Explore Northern VA - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Must do for anyone who loves Civil War history like myself. Tons of history markers that gives you a feel of how the battle played out. Great park with a really nice vistors center.

hiking
15 hours ago

Did this hike last year. It’s a decent hike for the area. Good views and some rock scrambling. Does get crowded and I prefer more quiet hikes.

I agree with all the reviews here. I both love this place and am disgusted by the way folks (particularly in the summer months) treat what has been set aside as a “nature preserve.” If you get the chance to enjoy the beauty and solitude of this natural escape by the Potomac, and feel strongly about protecting it, please contact Riverbend Nature Center about participating in Scotts Run clean ups or collect trash when you can and report any illegal activity. And if you get a chance to hike to the river overlooks watch out for my father’s memorial bench along the trail (the one with a river view when the leaves fall), have a seat and enjoy the woods!

hiking
3 days ago

Really beautiful trail with wooded areas, waterfalls, and streams. Somewhat protected from the wind so a little less cold than the more exposed summit hikes. This is a great option to mix it up a bit. We were there two days after it rained and there were a few slick spots but it was very manageable overall. It’s closer to 5 miles when you include the fire road (which you need to use if you are doing the full loop), and there’s an interesting old cemetery near the start as well.

Good, moderate trail. Wide pathways with small, loose rocks. Go early in the morning (before 9am) to avoid crowds. The views at the top are nothing short of stunning. Can get windy though, so be careful. Would do this again. Took some smaller, offshoot trails for even more views.

If you only want to spend a few hours (4 hours or so) hiking Old Rag this is the quickest way to the top. You can Google Maps "Barry Hollow parking" and it will take you exactly to the parking area. It's true the lot only has space for about 10-12 cars but I think this method of getting to old Rag is unknown enough that you should be able to find parking. I say this because you will be entering using the fire road in the back and that involves driving to the west side of the mountain. A bit obscure. I went there on Veterans Day at 11:30am and had no trouble parking in the tiny lot and got back to my car at 4:30pm
You don't get to do any of the obstacle courses that makes this one of the best hikes in the country, but instead think of it as a way to get an inexperienced hiker to the top for that wonderful panorama. There are no jumps, hurdles, no need to help anyone getting pulled up, nothing. It's just a moderate uphill walk even a 10 year old could do.

A little steep at times, but totally worth it! The view and the wind take your breath away! Beautiful leisurely hike back downhill to the car. Highest point in the park!

Excellent trail, steady inclines and awesome water fall and rock outcroppings. Highly recommend!

Fun trail and beautiful views!

Great trail!! Loved the waterfalls!! Great idea to do trail clockwise!!! Easy wide path at the end then! Entire loop was more than 3.5 though!! Total was more like 5 miles if you count Rose River Trail loop and Rose river fire road.... you have to get back where you started for a total of about 5 miles. We just started out later and sunset came earlier so ended up finishing and it was dark. Trail was five stars though! Beautiful views!

This trail was surprisingly fun with some decent incline and rock scrambles. Crowds are no joke but around the middle it was very thinned out (spent about 20 minutes just waiting to get to the gate of the park... then had to follow someone leaving in order to park). Annual passes to great falls are 30$ so might be worth it for people who plan on coming back a couple times. GORGEOUS fall colors.

This trail was very easy and didn’t take but maybe an hour to complete. The top was amazing but be prepared to share it with tons of other people because it’s a popular hike!

Indeed the best Waterfalls along Skyline Drive. Super crowded with hundreds of people on the trail during weekends. You will have better luck with parking if you go to the Big Meadows lot instead of the Falls lot along Skyline Drive. That way, you could hike the Story of the Forest too. This hike is a mile down to the 71 foot high Falls but it all up hill on the way back. You gotta climb 574 feet back up and the trail runs along a stream. There was many sections that were muddy so I do recommend hiking poles. There are sections with logs steps that create terraces to level things out but the trail is very steep and a long haul back up.

Nice little loop with a section that has great river views. Went during the fall and most of the trail is wooded, so I really enjoyed the hike. Mostly flat, but some rocky hill sections near the river. Parking is limited during peak times.

Relatively flat and well marked path. Nice views of the water and the falls. Started a little crowded around 9/9:30. Took us about an hour with our dog.

Gets a tad crowded during beautiful days

Sweet little hike. Great waterfalls. Although, being a non-frequent hiker, the climb was a bit tiresome(thanks for 600ft of elevation change).

I love the difficulty and variety of the A loop- I think it’s one of the most challenging hikes in the DMV area. Pretty high trafficked route.

13 days ago

Nice trail. Easy down, but have to come back up. Be sure to do the full loop in order to see all the springs and falls. It's easier to take the left trail down, then take Rose road back up.

hiking
14 days ago

Fun Hike! Great for kids.

hiking
14 days ago

Great trail to end your day on! Super easy. Great for kids!

Beautiful trail, not too crowded. Lots of places to rest with a view off to the sides. Past Sandy Landing there are some cool little beaches to explore.

It was a fun hike with a great view

Great trail, very dog friendly

Nice geese pond & easy trails. Lovely spot for the weekend! Cons, trails marks are confusing.. without a live track, bit of confusing

Absolutely amazing views. Very windy in mid October. Wore my baby and didn’t have many issues. The incline on the way up is enough to get your heart going. There were 2 rock scrambles along the salamander trail on the way back down that were a bit of a challenge. With babies and dogs. Wish we would’ve packed a picnic for the top. Lots of space to relax at the summit.

This hike was more of a nature walk. My husband carried our son in his carrier and there were no issues at all. One stream crossing but crossed easily. Path is very wide, was slightly muddy but expected after a day of rain. Took about 1.5 hours to complete the loop. Lots of spurs off the main trail if you wanted to do more. Went on a Sunday and passed about 10 other groups.

nature trips
21 days ago

Trail is well marked and easy to follow. As others have said, the hardest part is the way back up. Lots of steps and incline most of the way up. Plenty of places to stop off and rest on the way back up. Many different views of the falls all the way down to the bottom. Plenty of cut ins to walk down to and take pictures of or feel the water throughout the different portions of the trail. A few small spots where it was muddy/slippery. Be mindful of this if it has rained recently. Plenty of older folks enjoying the trail as well if you are deterred by some of the reviews. Falls were flowing well with yellow trees above as a backdrop for picture takers

Quick easy hike with a great view.

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