This route provides a nice 4.3-mile lollipop loop route around Mercer Lake. The way is mostly a paved doubletrack path starting at South Run Recreation Center.
Features: Birding — Fall Colors — Lake — River/Creek
Family Friendly: The easy trail is very well maintained. The route is mostly paved and the unpaved section is flat and in very good condition.
The trailhead is located at the gravel parking area on the south side of the building furthest from the South Run Recreation Center Park entrance at the Fairfax County Parkway. The route utilizes the South Run Stream Valley Trail
and the Lake Mercer South Loop Trail
to complete the loop around the lake.
The trail consists of mostly gentle rolling wooded hills and flats, following a stream bed and encircling Lake Mercer. There are a few steep but short climbs. The trail is mostly paved doubletrack with a few sections being flat and unpaved gravel. The longest climb comes as you approach the dam on the east side of the lake. After crossing the dam, the trail serves as a boundary between townhouses and the woods for a stretch. Most of the trail is shaded with only a few sections open to the sky. The trail is in great shape and makes for a very enjoyable outing.
Mostly deciduous forest. Lots of squirrels, birds, and small mammals. Occasional deer are also present.