riverbend one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems along the East Coast. In fact, Riverbend Park is home to more than 10% of dragonfly species in North America according to the Fairfax County Park Authority.

I encourage you to explore this wonderful gem and remember to treat it with care so all may also enjoy it

JaneEllen Saums is a Realtor® with McEnearney Associates and is also a Master Naturalist with Fairfax County. 703-861-3523 | JaneEllenSells.com | 1320 Old Chain Bridge Road, McLean, VA 22101