Burke Lake Park Outdoor Fun in Northern Virginia

Visit Burke Lake Park in Northern Virginia to hike, bike, paddle, fish, ride the train, play mini and disc golf, and enjoy family fun. This Northern Virginia gem supports many active and relaxing pursuits and is a fun year-round destination. A trail around the lake offers beautiful hiking year-round. And we love the peace of fishing or boating on Burke Lake. You can even combine your visit to Burke Lake with a scenic drive in Fairfax County.

Visitors will find something fun for every age group and activity level from the 5-mile fitness trail to quiet spots to relax or enjoy a picnic. Family, group, and wilderness campsites are available and you can reserve your site online.

Hike or Bike the Burke Lake Park Trail

If you’re up for an active visit, take a walk or run around Burke Lake on the 4.6-mile fitness trail that circles the lake. Portions of the trail are used for high school cross country meets, and you will often see adults and teens running the trail. The wide dirt and crushed stone pathway is also a great option for families with bikes. 

Burke Lake trail during fall foliage season
Burke Lake trail during fall foliage season
Burke Lake Park offers family-friendly biking in Northern Virginia
Burke Lake Park offers family-friendly biking in Northern Virginia

Portions of the trail around Burke Lake are accessible, so it’s a great destination for people with limited mobility or families with strollers. Sturdy strollers should be able to handle the entire trail around the lake.

Explore more Wheelchair Accessible and Stroller Friendly Trails in Northern Virginia.
Stroller-friendly trail at Burke Lake Park
Stroller-friendly trail at Burke Lake Park

Watch for wildlife along the trail. On one visit we spied balancing turtles, swimming ducks, grazing deer, and one hunchbacked raccoon ambling across the path in front of us.

The shady trail hugs the shoreline, breaking into the sun as it passes over a dam. There are plenty of picnic tables and benches along the way to stop and enjoy views of the lake. Marked fitness stations, an orienteering section, and a nature trail add extra fun to your hike.

After winter snow, visitors can navigate their way around Burke Lake on cross-country skis, boots, and snowshoes. A small hill near the golf course offers a short sledding run with parking close by.

winter scene Burke Lake Park
Winter scene Burke Lake Park

Paddle and Fish at Fairfax County’s Largest Lake

Burke is the largest Fairfax County Park lake with a marina that rents boats. The marina rents canoes, fishing kayaks, and rowboats with or without an electric motor. The 218-acre lake has some of the best Largemouth Bass fishing in the region and also features Walleye, Muskie, Catfish, Black Crappie, Yellow and White Perch, and more.

Fishing on Burke Lake in Northern Virginia
Fishing on Burke Lake in Northern Virginia

You can also fish from shore or a fishing pier near the marina. There are several wheelchair accessible fishing platforms and the pier is also ADA compliant.

Accessible fishing platform at Burke Lake
Accessible fishing platform at Burke Lake
Explore more places for Northern Virginia Boating and Fun on the Water.

Family Fun at Burke Lake Park

If you have little ones along for a summer visit, you should definitely make time for a train ride. The miniature Central Pacific Huntington steam engine travels 1.75 miles on a trail through the woods. A ride is only $3.00 on weekdays, $4.00 on the weekend, free for age 2 and under.

miniature train at Burke Lake Park Virginia
miniature train at Burke Lake Park Virginia

A small carousel, seasonal ice cream parlor, and mini-golf provide other kid-friendly fun. Older kids and teens could try their skill on the disc golf course.

Burke Lake carousel
Burke Lake Park carousel

One of the only summer activities you can’t do around Burke Lake is swim. If the weather is hot, plan to visit in the morning before it gets too steamy. Better yet, rent a campsite and you can enjoy sunrise or sunset over the lake.

Burke Lake is at 7315 Ox Road in Fairfax Station Virginia. Check the park website for more information and seasonal hours. Admission is free to Fairfax County residents and on weekdays but there is a $10 non-resident fee on weekends.

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A trip around Burke Lake Park in Northern Virginia offers fun for every age—hike, bike, fish, ride the train, play mini and disc golf, or just relax.

This article was published in 2014 and updated in 2020.

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