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$10 entrance fee but you can walk right up to the overlooks from the parking lot. It was a bit too crowded for my liking but beautiful views. The trail was pretty easy. Really cool experience if you have never been here before!

Loved this place. River trail is moderate, not highly difficult. Great hike to make you sweat! Park seems pet and family friendly.

hiking
13 days ago

We took 3 kids, ages 9,6, and 4, and 2 dogs. The trail was fun but too long for the kids in the heat of August. It was 5 miles, not 3. A 3 mile trail would have been perfect, there were lots of downed trees which my kids like to climb over, river crossings and steep creek beds that we needed to use ropes to pull ourselves up. The dogs were able to scramble up ok but definitely fell a couple of times. We needed the GPS a few times when we lost the path. It’s well marked for the most part but definitely not each turn. We may do it again when the fall weather arrives;)

Great views of the potomac! The ruins of The Company House and the locks stirs your imagination how the canal was in those days. Awesome hike/walk!

Beautiful views and creeks along the way (I went just after heavy rain). Some tough uphill grades.

First, this is nowhere near three miles. We followed the route on the map exactly and it’s a full FIVE miles. So know what you’re in for.

This is a great hike if you’re looking for a moderate challenge with varying terrain.

I took a 4yo (girl), 10yo (girl), and 12yo (boy). I had to carry the 4yo at times. Several of the stream crossing are challenging. There are no bridges and so you have to hop/scramble across the rocks. One point requires ropes to descend and ascend a wide ditch. My 4yo piggybacked me for that part.

No way horses are doing this btw. Or mountain bikes. Lots of downed trees and rock hopping/scrambling.

The trail is also very poorly marked at portions. Without the gps and trail map, it would have been entirely unclear where to go.

In short, a fun, interesting, moderately challenging hike with a fair bit of variation that’s good for kids (if they’re up for five miles and you can carry little ones if/when needed).

Great views maintain trails marked areas a lot of historical points

This hike is amazing! It’s a tough hike but my sister and I did it in three hours. Make sure you bring water and supplies. This isn’t easy and is long .

If parking is full, head back east on Route 7 to the big Snickers Gap parking area at Route 601. Take the trail towards Bears Den, but turn north at the intersection with the AT and follow the white blazes to (carefully!) cross the highway and continue to Raven Rocks.

This hike was a lot of fun and had its challenges! The Catoctin Mountain Extension trail is actually a combination of trails that loop around a majority of park. If you want more of a challenge, definitely go counterclockwise (starting with Chimney Rock). If you have any questions, the park employees are very friendly! Only gave it 4 stars because of the views aren’t to die for, but still very beautiful overall.

loved the serenity at 7 AM and the views from the river trail. explored all trails a little. by 9AM it gets very busy and yet it's still peaceful. The 10 dollar entrance fee is a bit high but i am glad i visited.

Easy trail - mind your step as it can get a bit rocky and muddy in some areas. This trail will take you from Great Falls Park up to Riverbend Park and back. Bug spray is a plus in the summer months when the mosquito are in full force.

hiking
1 month ago

A lot trees blocking the trials.

I loved this loop, there was the perfect mix of rock scrambles and easy trail hikes that I never got tired. Beautiful things to see and for going on a Sunday afternoon it really wasn't too crowded. Great hike!

it is more of a walk. when sunny, it is very crowded.

Well marked and wide. Nice views and I would say moderately trafficked for a Saturday. Parking lot was almost filled

Great out & back for all levels and is kid friendly. Gets very crowded, so get there early. Very scenic with the river along the entire length of the trail, with plenty of places to stop and enjoy the views.

Not a big fan of this one. This felt like a long walk in the woods. The woods are beautiful, but there is no “real” overlook. I did not get the sense of a “summit”. Lastly, Cunningham Falls was a little disappointing. I expected more. Plus, the fact that the falls is not technically part of the hike(it has its own parking lot) took away some of the experience to me.

