History and the outdoors

Stafford County is the spot for you if you love to spend time outside! Not only will you spend time in the fresh air but you might learn a thing or two. Whether on the water, the trails, or a course, get outside and feel the breeze at the intersection of rich American history and outdoor recreation in Stafford County. 

What to Do

On The Trails

three people walking on a trail through the woods Visit the trails in Stafford and experience history like never before. Our parks and natural areas have multiple trails to explore where you can see wildlife natural to the Stafford region and learn about the historical significance of Stafford in American history. 

  • Visit Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve which has 8 miles of hiking trails and beautiful scenery that is home to many different animals and vegetation local to the area. 
  • Hike Government Island, home to the quarry that provided the Aquia Sandstone for some of Washington D.C.’s most influential buildings including the White House and the Capitol Building.
  • Experience one of Virginia’s State Parks, Widewater State Park. With two hiking trails that take you along the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers, you will hear the rushing of the water as fresh air enters your body. A great opportunity to relax and refresh. 

On The Water

family carrying paddleboards towards the water For the extra adventurous, bring your boat, paddle board, fishing rod, kayak, or canoe to enjoy the shores of Stafford County. 

  • Launch your canoe or kayak at major water destinations like Crow’s Nest and experience hours of fun paddling through the water trails available at this natural area preserve. 
  • Grab your paddle board and relax in the sunshine while exploring the waters of Widewater State Park. You can rent a paddle board or kayak on site from the Visitor’s Center (if available). 
  • For the fisher in the group, the Potomac River is known as a diverse and popular fishing destination. Snakeheads as large as 18 pounds have been caught in Stafford. Anglers love the fisheries in Stafford for the vast amounts of bass found here as well. Give kayak fishing a try and see what you can catch.
  • Watch the breathtaking sunset at Aquia Landing Park. This site was once the end of the Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad line, making it an important transportation point between Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Virginia. It was the first place to see naval fire during the Civil War, making it a featured stop on the Civil War Trails. Aquia Landing is also an important stop on the Underground Railroad Trail to Freedom.

On The Course

golfer on the golf course Partake in a challenging round of golf on one of the beautiful golf and disc golf courses in the area. 

  • The Aquia Harbour Golf, Augustine Golf Club, or The Gauntlet Golf Club are great options for a day of golfing in Stafford County. With clubhouses, restaurants, and driving ranges, you will be able to relax and refresh with a round on the fairways. Hopefully these courses won’t leave you yelling “fore!”
  • Try out a popular game known as disc golf. Stafford County has two locations to play  at Curtis Memorial Park DGC or John Lee Pratt Park DGCThese courses offer challenging but memorable experiences for the whole family!

Where to Stay

Find the best hotel rates in Northern Virginia and stay in one of our 29 hotels. Enjoy a healthy breakfast and fuel up for a weekend in the great outdoors and then relax in the pool after a long day of hiking and paddling. Rest your head and worry about nothing, we’ve got you covered while you’re under the covers.