Explore wanna do - 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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I went on this trail as a brand-new-to-Great-Falls person and was expecting a walking trail. The River Trail is DEFINITELY a hiking trail that requires frequent use of your hands for navigating hills and over rocks, and includes very steep inclines that will leave inexperienced hikers (like myself) out of breath and physically strained. You will spend most of your time looking at the ground to watch your footing and very little time enjoying the beautiful scenery around you. Early March 2018, there were downed trees on the trail that were difficult to pass without being extremely nimble. A wet patch of mud on a slope caused me to tumble; I cut my palm on a rock trying to break my fall. I do not recommend this trail after any amount of rain. I cut this trail short and took a shortcut over to the Old Carriage Trail, which can be classified as a walking trail... very smooth and only slight inclines.

This park was listed as an Audubon Hotspot for birding year-round but we hardly saw any birds at all (early March). We saw the most birds near the parking lot (and just common birds). Disappointing.

4 days ago

Hiked this March 4 2018. We did it counterclockwise. The first half of this hike was not enjoyable due to the ATV/truck damage to the trail - deep muddy ruts - and trash everywhere (McDonalds containers, plastic oil containers, beer cans etc). Won't bother going back - lots of other places to hike!

So fun! The scrambling is challenging but fun. Gorgeous in the fall.

Another great day hike. Took my gf and her son out for the day and had a blast. Heavily trafficked, but you’re still able to find your own space

Great hike. Good difficulty level going up, with interesting rock scramble. Nice walk down the trail to cool down and relax

One of my favorite hikes to do!! Challenging in a good way!

20 days ago

Always a great spot. Never a let down.

This was the most fun trail I’ve done. Getting ready to do again soon. Challenging? Yes. Doable? Most definitely. Just do your due diligence and wear gloves with some traction to help get you up some rocks as many areas are slippery due to the amount of traffic it gets. Also, eat and drink what your body needs before, during and after or else you can cramp up, etc.
Stop and enjoy the scenery. I prefer to start early to avoid most of the crowd.

Excellent and challenging trail for my wife and I ! I'd say it was made much more difficult after the prior night dropped an inch of snow. Areas were icy, which made the rock scramble harder than needed to be but good teamwork saw us pass the test. by far the longer and hardest trail for a couple in early 40s (most everyone we saw easily 10 yrs our junior), but fun and quite rewarding. Awesome views a bonus!

Fairly slick with some ice and snow on the rocks, but the trail and views were great. Highly recommend!

This was a much better hike than I expected it to be. I’ve been to Great Falls Park a number of times to look at the falls but wasn’t aware that there was a loop with some elevation and rocky parts and more challenge than I expected. It was also beautiful - a warm winter mid-week day with few people and great views through the bare trees. I highly recommend it for a good hike close to downtown DC.

I went on this trail with my son's Boy Scout troop in October of 2017. The trail was awesome. Great views and great rock formations. If you don't like boulder hopping then this isn't the trail for you. So pack a lunch and hike to the top and find a spot to enjoy the views and lunch!

Best hike I’ve had so far. Definitely worth going in the off season, hardly any traffic. Went with a group of friends and we definitely built a stronger bond because we used a lot of teamwork due to the obstacles(ice, rain, height difference, experience, etc.)

1 month ago

Hiked this trail in the rain, which got a little dicey at times, but it was definitely worth it! Because of the weather we only saw only about 4 or 5 other people on the trail the entire day. The downside was that we could hardly see anything from the top of Old Rag due to all the fog, but it was still a really fun hike.

great hike

Definitely my favorite place I have been hiking. I am 19, 5’7”, and around 180lbs so im not in the best shape, but I have a passion for scrambling. It was 10° when I got there but after about a half hour of hiking I actually needed to remove my hoodie! I see people mentioning the need for significant upper body strength but imo it wasnt really as important as people chalked it up to be. One thing that did cause some problems: My height. There are a few points where you need to scale the face of a boulder and the shorter you are, the harder it is (Though I managed to get by). Another thing that happened was about halfway through the scrambling my calves began to “lock” into place and hurt whenever I plantar flexed (bent foot toes facing down). I had a sports drink with me which reduced the problem in a matter of minutes, so if you arent used to this type of terrain, I highly recommend you bring something with plenty of electrolytes in addition to water. I would say as long as youre prepared, and somewhat in shape (but willing to push yourself), this is a hike worth making the trip for!

Great trail with some fun rock scrambles. I went up the rocks which was more fun and am sure safer as well when out alone. I like the solitude of trail hiking so did the loop at about 8:30 and took me about 3.5 hours of moving fairly quick and and only saw maybe 12 people. Best getting the popular trails done in the off season. Will definitely be a trail I’ll have friends do as well.

Busy but one of my favorite hikes

Just amazing views at the top. Love the rock scramble. Very busy trail. The fire road, which is the last 5 miles of the loop is rather boring, but it allows you to rest after scrambling.

must have strength of Steven seagal for the top portion of this trail.

Super easy to get to and dog friendly. Can get muddy during the winter/early spring thaw/freeze cycle. Also bit frustrating to run into several folks allowing their dogs to romp around off leash, especially when a couple of these dogs were not friendly and barked a lot. Would try again in the summer without a dog.

Great hike, especially with the dog

1 month ago

It was a perfect January day for a hike here. It is peaceful and well marked. Follow the blue markings.

Great views, I’ve been here dozens of times during all seasons of the year.

More difficult of a trail, but well worth it when you get to see the gorgeous views at the summit. Recommend to bring snacks and plenty of water for this hike because it’s an all day adventure. I’ve done this trail twice now and it’s something I always look forward to doing again.

Added to my favorite list! I did this loop different by parking at the Berry Hollow parking area and started my hike from there. It is 3.3 miles to the Ridge Trail going down the Weakely Hollow Fire Road. From there the Ridge Trail takes you up to the ridge and on through some nice rock scrambles with some challenging climbs (especially when covered in ice). There are some awesome views along the way. Once you reach the summit, it is a nice area for a snack or lunch break. From there I continued on with the loop by going down the Saddle Trail and followed it to its end at the junction with Old Rag, Berry Hollow, & Weakely Hollow Fire Roads. From there it was a short hike back to the parking area. I logged 10.9 miles on this hike.

Tough but worth it

This is a must do hike however it well deserves the hard rating if you do the full loop. The outcropping of rock are huge which require climbing, scrambling, squeezing and crawling. Very fun. Took almost 6 hours, spent 20-30 minutes at the top admiring the views. I’d like to go back in the summer or fall when the leaves are on the trees, it has to be a totally different view.

Fun trail! Did this one on a cold January afternoon but it was nice. Park at the end of a residential road; seemed strange but you are in the right spot! Pass Black Rock by another mile and you can see Annapolis Rock

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