Winkler Botanical Preserve

Stroll through a 44-acre oasis in the middle of Alexandria's Mark Center
Winkler Botanical Preserve Waterfall

Winkler Botanical Preserve was originally created by the Winkler family's Catherine Winkler Herman, her daughter Tori Thomas and the Winkler Foundation in 1979 to protect this unique and special area during the development of Mark Center. The private lodge on the property is named after Ms. Herman, as Catherine's Lodge.

Multiple trails, streams, a lake, and a waterfall, surrounded by woods and native plants, create an urban oasis in Alexandria's west end.

Opening Hours

Preserve: Daily, 8:30 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.

Lodge is only available for NOVA Parks programs and events at this time.

Winkler Botanical Preserve is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.

Know Before You Go

  • Pets must remain on leash at all times. Please pick up and remove all pet waste.
  • Bikes scooters, skates, skateboards, outdoor toys, and balls are not permitted.
  • Fishing, swimming, or disturbance of garden beds is not permitted.
  • Please do not disturb or feed the wildlife.
  • Please refrain from dangerous activities, such as rock climbing and walking across the dams or crossing bodies of water. 
  • Food or drink (other than bottled water) is not permitted. 
  • There are no picnic areas within Winkler Botanical Preserve.
  • There are no public restrooms available.
  • Parking is very limited. Unmarked, unreserved spaces in the nearby neighborhood may be used as needed.

Portrait Photography Reservations

Two-hour photography sessions are available for $50. Photography reservations are necessary when the primary purpose of the visit is to take pictures of people at the Preserve.

2-Hour Portrait Photography Reservation Inquiry Form

Winkler Trail Map


Winkler Botanical Preserve

5400 Roanoke Ave
Alexandria VA 22311
United States

Park Manager: Rachel Doody

After Hours Phone: 571-328-3333 

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Diamond in the rough, there's an emphasis on growing natives that attract pollinators.


by T. Davidoff