Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve
The word "banshee" is a Gaelic term for a female spirit and the word "reeks" is a Gaelic term for hills and dales. Legend has it that around the 1840s, the owner of the farm was of Irish or Scottish decent. After a night in town he came back to the farm and heard strange cries and sounds in the woods, what he thought might have been banshees.
Since the farm was very hilly, he is supposed to have said that he heard, "banshees in the reeks." In the years since, the name has become Banshee Reeks
Check for ticks-i took my dog and they are not kidding...the area is overrun with ticks. After 30 minutes on the trails...my dog and I never went off the trails...my K9 had at least 14 ticks on her. Make sure to check your dogs paws between the toes and the undercoat. The trails were beautiful but I may not go back due to the ticks...seriously...be careful. It's a beautiful place to hike but you must be careful
This is a gorgeous nature preserve with miles and miles of beautiful walking trails. The trails are grass and soft. There are trails that go into the woods and others that explore fields. Wildlife such as native flowers, butterflies, ladybugs and other creatures are easily seen. The only thing you should do afterwards is check for ticks.
I led a small hiking group here on January 8, 2017 (the coldest day of the year), for a total hiking distance of 4 miles. The Preserve has free admission and is only open on the weekends. The Visitor Center is only open on the third Saturday of each month. We traversed nearly all the trails on the Eastern and Southern side of the preserve. Most trails were fairly marked except for the White Oak trail, as we could not tell where this trail continued. It is critical you do not lose your trail map, as there is a great chance to wander around in circles here. However, the biggest challenge were the thorns, as we kept walking into them throughout the hike. We got clear of the thorns closer to the Visitor Center. Overall, the preserve is a good place for a short winter hike, especially if you are looking to get out for a few hours.
It was very peaceful, not many people around. Nice views. However, a short part of the trail was poorly marked and we ended up walking in the forest looking for the signs. The place is nice overall, if you enjoy the solitude.
Fantastic place for outdoor activities and learning about the northern Virginia outdoors.