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Neighborhood Spotlight: Donaldson Run — A Walk in the Park

Donaldson Run is recognized as one of the best places to live in Virginia partly for its tree-covered scenery and parks, but how well does it preserve that reputation? We’ve put together our top places that we believe make this neighborhood an Arlington favorite.

About the Neighborhood

Donaldson Run shares its name with the stream that runs through the center of the neighborhood and flows into the Potomac. The area was once farmland, and the Donaldson name goes back to one of the early farming families who shuttled crops to and from Georgetown.

The Donaldson Run stream has been part of an ongoing restoration project since 2004 to mitigate some of the erosion along its banks. Since that time, the stream has regained much of its flow and vegetation, giving the brilliant terrain new life. A community of volunteers in the Donaldson Run Civic Association are part of a wider initiative to help preserve the features that give this neighborhood a charming and relaxed feel.

As for the residential areas, they comprise a small community of mostly homeowners. Common styles for homes are ramblers and colonials, but there is a fair share of Cape Cods and split levels as well. It’s not uncommon to see homebuyers looking to this neighborhood for more space. For transportation, residents rely mostly on their own vehicles, with the Ballston Metro being the closest option. However, commutes to D.C. are relatively short. Residents also enjoy convenient access to hiking trails to step away and get a breath of fresh air, which brings us to our favorite places…

Top Places in Donaldson Run

With the amount of green space here, it’s no surprise this list is dominated by parks that rival some of the best picnic spots in Arlington. Here’s our list of top places in the neighborhood:

  • Potomac Overlook Regional Park: East of Donaldson Run stream is the Potomac Overlook Regional Park. Enjoy nearly two miles of easy hiking trails to go along with outdoor activities for family trips. The park includes campfire sites, an amphitheater for outdoor concerts, and a Nature Center with educational exhibits on surrounding wildlife. At its northeastern tip is a scenic overlook with a can’t-miss view.
  • Zachary Taylor Park: Inside Zachary Taylor Park, you’ll find a creekside trail that runs through the neighborhood, perfect for a relaxed walk. Small cascades along the creek ferry water to Donaldson Run, giving this park an especially calm atmosphere. The trail is considered to be very easy and can even be taken on with a stroller in hand.
  • Lee Heights Park: Lee Heights is a small three-acre park of open space with benches to relax on. Visitors can sit back and cherish the peace and quiet that Donaldson Run is known for.
  • Donaldson Run Trail: This is a heavily wooded trail that makes you forget you’re mere miles from a major city. The Donaldson Run Trail is a moderate two-mile hike, and it runs in a loop along the eastern side of the neighborhood, with several twists and turns for more adventurous trail seekers.
  • Marymount University: And finally we have Marymount University, a quiet and picturesque campus to the southwest of Donaldson Run. A bike trail runs from the edge of the small campus all the way to Zachary Taylor Park, giving bikers an amazing route to travel.

Finding a Home in Donaldson Run

Good real estate in Donaldson Run is in high demand. Some of the more desirable homes are listed on the market for less than a week. With the level of interest this peaceful suburb draws, it could be challenging to find a home.

Exclusive access to off-market homes yet to surface online can make a huge difference, and speaking with a top-tier real estate agent will help you reach a better strategy for your search. Agents at the Keri Shull Team want to help you settle on your future with priority access to homes in Donaldson Run before they hit the listings sheet.

Click here for a free, no-pressure consultation with one of our Real Estate Needs Analysts.

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