Picture Perfect Adventures in Loudoun County- Leesburg

August 02, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

Hello lovelies!

 

It's been awhile since I posted about the picture perfect adventures in Loudoun County, but I think that if you read my most recent blog post, you'll have a good idea as to why! Easing back into it, I wrote the majority of this blog post last week, got distracted and didn't finish it. Today I sat down to finish it and learned the hard way that my website does NOT autosave, so here we go with Round 2! And, as always, please be aware of the nature around you, including poison ivy and ticks. If you want more information on those, you can always visit the first part of this series here

I was saving this particular post because there are SO many places to go here and I wanted to just give you two of my favorites that locals tend to not know about. So, without further adieu, let's talk about places to check out in Leesburg!

The most picture perfect spot that I've found in Leesburg is familiar to anyone that's been a client of mine. I've been going here for almost my entire photography career and I'm still finding new spots for amazing portraits! With over 1,000 acres, there is quite a bit of property to explore! You can also get a little bit of both manicured gardens and high grass, with some beautiful architecture thrown in. Spot #1 goes to:

Morven Park

Toddler girl sitting and smiling in a jean jacket sitting on a stone path in Leesburg, Virginia.Happy GirlSmiling and enjoying her time with Fluttering Shutter Photography at Morven Park in Leesburg, Virginia.

This 1,000 acre historic property is a hidden gem in Leesburg. Most often it's a quiet spot and since it's so big, it's easy to feel like you have the entire property to yourself. There are paved paths, walkable roads, gravel roads, large open fields, immaculately kept gardens, historic architecture and hiking trails. With so many picturesque locations in one spot, it's easy to see why Morven Park is my number one place to go for pictures in Leesburg.

The property was purchased by Westmoreland Davis and his wife, Marguerite in 1903. As a livestock farm, they raised poultry, sheep, hogs and dairy cows. In the interest of helping other farmers, Westmoreland David ran for Governor in 1917 and served until 1922. When Westmoreland died in 1942, Marguerite left their home with a caretaker, claiming that she couldn't imagine being there without her husband. After her passing in 1963, the two were rejoined in the mausoleum that is in her beloved gardens. One of the unique facts about this property is that most of the furnishings and decor in the mansion are original, whereas many historical properties have mostly replicas.

One of the missions of Morven Park is to learn about and honor the people who were enslaved on the property, by finding/organizing information about their lives and lineage and putting it into a free online database. The 246 Project is a way to acknowledge the history of people who were enslaved on the property and help people of Loudoun County be able to trace their lineage in ways that were previously unavailable. I highly encourage people to read about the project and donate if they can, because projects like this one are so valuable and impact so many. 

Since I've been taking photographs here for almost 10 years, I have a LARGE number of images that I could share, but instead I decided to show the variety of locations that are perfect for portraits:

As you can see, Morven is a great place for photographs and will always be a favorite location of mine to bring clients.

What to Bring:

- Stroller/Carrier

- Water

- Bug spray

- Camera

 

Next on my list is a place that has recently undergone a name change, but the beauty that it holds remains the same. There are so many parks similar to this one, but there's something about this particular location that makes me so happy to bring my camera. It's always strange to drive through a neighborhood to get somewhere, but trust me when I say that this spot is 1,000% worth it. In case you've never heard of it, let me introduce you to:

Bazil Newman Riverfront Park

This park was previously named Elizabeth Mills Riverfront Park but after a meeting to discuss the history of this property, it was recognized that a name change was needed. The park was initially named after Elizabeth Clapham who was a slaveowner that ran a grist mill on the property in the 1800's nearby. Bazil Newman, a free black man who was a successful local entrepreneur and landowner, ran a ferry service nearby the intersection of Goose Creek and the Potomac River. In an effort to honor the enslaved people that were housed on the property and/or transported via the waterway, Loudoun County Parks and Recreation is installing a display to recognize them. 

As I said before, you will need to drive through a neighborhood to get to this park. The parking lot is small and next to a golf course, which you will need to walk through in order to get to the park, but once you get there, it's worth the mini hike!

When you get past the golf course, you'll come to an open field and will have a choice between going a few different directions. We didn't travel too far since it was a really hot day, but I think we got some great shots in in a variety of locations. First, I'll show you the spot that is straight down from the field. As a warning, there are steep steps leading down to the water on this path, so if you have little ones, be prepared to assist them and/or carry them down.

This area of the park has large boulders to climb on and walk out towards the water. It's beautiful and a perfect spot to bring a picnic and explore the nature around you, but it's not very swimming friendly. We saw so many tiny frogs and the kids were so happy just watching them jump around! 

After exploring that large, open area, we ventured down a connected trail and found this gorgeous little spot for pictures and exploring. Elena and Ashley were caught up in adventuring the area, so it was tricky to get them to hang out for pictures, but Levi was all for it!

 

The last spot that we went to was the opposite side of the field. There were a variety of little paths down to the water, but eventually we found one that led us to the perfect spot to wade a little bit and cool off. 

Be aware that the other side of this inlet is private property and is not to be trespassed upon, but the water is clear and really refreshing to play in!

What to Bring: 

- Sneakers/hiking boots

- Sunscreen

- Bug spray

- Camera

- WATER

I hope that you've enjoyed this installment of my series, and that you get a chance to go out and explore these locations in Leesburg! 

If you missed the other parts of my series, you can find posts about Purcellville, Hamilton, Round Hill, a Rainy Day idea and Bluemont


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