Chasing Waterfalls At Scott’s Run Nature Preserve


Nature never did betray the heart that loved her. – William Wordsworth

And I do… Deep down, beneath my supposed “city slicker” exterior, lies the heart of a woman who truly does love and appreciate nature. Only when surrounded by nature am I really able to find peace in my mind when the world gets overwhelming.

Thankfully, I have friends who feel the same way too.

My friend, Thomas, turned 31 a few weeks ago and decided to celebrate by going on a nature walk at a protected park in Northern Virginia called Scott’s Run Nature Preserve.

Located about a 10 minute drive from Tyson’s Corner Mall (a major D.C. area shopping destination), Scott’s Run is a pleasant surprise of greenery existing in an area that has been commercializing at a super fast rate these past couple of years.

Our group of six included Thomas and his wife Rachel, Ebony and her fiance Trey, and me and Charles.

We arrived around 10am on Sunday and made our leisurely way along the well maintained walking trails.

My #2 most favorite part of our nature walk were the stepping stones that allowed us walk across wide streams of water without getting wet.

The night before we had had a major thunderstorm that resulted in a much higher water level than one would expect in the typically dry month of August so those stepping stones came in handy.

We walked up a few steep hills and treaded slowly down the other side before the trail led us to my #1 most favorite highlight of Scott’s Run Nature Preserve…


Mind you, the size of the waterfall was nothing compared to the likes of the last waterfall Charles and I saw in Seattle.

But to see a waterfall at all in the state of Virginia (very rare in my opinion), I’ll take it regardless of size.

It wasn’t long before before we all stripped down to our swimwear and waded into the falls ourselves.

^^ Tried to take a cute pic of me sitting on Charles’s lap under the falls but I slipped… So much for wearing water shoes lol.

An hour or so later, we made our way through the trail to where our cars were parked and debated on whether we should go out for brunch.

Ultimately, we decided against brunch and, instead, went to the grocery store to grab a few items so we could grill out at Thomas’s apartment.

^^ Meat on the left. Veggies on the right.

Food consumed, we made our way to the pool area at Thomas’s apartment to chill for the rest of the day.

We did relays from one end of the pool to other, made a few sorry attempts at synchronized swimming before finally laying out for the sun to make us golden while stuffing our faces with double stuffed Oreos <– my fave annnnnd they’re VEGAN!


Overall, an awesome day spent in the great outdoors with friends celebrating milestones.

A few days later while doing a little background research for this post…

I came across an article from the Fairfax Times that was written this past May stating that Scott’s Run park officials strongly urged park visitors to not swim in the water at Scott’s Run because water from the creek comes from under the city of Tyson’s Corner and condominium complexes causing it to be full of mostly runoff and human and animal waste…


If only you could see our group text when I shared this news with our friends lol.

We officially re-named the waterfall at Scott’s Run to “doo doo falls” and vowed to never go back again. Or at least, wade in the water again lol.

In the words of TLC, “don’t go chasing waterfalls”… Or at least, do some research before you go chasing/wading/dipping and more than likely swallowing water from a stream on a nature trail at Scott’s Run Nature Preserve.

The irony being that the definition of preserve is to “maintain something in its original state” but in this case, I guess it doesn’t apply to the water…

xo, Setarra

P.S. Linking up with Wanderful Wednesday

  • Oops! I would definitely make the same mistake as I don’t tend to do much research before going to these kinds of places.
    On a plus, I really love the idea of going hiking to celebrate a birthday – might use that one for the future ;)

    • Lol yea I learned my lesson, always do research on parks before I visit. And YES, it was really nice to celebrate someone’s birthday in such a different way. :) xoxo

  • Bryna | Dotted Line Travels

    Scott’s Run seems beautiful from your pictures, but too bad about the ‘doo doo falls’, which by the way is a really catchy name! At least you had a good time when you were blissfully unaware of this. And the food on the barbecue looks delicious!

    • Haha! That’s exactly what my friend said “good thing you didn’t know beforehand.”

  • OMG deadddd at doo doo falls! LOL! I argue that the experience with the people you love was probably still worth it.

    • Lol, oh yes, despite the doo doo falls, the experience was definitely worth it. :) It’s a memory I’ll always look back on and chuckle about. xo

  • Haha! I was laughing as I was editing pics cuz I only posted 3 of the 20 pool pics Charles took and each one, your face was scrunched up. Thanks for reading and commenting Rachel! xoxo

  • I was just going to say how awesome this place is to cool off after a hike but… no thanks :D It really doesn’t look disgusting though, quite the opposite!! ;)

    • ha! I know right. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into when we went on our hike. :) xo

  • I can’t with the nickname “doo doo falls”! But the photos looks like it was definitely worth the experience and the food of course definitely looks bomb of course.

    • Oh yes, it was so worth experience but now we know, next time we go, we won’t get in the water next time lol. And also, summer barbecues are the best. It’s one of the main things I’m gonna miss as we transition to Fall and Winter season.

  • HAHA at doo doo falls!

    The only waterfall I ever seen was in Reach Falls, Jamaica. The water was freezing! Its a natural spring so drinking the water was okay.

    I love the nature walk as a birthday idea, I’ll attempt at that next year, cool idea.