Annandale is located in Fairfax County, Virginia with a population of 41,008 as of the 2010 United States Census. It is home to the oldest and largest branch of the Northern Virginia Community College system, and to one of the D.C. area’s Koreatowns. Annandale derives its name from Annandale in Scotland.
Annandale is mostly traversed by the Capital Beltway and Virginia State Route 236. The center of town is considered to be where Route 236, Columbia Pike, and Backlick Road meet around two miles east of Interstate 495 on Route 236. Annandale is bordered to the north by West Falls Church, to the east by Lake Barcroft and Lincolnia, to the south by North Springfield, and to the west by Wakefield and Woodburn. According to the United States Census Bureau, Annandale has a total area of 7.86 square miles, all of it land. The area is part of the coastal plain located just east of the Fall Line separating the coastal plain of Virginia from the Piedmont. It is characterized by rolling hills, stream valleys, and heavy red clay soils. The Annandale region is bisected by Accotink Creek, which in Colonial times was a primary link for ocean-going ships that would load tobacco and other goods where Little River Turnpike – Annandale’s oldest road and the first toll road in America – crosses it. With the construction of the Springfield Dam in 1918, Lake Accotink was created to serve as a water source for World War I Army Camp A.A. Humphreys. In 1960, when the lake was no longer needed by the Army, the Fairfax County Park Authority leased the land and finally bought the site in 1965. Today, Lake Accotink is a popular recreation area with bike trails, fishing and boat rentals. Also along Accotink Creek runs the Fairfax Cross County Trail (CCT) which provides uninterrupted hiking, biking, running and cross-country skiing for 20 miles (32 km) in Annandale. The CCT meanders through parks and forests filled with deer, fox, geese and numerous species of native birds. In the spring, Accotink Creek is stocked with trout, and fishermen are often seen wading in its waters.
The oldest and largest branch of the Northern Virginia Community College system is also located within Annandale and was founded in 1965. A focal point of “NOVA”, a commonly used nickname of the community college, is the Richard J. Ernst Community Cultural Center which is a 66,000-square-foot facility containing a 525-seat, state-of-the-art theater with satellite downlink and video projection capability, an 11,000-square-foot gymnasium/exhibition hall, a light-filled atrium entrance and a two-story art gallery. The college opened with 761 students, and today has more than 75,000 students and 2,600 faculty and staff members, and has six permanent campus sites across Northern Virginia. The student body consists of people from more than 180 countries.
Annandale has parks scattered across its geographical region and a number of them are maintained by the Fairfax County Park Authority. The Wakefield Skate Park is also located within Wakefield Park. The skate park also offers skateboarding, BMX classes and camps for children of all ages and skills.