Blockhouse Point Loop Trail is a 6.5 mile loop trail located near Potomac, MD and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and horses and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.
Loop combines Blockhouse Point Park and C&O Canal Towpath This is a loop trail that includes the woods and high prominences of Blockhouse Point Park with a horse trail through National Park Service land and a return along the C&O Canal towpath. Views of the Potomac from the highpoints are excellent. There are also 3.5 miles of side trails or alternate routes as shown on the map. All trail within MNCPPC land are marked by signposts and blue blazes. Email the hike reporter for turn-by-turn trail notes. There is an excellent map giving names of the trails within the confines of the Blockhouse Point Park at http://www.mc-mncppc.org/trails/trails_MAPS/blockhouse_point.shtm Equestrians should note that some of the trails prohibit horses. Please observe these restrictions. Bicycles are not allowed on any Blockhouse Point trails but may use the towpath.
Trail was a bit confusing. Saw multiple bikers even though it says no bicycles. Best part would be not too much foot traffic and enjoyed the water ways.
The section on the C&O canal was beautiful and full of wildlife! However, the linkups were incredibly confusing, and the trails were not very well maintained. At the west end of the canal, you have to walk down Violette's Lock Road, down a side road towards residential houses, and pick up an unmarked trail that weaves in and out of park land (sketchy).
Blended the woodsy trails with the C&O on a balmy December day. It was absolutely beautiful and a great mix of easy walking and short climbs. We brought our 60lb shepherd mix and she had a blast. There are several trails in this part of the woods; I'd do this loop again and trade out some of the trails back to the car for a different view. We probably had a better view of the river since the leaves were off the trees but I'm sure it would still be pretty in spring/summer.
It's an overall enjoyable series of trails. Well marked--just not anything special of note. It's a decent workout for a trail-run. Just don't expect to be wowed by anything.
The scenery on this hike was pretty. It's dog-friendly and has a creek that crosses the path. That being said, the trails were really confusing to follow. It intersects a busy road twice and was not well marked.
All Trails app has no data but a Track shows up. - Follow it, it's the best route.
Trail maps here:
I mostly followed the Track above. I recommend following it - it's the best route if you want to avoid annoying River rd noise.
Blockhouse Point Park trails are well marked and have blue blazes. Western sections of the Track fall outside the park trail system.
Start: Pennyfield lock parking lot. Walk back north on Pennyfield Lock rd - look out for mowed path on left a short way up.
Pennyfield to River Rd Parking: Busy trail, well marked.
River rd to Callithea Trail: follow Track south on the pipeline gap to Upland Woods Trail and connect to Blockhouse Trail on any of the connectors (Fawn, Turkey Fan, Spring House).
DO take Blockhouse Trail to end, viewpoint for lovely views (not on the track). Double back to pick up Callithea trail.
DO take Paw Paw trail to end, viewpoint for gorgeous views. Double back to Callithea trail.
CAUTION: Cliffs on both of the viewpoints above. Exercise care with dogs and children.
TRAIL UNMARKED at the end of Callithea - follow well defined path on track to an obvious split in the path at a pretty glade (with old corrugated pipe). I made a left here. Path follows edge of C&O park territory to Violette's Lock rd.
Turn south on Violettes and east on towpath. This is a super pretty stretch. You can get down to the river with a little bit of scrambling to enjoy the rocks if the river is low ( be careful!).