Located at the beautiful and secluded Glencarln Park, the Long Branch Nature Center offers a natural habitat for bird watching and other outdoor activities.
With its exhibits, a children discovery room, live animals displays, rich gardens, and a viewing pond, Long Branch Nature Center is a family favorite. The park hosts children and family special events all year round with storytimes, campfires, invasive plant removals, and nature walks.
I took my four-year-old daughter there on a Saturday afternoon and she had a blast at the discovery room which had toys, books, stuffed animals, and a homemade xylophone. The live animal display had an assortment of wildlife including turtles, snakes, lizards and more. We also saw a variety of butterflies and birds including woodpeckers, wood ducks, and warblers.
The trails in the woods right of Columbia Pike and South Carlin Spring are serene and easy and there is a stream that flows through the woods and past two ponds full of frogs and turtles.
Long Branch Nature Center and Park is nestled just behind Virginia Hospital Center at 625 S Carlin Springs Rd Arlington, VA 22204. It is easily by car, foot or bike as it borders the W&OD trails. The hours of operation are: Tuesdays-Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m, Sunday: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. It is normally closed on Mondays.
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