Explore the most popular wildlife trails in Great Falls Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Nice, short trail in the area. Close to river with fun rock scrambles throughout. Lots of wildlife in spring: saw snakes, frogs, turtles, and other awesome animals on trail.

Great little park to explore. 10 dollar entrance fee but you do get it for 3 days. The waterfalls are amazing. It’s a must see.

Wonderful forest walk. Very zen. Beautiful green forest carpet, not a lot of bushes. Terrain is on the easy side but it’s a totally enjoyable walk. Agree with another reviewer that it would be great for trail running. Easy to add additional loops for more distance (such as overlook trail).

This was such a pretty hike! it's not at all difficult. great place to take people.

Nice and easy local hike. The views of the waterfalls are pretty awesome.

Great trail. Some rocky areas, very easy hike.

Billy Goat A trail loop was closed due to flooding, so we walked to the Great Falls Overlook on Olmstead Island, then followed the canal to the bridge across the canal (just past the Billy Goat trail entrance). After crossing over we picked up the Overlook Trail heading back towards the parking lot and eventually ended up canalside. While the views on the Overlook Trail are not as impressive as being right next to the falls, the trails were dry and it wasn’t crowded. It was a nice walk, with a few decent views looking down at the river if you take the two down-and-back spurs off the main trail. Combine all this with sunshine and 70s and you have the ingredients to a perfect hike!

1 month ago

Absolutely fantastic especially if you go after a big rain to see Mother Nature at her best

Great trip with the dog a little hairy in some spots so be careful.

hiking
1 month ago

Due to work and timing, I was only able to make it from Colvin Mill to The Potomac, but it was a great first hike.
The trail head is easy to find if you follow the directions provided to you when you open them in google maps.

Ended up just doing this section of the trail since a was closed due to flooding. It was wonderful, the kids had a blast, just wish I would have brought the dog. We left her at home since she isn't allowed on the A trail. My 5 year old and 12 year old loved the rock scrambles so much and the views were amazing. We will be back for sure to do the whole thing!

Several areas were blocked (I’m assuming because of recent storms) but this trail was fun for my girls! Not a trail for younger kids or strollers....some areas are quite close to rock cliffs. The trails were a little difficult to navigate in some areas but blue paint on the trees helped us to stay on track. The app was also a great guide tool.

We took our 3 boys ages 10-14 and our dog for a Spring Break hike on section B and had a blast! Just enough rock climbing fun but not too hard for the kids, a mellow stream crossing, and great views of the river. Saw several birds including a blue heron and a woodpecker. It took less than 2 hours.

hiking
2 months ago

Enjoyable on a nice day, but really not that difficult. On a sunny day, it is some nice afternoon exercise. Photos are better in the afternoon with the sun at your back.

hiking
2 months ago

The trail head is actually really easy to find, and you park in a gravel lot right next to the trailhead. Don't go through the housing development...walk towards the trailhead. It is the CCT (Gerry Connolly Cross Country Trail) that starts from the parking lot.
This trail has a diverse set of terrain to cover and a good mix of flat and climbs. 2 river crossings (big boulders and pillons to walk on while crossing). Gets pretty busy near the Great Falls Area--pretty empty on the stick part of the lollipop loop.

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.

Juno the Golden Retriever loved the trail. Nice ups and downs, nothing too strenuous and for kids (and kids at heart) there is a Gold Mine to see from the outside. if you are hiking with little folk, turn left at the loop, the gold mine is closer that way.

we did the whole loop. Beautiful Forrest and ridges.

Some nice views of the Potomac. Watched a few kayakers doing their thing. Section A was unfortunately closed due to flooding, so section B was the backup hike. Only bumped into 2 other people on the trail. Saw a good number of deer on the towpath back to Anglers.

backpacking
3 months ago

Always a great spot. Never a let down.

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

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