You might already know that Alexandria, Virginia is the country’s #1 travel destination, according to Money Magazine. You’ve probably heard about the fun sites, shops, and restaurants to visit there. But when in Alexandria, don’t forget to get outside to play and spend time in nature by exploring its 108 parks. Among the largest is All Veterans Park, located at 4725 Duke Street and part of the 63-acre Holmes Run Greenway of parks at the heart of the city’s West End.
Whether you’re looking for biking, jogging, and hiking trails, space for your dog to run around, a spot for a picnic, or just a green place in an urban setting, the 38 acres of All Veterans Park have something for everyone in your family to enjoy. And as an added benefit, cross the Mayor Charles Beatley Bridge over the Holmes Run river to reach Brookvalley Park, where you’ll find more trails, a playground, and gardens. Both parks are linked by a 2.5-mile trail system to Holmes Run Scenic Easement, Tarleton Park, the Dora Kelley Nature Center, and Ben Brenman Park.
As you enter the park near the intersection of Pickett Street and Holmes Run Parkway, you’ll see the spacious dog exercise area. Follow the trail through the park and along the Holmes Run to see the veterans’ memorial and arrive at the observation deck where you'll have a view across the river of the Bi-Centennial Tree, a tremendous, 300-year-old willow oak. Explore the green spaces of the park further to discover other magnificent trees, including beautiful Bitternut Hickories and White Oaks.
The 4,639 acres of the Greenway as part of a 1706 land grant that was, over time, partitioned for farmsteads and mills. Up until the twentieth century, a creek ran through the land. When Hurricane Agnes struck in 1972, however, Lake Barcroft flooded Holmes Run and the Army Corps of Engineers came in to repair and fill in the damaged landscape.
In the early 1990s, under the leadership of navy veteran, banking executive, and civic leader James Marx, the Holmes Run Committee undertook an initiative to develop the land along the Run into a series of public parks. In 1993, Marx convinced city officials to dedicate one park to the memory of Alexandria’s veterans, but when he died a few days later, they designated the park The James H. Marx All Veterans Memorial Park.
Today the park is maintained by Alexandria’s Department of Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Activities, and in 2008 it was “adopted” by the firefighters of nearby Alexandria Fire Station 208, who assist with keeping the grounds clean and beautiful.
With so much to offer, All Veterans Park is the perfect place for you and your family to escape to for the day while in Alexandria.
Maid to Please - Alexandria, VA
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