The Visitors Center at Frying Pan Farm Park (Herndon, VA)

Frying Pan Farm Park is one of the Fairfax County Park System‘s hidden gems. This 135-acre operation is a working farm and park located in Herndon, VA. I wrote post about Frying Pan Farm Park with a broader view back on December 9th. This is a closer look at the Visitors Center. As I said in my first post, The Visitors Center can get you started on your journal to explore Frying Pan. It has racks of information and a very friendly staff.

Exhibits at the Visitors Center

Indoor Meeting Rooms for Rental: The Auditorium and The Classroom

The auditorium is 1,800 square feet and can handle up to 200 people. The classroom is 600 square feet and can handle up to 50 people.

The Pavilion behind the Visitors Center

Ellmore Farmhouse & The Resident Curator Program

The Fairfax County Park Authority is always looking for help with preservation. The Resident Curator Program was created with this in mind. The program offers long-term leases to qualified tenants who agree to rehabilitate and maintain historic properties within the county. The Ellmore Farmhouse is located across from the Visitors Center and is available for lease by a resident curator.

The Visitors Center at Frying Pan Farm Park, 2709 West Ox Road, Herndon, Va (Fairfax County) | 703-437-9101 | http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/fryingpanpark | free admission | free parking | Call or visit the website for hours, event schedule and volunteer opportunities.

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Frying Pan Farm Park – Family Fun in Herndon, VA

frying-pan-farm-park-signFrying Pan Farm Park is one of the Fairfax County Park Authority‘s hidden gems. This 135-acre operation is a working farm and park located in Herndon, VA.

Families are welcome to visit the animals at the Kidwell Farm or explore one of many historic buildings. Top of the list of buildings to visit is Floris Old Schoolhouse (1911) and Moffet Blacksmith Shop (1904). You can shop at the Country Store or take a wagon ride. Learn to ride a horse at the equestrian center or see a show at the indoor arena. Attend one of the many events scheduled throughout the year. Explore the woods and trails around the farm. There’s plenty to see and do.

frying-pan-farm-park-mapThe Visitors Center can get you started. It has racks of information and a very friendly staff. Take a few minutes to visit the small museum at the center. Learn about the Frying Pan’s history, local wildlife and Fairfax County’s conservation programs.

A program currently held at the Visitors Center is Bluegrass Barn. It’s a series of Sunday evening concerts held annually from September through April. There are 4 concerts remaining in the 2016/2017 season. The last concert is scheduled for April 9, 2017. Food & drink will be available for purchase. Check the website for performers, dates and tickets.

Tips for your visit:

  1. Dress for the farm – this is a working farm so wear shoes you don’t mind getting dirty (or muddy).
  2. Bring a little cash – it’s free to park and visit Frying Pan but there are fees to take a wagon ride, a ride on the antique carousel, a horseback riding lesson or buy snacks in the country store.
  3. Check the website for coming events – Find out about holiday events, concerts, festivals and a farmer’s stand that take place at Frying Pan. Some events require tickets purchased in advanced.
  4. Check the website for hours – The farm, park and trails are open from dawn to dusk. However; the Kidwell Farm, Visitor Center, Country Store, Indoor Arena and wagon rides have separate hours that change during the year.
  5. A few of the historic buildings are only open during special guided tours – Call 703-437-9101 for more information.
  6. Visit the Parktakes Online website to get a list of classes and programs available across all Fairfax County parks.
  7. Leashed pets are welcome.

Available Services:

  1. Birthday party packages
  2. Event ballroom for weddings and events
  3. Meeting rooms rentals
  4. Demonstration gardens
  5. Youth, scout, school and summer camp programs
  6. Exhibits in the Visitors Center
  7. Picnic tables
  8. Shelter rental
  9. Playgrounds

Support the park:

  1. Friends of Frying Pan Farm Park – Donate or become a member of a nonprofit dedicated to Frying Pan. This organization provides recreational opportunities, educational programs and preservation. Members are invited to special events. Follow their page on Facebook for updates!
  2. Fairfax County Park Foundation – The foundation supports all Fairfax County Parks by raising private funds and obtaining grants for the parks system.

 

I hope you enjoy the Frying Pan Farm Park. Thank you for reading Maryland Travel Stories!

Yellow Trail Mystery Solved – Stubblefield Falls

Scotts Run Trail - Yellow Trail

Previous posts about Finding the Yellow Falls can be found here.

I explained my approach to seeing Yellow Falls in my first post about Yellow Falls. I will try to see the falls by getting as close to the Potomac River on the Virginia side with a good camera.

I can get access to the river from the Scotts Run Nature Preserve. Scotts Run has a system of trails that will take you all the way to the river but I needed to find the best path.

IMG_0562I parked in the East parking lot at the start of the yellow trail and walked to the end. I found a waterfall. Problem is … it’s clearly not the Yellow Falls.
Mystery solved. Look at the map above. The Yellow Falls are in front of Turkey Island. The falls I saw are the Stubblefield Falls on the Virginia side of the Potomac River. There’s an overlook at the end of the Yellow Trail that gives you a nice view of the falls but you still have trees in the way.

