Potomac Heritage Trail

EASY 14 reviews

Potomac Heritage Trail is a 19.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Arlington, VA that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

19.5 miles 2277 feet Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

1 month ago

3 months ago

My first time using the app and what a great find!! Such a great trail!

3 months ago

Best in the fall

6 months ago

trail was beautiful by the river and not too many people. but the noise pollution...all you could hear was cars, boats or airplanes.

hiking
6 months ago

Trails are sometime narrow, but there is a nice stream that runs along some of the trails- many off shoots and little nooks. Sat around 30th St N and had lunch.

hiking
11 months ago

Great hike, close to home! Waterfall at Windy Run was pretty cool!

Surprisingly woodsy and quiet for a trail so close to the city. Love this one!

hiking
1 year ago

Parts were beautiful. Terrain is not boring. Lots of intermittent litter.

hiking
2 years ago

Great trail. We do this with adults and kids. Particularly like entering at Potomac Overlook park in Arlington and hiking up to the Chain Bridge. Watch out for the tidal fluctuations in the Potomac. We have seen the trail swamped very quickly.

trail running
3 years ago

I had an amazing time on this loop. I'm training for a trail run in a couple months so I thought this might be good practice. I started at Theodore Roosevelt Island, followed the river up to Chain Bridge, crossed the river, and came down the C&O Canal towpath. Aside from a couple places on Potomac Heritage where I didn't pay close enough attention to the blazes, the trail is well-marked and easy to follow. I got off-path a few times at creek crossings. On the bright side, there were enough people out (sporadically) that I never actually got lost. Potomac Heritage can be a bit technical at times--w/ rock scrambling and ducking trees--but I felt that added fun to the trail. I would stress caution on the creek crossings and rock scrambling though; it rained the night before so the rocks were fairly slick. The towpath, on the other hand, was a flat, gravel path; it was a nice change of pace after the previous workout. It's also very easy to get back to Roosevelt Island once you cross over the Key Bridge (cross on the left side of the bridge--so traffic is on your right--and you can follow the sidewalk to the bike path. Roosevelt Island is a quarter mile down the bike path). I really can't wait to run this loop again. I might even take the time to stop for pictures b/c the scenery is fantastic.

hiking
5 years ago

hiking
5 years ago

It is lovely to experience nature in the city! This hike provides the best of both worlds to city and suburbanite dwellers!

hiking
5 years ago

Just hiked this trail today. This was my first time hiking this portion of the trail. I started at the Roosevelt Island parking lot and hiked north up to Chain Bridge, crossed the bridge, then took the C & O towpath back to Key Bridge. Total mileage was 8.7 miles and it took about 3 hours at a moderate pace. There were a few spots where trash was a problem but overall, the trail was fairly clean. There were two guys out clearing parts of the trail with a scythe-like implement. For a nearby hike, this was great. You should wear good hiking shoes ( no sandals or slick-bottomed sneakers ) because there is some scrambling over some large boulders and some tricky climbing near the Chain Bridge portion of the trail. The trail is well marked with a greenish blue blaze, at least in the north-bound direction. I wish there were some signs to explain what some of the remnants of buildings and some metal structures were. I'll definitely do the hike again.

hiking
6 years ago

I thought this trail was awesome! Cant wait to do it again.