Sunrise Valley Park is a wetland area surrounded primarily by office buildings. Heavy brush or buildings keep the interior invisible from the local roads and although it is marked by a sign on Sunrise Valley Drive there is no clear indication of how to enter. Since the original photos of this site were published several office buildings have been constructed on Monroe Street on the west side of the park. Tenants of these buildings will have easy access to the park.


View of the bridge across the pond.

April 2002 Photo

The above picture shows the relationship of the pond and the bridge to the Landmark Arboretum 1 building. The bridge allows close up views of the life in the pond.

There are paths entering the site but dedicated parking facilities are not available. Since parking is not permitted on Sunrise Valley Drive or the adjacent portion of Monroe Street that is not an option either. Here are possible solutions to the problem:

The parking lot for the Landmark Arboretum 1 building on the west side of the building at the back has a connection to the paths within the park. No restrictions have been posted prohibiting parking for park visitors and the lot does not appear to be near capacity. Photo 1 shows the parking lot entrance at Hitchcock Drive and photo 2 shows the connection to the park paths.

There is a connection to the sidewalk on Sunrise Valley Drive on the east side of the Landmark Arboretum between it and the Herndon/Monroe Bus Terminal. The path shown in photo 3 connects to the park paths behind the building.

There is also a path from Sunrise Valley Drive between Hitchcock Drive and Colts Brook Drive next to a large sign marking the park. This is shown in photo 5.

The brush in the park is quite thick and filled with ticks although we have reduced their numbers by 7. Unless you admire ticks you will want to stay on the paths.

No formal walking route is given for the park since it is quite simple in design and all distances are fairly short. This is more of an observation park with both wetlands and meadows to visit. There are many wildflowers growing here and a bridge crosses the wetlands allowing a view of life within.

Photo page 1 shows the entrances to the park. My own preference is the connection from the parking lot. Photo pages 2 and 3 illustrate some of the life seen in the park. I have made a stab at identifying the wildflowers there. Photos 5 and 6 were taken in April and photos 7 through 14 were taken in early July.

The following is my non-expert identification of photographs 5 through 14:

  • 5: Bird looking for nest building material.
  • 6: Bird with nest building material.
  • 7: Rabbit (the rabbit held still for the picture, some of the flowers didn't).
  • 8: Blackberries
  • 9: Common Fleabane
  • 10: Fragrant Water Lily
  • 11: Bull Thistle
  • 12: Teasel
  • 13: Black-eyed Susan
  • 14: Purple Loosestrife
  • 15: Queen Anne's Lace
  • 16: I don't have a clue what this is

This park was the subject of numerous photographs in the book "The Nature of Reston" by Charles A. Veatch and available at the Reston Museum. I suspect that book will make you more than willing to brave the ticks. If you have a more positive identification of the wildflowers I may be contacted at ‘’. Next is Photo Page 1.


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