On a side note. I saw a small sign at the entrance to Scotts Run on my last trip. It was a sign for Great Falls Creamery. I decided to check this place out on this trip. After a short drive with the help of my GPS, I had me some ice cream! The salted caramel was wonderful.

Thank you for reading Maryland Travel Stories!

Finding Yellow Falls III

Previous posts about Finding the Yellow Falls can be found here.

I explained my approach to seeing Yellow Falls in my first post about Yellow Falls. I will try to see the falls by getting as close to the Potomac River on the Virginia side with a good camera. I can get access to the river from the Scotts Run Nature Preserve in Fairfax County, VA. Scotts Run has a yellow marked trail that will take you all the way to the river.

For the trip, I parked in the East parking lot at the start of the yellow trail and walked to the end. I found a waterfall. Problem is … it’s clearly not the Yellow Falls. I need to do some research but here are some photos from the trip.

 

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Obscura Day 2016 is Coming. Are You Ready to Explore?

Obscrua Day

Atlas Obscura (a media organization) plans events all over the world on “Obscura Day”. The events are adventures, excursions and tours. There are over 150 events planned in 35 states and 25 countries for 2016. The ideas is to get people out exploring the world near them on this one day. Find an adventure near you! The events planned for Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Maryland are as follows:

  1. ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA – Taverns & Women & Chocolate (Oh My!) – Come learn about what it took to live the tavern life while enjoying an 18th century chocolate drink!
  2. BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – The Hunt for the Mummified Mole Paw – Stop by Bazaar this Obscura Day to try your luck at finding the paw!
  3. FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA – Behind the Scenes at the National Firearms Museum – Join us for a special tour of the NRA National Firearms Museum, where thousands of historic and unusual firearms are waiting.
  4. MT VERNON, VIRGINIA – The Famous Fakes, Forgeries & Frauds of George Washington – Prepare to enter the world of deception where fake, forged and fraudulent George Washington artifacts can elude even the experts’ eyes.
  5. SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND – Save Our Seminary – Join us as we explore long-forgotten National Park Seminary with the non-profit that’s saving it.
  6. WASHINGTON, D.C. – Protecting the Capitol – From legendary stones to a hidden fort, join us as we discover what protected the Capitol.
  7. WASHINGTON, D.C. – Twilight at Tudor Place – After a day full of exploring, join us at Georgetown’s Tudor Place for music, drinks, and merriment.
  8. WASHINGTON, D.C. – Get Your Bearings at Compass Coffee – Join us bright and early at Compass Coffee to get your Obscura Day 2016 started off in the right direction.
  9. WASHINGTON, D.C. – Houdini Escapes DC – Join us as we explore Houdini’s connection to Washington DC and create a little magic of our own.
  10. WASHINGTON, D.C. – Cut It Off! An Amputation Demonstration – Watch as a skilled medical historian amputates a (model) leg using Civil War-era surgical tools.
  11. WASHINGTON, D.C. – Legends of the Octagon House – Join us as we go behind-the-scenes after hours at the District’s most notorious house.

Don’t live in the DC metro area? Check the website for an adventure near you.

Thank you for reading Maryland Travel Stories!

Finding Yellow Falls II – Follow the Purple and Yellow Trails

Scotts Run Trail Map (Partial)I explained my approach to seeing Yellow Falls in my first post about Yellow Falls. I will try to see the falls by getting as close to the Potomac River on the Virginia side with a good camera.

I can get access to the river from the Scotts Run Nature Preserve. Scotts Run has a system of trails that will take you all the way to the river but I needed to find the best path. (I don’t want to get lost!)

Well, I have my path mapped! I will park in the same parking lot off Georgetown Pike. Go up the steps to the Parking Lot Connector Trail (Purple). Follow the Parking Lot Connector Trail to the Stubblefield Falls Overlook Trail (Yellow). Take the Stubblefield Falls Overlook Trail all the way to the Potomac River. The trip is planned for next week. Wish me luck!

Thank you for reading Maryland Travel Stories!

Finding Yellow Falls I – The Trails of Scotts Run

Scotts Run Nature Preserve - Fairfax County - VirginiaI explained my approach to seeing Yellow Falls in my first post about Yellow Falls. I will try to see the falls by getting as close to the Potomac River on the Virginia side with a good camera. Well, easier said than done.

Most of the roads that go from Georgetown Pike to the river near Turkey Island are private roads. Each road has a sign warning you, “Private Road, Residences Only” or “No River Access”. I finally found a way to get access to the river, Scotts Run Nature Preserve. (Thank you Fairfax County, Virginia!)

Scotts Run has a system of trails that will take you all the way to the river. The problem is it’s a large system of trails. Miles of trails. Trails crossing in all directions. A person could get lost trying to find the river. Luckily, the trails are color-coded and I found a map!

Scotts Run SignScotts Run StepsThere are two entry points with available parking. I can park my car and climb a set of steps to access the trails. It’s hiking shoes for my next trip. Wish me luck!

 

Thank you for reading Maryland Travel Stories!