Love the rock scrambles. Easy enough for novice hikers that are relatively active, as well as our small dog. Started on the river trail which had the most of the scrambles, then to the ridge trail, then swamp. I think we were on the Difficult Run Trail as well at some point.

1 month ago

if the loop is done counter-clockwise, your journey is going to be more quiet. Just know as you approach the water at Stubblefield Falls the rock scramble is very steep. The Scotts Run Falls were smelly and loaded with trash. There were people drinking beer and some of them looked underage. Lots and lots of people swimming in spite of warning signs not to swim. one girl was naked! Pretty day as was quiet until I got to Scotts Run Falls. Trails were blazed according to the color coded map. An ok afternoon, could be better could be worse.

Started a little late in the day and hauled butt and got back before dark. Took exactly 3 hours. Now I know why they call it the roller coaster! Make sure you bring water and a snack. Awesome hike!!

Fantastic trail! Well marked and challenging but worth the views.

Experienced hiker review: Visited this trail for the first time on 7-28. Read reviews before going. Took approximately 70 minutes one way to reach the overlook. Agree with other reviews that this trail is VERY rocky. So much so that I found it difficult to get a decent workout. The terrain is what makes this trail "hard," not the climb itself. There are two steep inclines; one rockier than the other. Arrived at 8:45am and the parking lot was already packed. Passed a lot of people of all ages and a lot of unleashed dogs. If you prefer more privacy, arrive between 6-7am (DST). If you don't mind the rockiness, it's a good quick hike before going to check out a winery or restaurant. If you are looking for a rapid trail workout, I would look elsewhere.

Did this hike with the husband and 9y/o son. It was tough and worth it! Wear boots! My hiking poles were a life saver! It’s very rocky! Definitely get there early we got there at 7am and there were already two cars in the lot by the time we came back down (4 hours later) it was getting crowded.
The view at the top is beautiful - you will cross over the Virginia/W. Virginia line on your way up which was neat! We saw some incredible wildlife and amazing sites! We will do it again in the fall for sure. Enjoy!

Definitely a fun and challenging trail to get back into hiking with. While almost all of the trail was rocks it still wasn't too difficult in regular running shoes but I definitely recommend trekking poles or better footwear.

The whole hike took the two of us about 4 hours and some change, that's with detours off trail, exploring, and enjoying the scenery.

I definitely felt that the view was lackluster. However there is a small path to the right where if you are careful and experienced enough you can actually climb down to the base of the cliffside and see a very large and interesting "cave-like" cutout that's eroded away.

I loved the little creeks with carefully placed stones to hop across. Also, the paths are spacious. Although I was disappointed by the situation I found at the waterfall. “No swimming, wading, or bathing” is clearly marked in at least two locations; one at the base of the waterfall and another on the trail as you approach the waterfall. They are big and describe the consequences in smaller detail including possible arrest and a $250 fine! The scene was beautiful despite the insistence of a white trash summer (clothes and trash thrown everywhere along with half-naked teens and small children romping through it). I was mildly disgusted as I ventured out for a pleasant hike with hopes of seeing the waterfall here in all of its glory. What I found was a gorgeous backdrop to a bunch of unruly visitors unwilling to keep their clothes on. These are not beaches and should not be treated the same way. Come for the view not the more obvious guilty pleasure of a few that seem to come and go without regard to anyone else.

I enjoyed this trail, and definitely improved my stamina coming up the big incline from the waterfall. The heartbreaking part of this trail is all of the trash that people have left behind. Next time I go, I'll take a trash bag with me to clean up a bit.

Lots of incline/decline both ways and very rocky. Trekking poles are very useful. Make sure to bring enough water on hot days. The view is worth it.

Some side trails are harder then others so beware ! But soo beautiful

It was good not that great. but you will have couple of good views up there. for me its good experience because i climbed rock which is little bit challenging.

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