Visit Fairfax County and Scott’s Run Nature Preserve

October 16, 2020

Remarkable Beauty Preserved

Scott’s Run Nature Preserve is one of only a few nature preserves in the Fairfax County Park Authority system. It is a remarkable place of rare plants and splendid beauty. Yet that beauty is challenged by urban pollution and human destruction. It is a classic clash of land use between suburban sprawl and natural areas.

Visitors have flocked to Scott’s Run for years to witness the spring wildflowers that carpet the forest floor. Trailing arbutus, Virginia bluebells and sessile trillium bloom on steep hillsides and create a small oasis of rare, fragile plants. Remarkable and rare species grow along precipitous cliffs, in steep valleys and throughout a mature, hardwood forest that is comprised of large oak and beech trees, ancient hemlock and wild cherry trees that stand as tall as the oaks.

A grove of ancient hemlocks, whose ancestors migrated here during the last ice age, stands in the nature preserve as a reminder that this region once had a subarctic climate. The park’s southern boundary is a major fault zone, a relict geologic feature from a distant past some 520 to 570 million years ago when the rocks were created out of slabs of ocean floor pushed up onto this continent.

SOURCE: Fairfax County Government

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