The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority has purchased 2.82 acres at the southwest intersection of Route 66 and Interstate 495 in Fairfax County.

The new parkland, costing $250,000, is adjacent to the park authority's 45-mile Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park.

"This piece of additional land may seem small, but when you add up the possibilities, within 20 years this could be the most significant park area in state of Virginia," said Darrell G. Winslow, park authority executive director.

The purchase is part of the park authority's planned "greenway corridor," which eventually would encompass 2,000 to 3,000 contiguous acres, including parkland in Vienna, Herndon, Leesburg and Arlington and Fairfax counties.

"The beauty of the trail is in the fact that it intersects with other city and county parks along the way," Winslow said.

The park authority will leave the land in its natural state to serve as a buffer area for the trail and trail users, promoting both conservation and recreational usage of the parkland.

Future park areas may include rest sites for trail users with shelters, water fountains and benches.

The W&OD Railroad Regional Park trail was built and developed along the former railroad bed. The trail extends from Purcellville through Fairfax County, Falls Church and Arlington County to Shirlington.