Take a self-guided audio tour of the preserve. View All
View preserve guidelines, download a trail map, and get the most of your visit to Fraser Preserve. View All
Fraser Preserve boasts about 110 species of birds, including the bald eagle, and 300 varieties of wildflowers. A short hike offers glimpses of the many natural habitats found in the Piedmont region, including fast, clear streams, lush cold-spring swamp, marsh, mature hardwood forests, open meadow, ponds, river and stream floodplain forests and thickets, steep rocky bluffs, springs and seeps, and various stages of old field succession. The terrain slopes down to the Potomac River, which forms the preserve's northern boundary.
Daily dawn to dusk
The preserve features approximately 2.25 miles of easy walking trails. Hike options include a large and small loop within the preserve, and you can extend your hike by continuing beyond the preserve's eastern and western boundaries onto connecting public trails maintained by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority. The preserve shares land with a church camp, so please be respectful of their facilities. There are no bathrooms designated for the preserve.
Fraser Preserve was acquired in 1975 as a gift from Mrs. George (Bernice) Fraser. Originally inhabited by members of the Anacostan, Piscataway and Tauxenent tribes, the bottomlands along Fraser's river border have yielded many arrowheads, pottery shards and stone weirs (dams used in taking fish from the Potomac). American University extensively studies these historic sites, and numerous artifacts are displayed in their museum.
The area now known as Fraser Preserve was once part of a tract of 5 million acres granted by King Charles I in 1649 to seven nobleman friends. In 1710, the land was passed on to the Fairfax family and eventually to Thomas Lee, the first of the famous Virginia Lees. Wheat farming prevailed in the area from about 1790 to 1840, and the tract likely was farmed until agriculture began to decline in Fairfax County following World War I.
Mrs. Fraser also donated a small in-holding within the preserve to the Calvary Baptist Church. The Conservancy and the Calvary Baptist Church share the common goal of maintaining Fraser Preserve in its natural state and for the enjoyment of visitors.
Three ecosystems create diverse homes for plants and animals and offer a great place to hike!
A highlight of the diverse wildlife found in Fraser Preserve.
Planning a visit to Fraser Preserve? Before your trip, download our self-guided audio tour to your handheld device. It's like having a naturalist in your pocket!
Among the mammals known to live here are the mole, Eastern chipmunk, gray squirrel, woodchuck, skunk, raccoon, white-tailed deer, fox, and beaver.
Fraser's many amphibian species include the Southern leopard frog, spring peeper, gray tree frog, American toad, two-lined salamander and Northern red-backed salamander.
About 110 bird species, including 39 nesting species and the bald eagle, have been documented at Fraser. Among the nesting birds are the red-shouldered hawk, ruby-throated hummingbird, downy woodpecker, scarlet tanager and blue-gray gnatcatcher.
The tremendous variety of wildflowers at Fraser may be directly attributed to its diverse habitats. About 300 species of wildflowers have been identified in the preserve. Of special interest are the following unusual or rare species: purple cress, marsh marigold, purple fringeless orchis, false (white) hellebore and poison hemlock.
Download a trail map of Fraser Preserve.
Go on a treasure hunt with your family at Fraser Preserve! What will you find?
From Interstate 495:
A gate has been re-installed at the entrance to the gravel road heading into the preserve. Visitors and volunteers should park on Springvale Road, or Allenwood Lane, making sure not to block the road or gate or private driveways to the right of the entrance. The gated gravel entrance road is part of the trail and will add 0.6 miles to your hike.