Dora Kelly Nature Park is located at 5750 Sanger Ave, Alexandria. This park is a prime birding spot at any time of the year. Some species frequently seen in the park include tufted titmouse, white-breasted nuthatch, belted kingfisher, and several woodpecker species including a nesting pair of pileated woodpeckers. Raptors such as bald eagles, Cooper’s hawks, and barred owls are also seen in the park. Occasionally, there have also been wild turkey sightings.
Dora Kelley Park is spread over close to 50 acres, and as such, it is one of the largest parks in Alexandria. The Buddie Ford Nature Center is in the park, and it exhibits live animals, hosts nature classes, and leads guided park walks. Holmes Run Trail also passes through the park.
The spacious nature preserve includes dirt and paved walking trails adjacent to the stocked trout stream and is home to a vast ecosystem of woodland flora and fauna. It is not uncommon to see woodpeckers, hawks, foxes, deer, rabbits, and other animals scampering across the trail or rustling in the mature forest. Amid the oak-hickory forest, one can also find an array of interesting insects, fungus, and even small reptiles and amphibians.
The preserve is an untainted reprieve from the busy city-life buzzing around it and it offers an exciting glimpse of conservation efforts in Northern Virginia. Even better, the park is a local haven for exploring the outdoors.