The land that Burke Lake Park now occupies was originally slated for an international airport in the 1950's, before the site was changed to what is now Dulles Airport. The park is 888 acres, with the lake at 218 acres. This hike primarily uses the main lake perimeter trail, plus several sections following unofficial hiking trails closer to the banks of the lake. The park is very popular with local residents, with the main trail used by runners, hikers, as well as mountain bikers.
The map trails are marked in 2 colors. Light blue designating unofficial trails near the lake, and light grey for the main lake perimeter trail. The wide lake perimeter trail is paved in several places close to the marina.
Mile 0.67 - Arrive at a side trail that goes out to a view point and bench. Continue along the trail around the lake and enter a small inlet with fishing piers visible on the opposite bank. Pass a parking area on the right, and stay left on the narrow trail until it arrives at the paved main lake perimeter trail at the inlet headwater.
Mile 5.6 - Arrive back at the marina parking area.
Burke Lake Hike Comments
Date of Hike: Sunday, April 30, 2017
As native Northern Virginian I've walked around Burke Lake probably 500 times in my 50+ years, and hope to do it several hundred more times. It's a very pleasant hike. The lake is beautiful and serene. Plenty of blue heron, seagulls and other birds. There is a protected wildlife refuge island in the middle of the lake.
Burke Lake is a family adventure. Train ride and carousel for the kids, fishing for those who like to fish. Picnic areas for picnicers. Miniature golf. And in the summer months lots of sunbathers. There is even frisbee golf course.
Date of Hike: Wednesday, June 1, 2016
A fine hike (or as others say, walk). I usually do hikes of greater difficulty but this kept showing up in Hiking Upward database as one near my home I hadn't done so I finally checked it out. A fairly flat trail in generally good condition. Since it was a weekday I didn't expect to see the 50 or so other people on the trail that I did. But it's a longer, wide trail so they were spread out and it didn't feel crowded or uncomfortable. Great views along the lake shore, benches placed at intervals for relaxing. At mile 1.65 I didn't read the description carefully and missed the unofficial trail along the water and continued along the main perimeter trail for that segment. Next time.
Date of Hike: Friday, May 20, 2016
Done this trail at least 30 times and it's a perfect length for a good workout. Very flat, very easy. I wouldn't consider this a true hike. Solitude is 1 - you will be sharing the trail with bikes, families, strollers, runners, dogs, etc. If you want less of a crowd, go early morning, especially on the weekdays. This is a perfect trail if you're a beginner trail runner or really new to hiking.
Date of Hike: Saturday, January 9, 2016
This is a flat and easy trail. It is very popular on nice days so it does get very crowded. Many people ride bikes on it and push strollers. This is one of my go to trails since it is so close, but don't expect it to be a real "hike".