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I can’t recall who I was talking with last weekend that suggested going to Reston, but it’s a great idea. Let’s hike around Lakes Audubon and Thoreau!

The route: Starting from the Walker Nature Center parking lot, we’ll walk clockwise along a connected series of trails circling Lakes Audubon and Thoreau, passing through South Lakes Village Shopping Center along our way.

The hike is about 4.6 miles of smiles and should take no more than 2 hours at a moderate pace. The surface is paved, with a little gravel here and there, and features rolling hills and several foot bridges and tunnels. This is an easy hike.

Google map:

How to get there: From the I-495 Capital Beltway (either direction), take exit 49 for I-66 W toward Manassas/Front Royal. Follow I-66 W for 1.2 miles and take exit 62 to merge onto VA-243 N/Nutley St. Follow VA-243 N/Nutley St 1.5 miles and turn right onto Courthouse Rd SW. Follow Courthouse Rd SW 0.7 miles as it curves north and northwest to intersect Maple Ave. Courthouse Rd SW becomes Lawyers Rd NW as it crosses Maple Ave NW; continue straight along Lawyers Rd NW another 5.1 miles. At Soapstone Rd turn right, then take the next immediate right at Glade Dr. Parallel park anywhere along the south side of Glade Dr opposite Walker Nature Center at 11450 Glade Dr. There is also parallel parking along the first right across from the Nature Center, Tumbletree Way and French Horn Ln. Please DO NOT park in Walker Nature Center parking lot, so that guests who are actually using the facility have places to park.

What to bring: Water, comfy shoes, and your furry friend if desired. The forecast is sunny and a mild high near 81 degrees. Much of our route is in the shade, but sunscreen and insect repellant are recommended.

Cost: none.

Administrative stuff: There are restrooms and drinking fountains at Walker Nature Center, which opens at 10:00 am. About halfway through the hike we’ll take a short break outside the Starbucks in South Lakes Village Shopping Center, should anyone need an emergency pit stop en route. As a reminder, this is a kids-free zone, no one under 18 years of age is permitted.

After the hike: There are several restaurants in South Lakes Village Shopping Center if anyone would like to grab a bite after the hike. Last time we hiked in Reston we ate at Cafesano, and the food and service was very good.


• Walker Nature Center, 11450 Glade Drive, Reston, VA 20191,[masked],

• Cafesano, 11130 South Lakes Drive, Reston, VA 20191, (703)[masked],

• Chipotle Mexican Grill, 11160 G2 South Lakes Drive, Reston, VA 20191, (571)[masked].

• Flippin Pizza, 11130 South Lakes Drive, Reston, VA 20191, (571)[masked],

• Lakeside Asia Café, 11130 South Lakes Drive, Reston, VA 20191, (703)[masked],

• Starbucks, 11170 South Lakes Drive, Reston, VA 20191, (703)[masked].

• Yogiberry, 11130-I S Lakes Drive, Reston, VA 20191, (703)[masked],