Trail Tour: The Splendor of Lake Newport in the Fall

We promised tours of two gorgeous trails that you cannot miss during the peak of Reston’s fall foliage. Last week we featured a path along the water at Lake Audubon. It has been so fun to hear from some of you who’ve explored that trail since then! I’m really glad that many of you enjoyed it. If you loved the fall views at Lake Audubon, then you’re in for a treat with the trail around Lake Newport.

This trail has everything: a playground, a basketball court, tennis courts, playing fields, restrooms, docks, wooded paths, pretty architecture, plenty of access to the water, and amazing lake views.

Now is the time to go! This trail is beautiful all year round, but its fall scenery is some of the best in Reston. Fall foliage peaks at the end of October and the beginning of November, so head out to this trail soon before you miss the best of this season.


The trail is 1.1 mile long and completely paved. It does have some hills, especially on the west side of the lake, with an overall climb of about 95 feet. Most of the trail is away from the roads, but there are a few spots where you cross streets or follow a residential road.

Park at the tennis courts near the intersection of Baron Cameron Avenue and Village Road. Because I like to start with the hills, and end with the best views, I like to go clockwise around the lake.

Lake Newport in Reston, Virginia in the fall

The trail begins at the west end of the parking lot, just past the Tetra office building. (As you walk past, take a look at their building. Their offices are right on the water! I almost want to work for them, just for the office views!)

The trail heads along the southwest end of the lake, under a lovely weeping willow tree.


There is a dock along this southern end of the trail, with this view. So pretty!


The trail leads away from the water and through some woods. You will come to a few docks where you can stop and enjoy the views.

On this side of the lake, you will cross two small residential streets. Be sure to look for the Reston Association trail markers to find the trail on the other side as you cross. In some places, trails and driveways look similar.


At the north side of the lake, you’ll walk along the water next to townhouses. There are more docks where you can stop and sit to enjoy the lake.


The road leads up to Waterfront Road, a residential street. Turn right, and continue along the sidewalk for about a block. These houses and their landscaping are beautiful, and offer an interesting change of scenery.

It’s a little tricky to find the trail from Waterfront Road. Look for the Reston Association signs that point left about halfway down the street.


As you leave Waterfront Road, you enter Baron Cameron Park, one of Reston’s prettiest and most diverse parks. You’ll find baseball fields, basketball courts, and a shaded playground. There are also restrooms in the building seen here behind the basketball court.


Finally the trail leads to the dam at Lake Newport, which is the prettiest spot of the whole route. At the end of the dam is the parking lot, but before you return to your car, stop for a second at one of the benches, and think how lucky we are to be in a place this beautiful.

I photographed this tour on an afternoon in late October, which is the prettiest time of year to visit. But the best time of day is actually sunrise. Get there first thing in the morning, and claim a bench on the dam. The sun rises behind you as you look out over the water. The autumn trees on the other side of the lake glow pink in the early morning sunlight.

Then there is a moment shortly after sunrise when the sun rises over the trees behind you. The entire lake is flooded with golden sun, and the autumn trees explode with sudden light. You have to see it for yourself. Trust me, it’s worth waking up early.

Here are a few photos I’ve taken of Lake Newport in the fall. I hope you get a chance to get out and take your own.

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For more information about Reston’s 55 miles of walking paths, read our series of trail tours. For information about fall photography, take a look at our five tips to improve fall foliage pictures. If you try our trail recommendations or photography tips, please let us know! We love hearing from you. You can leave comments below or on Facebook, or write to us at [email protected].