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At Great Falls, the Potomac River builds up speed and force as it falls over a series of steep, jagged rocks and flows through the narrow Mather Gorge. The Patowmack Canal offers a glimpse into the early history of this country. Great Falls Park has many opportunities to explore history and nature, all in a beautiful 800-acre park only 15 miles from the Nations Capital.

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.

Took some friends and my four kids on this hike in January on a warmer day. Such a great hike and not terribly difficult for the kids. Lots of people! My 8, 7, and 5 year olds loved going ahead with the friends and climbing over the multiple rocky areas while they waited on Mommy and 2 1/2 year old brother to catch up. We did the rocky part of the trail first since we had more energy, which was a great decision because it flattened out at the end and was good for the kids to just run. A little muddy at some points in mid January but the kids loved that. The little boy loved “climbing” over all the rocks along the trail.

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

amazing as good as it gets beautiful waterfalls

Couldn’t find the trail... drove all the way to the starting point instructed by the app and it ended up taking me to a Cul-de-sac. I felt too weird just leaving my car in a random neighborhood and walking through some random person’s yard to get to the trail. I wish there was a parking lot or a more public starting point. I tried looking for the park that the maps and google maps app said was in the area but it once again the apps took me to a gated community and dead end cup-de-sac

a word of caution the trailhead is not clearly marked and if you did like us you'll end up walking into the Housing Development I am sure the homeowners are tired of this they should put up their own sign saying not the trailhead is to the right following the water pumping station it looks wrong as you walk through the wire fences once on the Trail Follow The Horseshoe or Horse Trail instead of the Gerry Connolly Trail if you want to stay near the water's edge and a better walking surface it will take awhile to get to the Great Falls so my suggestion is skip this whole event and just go to the Great Falls Park.

WTF? where is the trail? I'm in big housing development!

Great place for family and friends get together and walk

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

pretty easy trail to follow.

Great walk along the river, old carriage road great for running as well

Great trail . enjoy the rock
.

I've done every trail on the VA and MD side. MD is usually less crowded. I would say every trail is dog friendly but if you have a small dog there are some places you will need to carry them. I love Great Falls because how how versatile the trails are regardless if you want hard or easy, water or forest.

I hiked this a couple times. We hiked along the river and it’s a pretty easy hike. If you’re trying to cross the river in some parts the rocks are very slippery and not sturdy. I definitely fell down one time trying to be too adventurous. Beautiful! We saw people in the canoeing in the water. Water stream is very intense!

hiking
3 months ago

very easy hike

hiking
3 months ago

Best Trail around

Very good hiking place one way in the wood with return along the river. See people across the river in MD side. Only very small portion with slopes going up, and most of the trail is easy to moderate level. Very pleasant hiking place!

My 5 year old son and I had a great time. We started on the Matildaville Trail. It helps to be handy with a map to find the beginning of the trail but once you're on it it's a pretty easy hike to start with. The ruins of the old town are definitely the highlight there. We looped back on the River Trail which was a tougher hike but manageable. My son especially loved the spots where you could climb over a couple rocks and get a good view of the river. Overall we hiked about 3.5 miles and we both had a great time. We'll definitely come back!

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