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Brambleton Regional Park Not Parky Enough

When is a park not a park? When it's a course, of course.

It all comes down to expectations, I guess. 

I moved out this way – into Loudoun, that is – in mid 2009. And for the longest time I searched for Brambleton Regional Park. Driving out along Rt. 50, there's a very large sign that points explicitly up Loudoun County Parkway/Old Ox Road. You can drive all the way to route 28, though, without ever seeing the park.

That's because it's not there. Knowing Brambleton quite well, in fact, several more directional signs would be necessary from that point to get you to the actual site.

You might see the sign on Old Ox pointing to Evergreen Mills Road ... you might not. If you miss it and turn around, there's another one on the southbound side. However, once on Evergreen Mills, there's no sign telling park seekers to turn right on Belmont Ridge Road, or to turn left on Ryan Road from Belmont Ridge.

Without knowing where it was, though, you probably never would find it. And you might not know it if you did because the only evidence of Brambleton Regional Park's existence is a large sign that says Brambleton Golf Course.

A golf course does not a park make, in my opinion. I have nothing against golf courses, but I don't play golf.

I do, however, constantly search for new recreational opportunities for my family and my kids because, while we absolutely love Loudoun County, it sometimes lacks for fun things to do. The thought that a large, beautiful regional park with meadows, trees, perhaps a swimming pool or playground, maybe a beach or carousel, and lots of people frolicking in the sun sounds just great.

Bull Run, for example, is a lovely regional park in Centreville with a water park, campground and yearly Festival of Lights display.  Algonkian Regional Park in Sterling is a wonderful place for water recreation – golf, too, but not golf only. So, expecting a regional park and instead getting middle-aged men in silly pants is, to me anyway, a disappointing tradeoff.

I can live with it though.

What I can't live with is the thought that people from all over the region might, as I have done, go enthusiastically looking for a regional park and end up at a golf course – that is, if they make it that far – and, thanks to curious signage, never know that they're one and the same.

[Editor's note: The baseball fields next to the building also are not Brambleton Regional Park.

Michael Kimmel April 12, 2011 at 03:37 PM
While I agree that it is misleading to call Branbleton a Park, it is a very nice golf course. We are lucky to have a public golf course in the area that is as well maintained and very reasonable in price to use.
Nicole Skuba April 12, 2011 at 03:47 PM
You've made me laugh out loud! I searched for that mythological park when I first moved here, too. With my horrible sense of direction, I figured I'd just missed a sign or something. Good to know I'm not the only one who doesn't consider a golf course to be a park.
Dusty Smith April 12, 2011 at 04:09 PM
I have to agree all the way around. Confusing name issue and signage, but a decent public golf course.
Mike Conway April 13, 2011 at 03:48 PM
I don't have any issue with the golf course at all. I just don't consider it much of a park.
Patrick Conaway May 09, 2011 at 01:06 AM
Mike, You're so right. And I also long for those features you describe, of open acreage, picnic sites, playing frisbee or volley ball...there's so much potential here in Brambleton. As long as we fantasize, how about a Burke Lake-style park to adorn the reservoir? Patrick in Brambleton BTW: I have seen the signs over on Ever Green Mills of a new Regional Park being built on the stretch between Old Ryan Road and Belmont Ridge Road. The signs there say "See Loudoun County Website for details." The Parks and Rec portion of the website has no info at all. (more tricky sign business!?!)) Keep up the good work.

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