Blockhouse Point Loop Trail is a 6.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Potomac, Maryland that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

6.8 miles
436 feet

dog friendly



horseback riding

nature trips

trail running




wild flowers



This is a loop trail that includes the woods and high prominences of Blockhouse Point Park with a horse trail through National Park Service land and a return along the C&O Canal towpath. Views of the Potomac from the high points are excellent. There are also 3.5 miles of side trails or alternate routes within MNCPPC land that are marked by signposts and blue blazes. Equestrians should note that some of the trails prohibit horses. Please observe these restrictions. Bicycles are not allowed on any Blockhouse Point trails but may use the towpath.

5 months ago

See reviews below to locate a trail map. You need a trail map, it is very confusing to attempt to stay on the trail. There are some pretty spaces along the route and a lot of horse manure to avoid. This loop seems to include some other trails. Blockhouse trail has a dead end at some point where there is a cliff, it is an old military site.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Great for distance, and a hard run. Definitely a moderate hike. Mainly flat on C&O canal. Took us about 3 hrs and was quite enjoyable with our dog.

trail running
Saturday, July 22, 2017

One awesome 10K+ trail (~7 miles); this is a true trail runners trail. It has at least two pit stops (porta-johns) along the way that are well maintained and much welcomed. My TT is different from my moving time, as I made a few wrong turns here and there. This course has it all to a total "T", including path, single track, double track, gravel, mud, road, climbs, stream crossings, grasslands, obstacles, you name it! The entire course is not exactly flat-n-fast, but you can definitely get some speedwork in. The terrain is fun and ultra-dynamic, and the finish is spectacular! Oh my...what a challenge at the end! My goal was to finish the run at 5.8-6.0 mph, but finished @ 4 mph -- hey, when it is 87F at 10am, with an expected heat index of 105F, what else can you do but slow down?

I was saturated with sweat and pretty much beatdown at the halfway point going through the changeful terrain, and "knowed there was a God" when I saw one of those porta-johns. Check out my recorded track and the pics to avoid wrong turns. Great course for trail runners!

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Great 180 degree view of the Potomac from 150 feet up where point juts out into the river

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Longer than 6.5 miles. Very nice long loop!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Trail was a bit confusing. Saw multiple bikers even though it says no bicycles. Best part would be not too much foot traffic and enjoyed the water ways.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The section on the C&O canal was beautiful and full of wildlife! However, the linkups were incredibly confusing, and the trails were not very well maintained. At the west end of the canal, you have to walk down Violette's Lock Road, down a side road towards residential houses, and pick up an unmarked trail that weaves in and out of park land (sketchy).

Sunday, March 27, 2016


Friday, December 25, 2015

Blended the woodsy trails with the C&O on a balmy December day. It was absolutely beautiful and a great mix of easy walking and short climbs. We brought our 60lb shepherd mix and she had a blast. There are several trails in this part of the woods; I'd do this loop again and trade out some of the trails back to the car for a different view. We probably had a better view of the river since the leaves were off the trees but I'm sure it would still be pretty in spring/summer.

mountain biking
Saturday, November 14, 2015


Tuesday, May 05, 2015

It's an overall enjoyable series of trails. Well marked--just not anything special of note. It's a decent workout for a trail-run. Just don't expect to be wowed by anything.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The scenery on this hike was pretty. It's dog-friendly and has a creek that crosses the path. That being said, the trails were really confusing to follow. It intersects a busy road twice and was not well marked.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Confusing trails.

All Trails app has no data but a Track shows up. - Follow it, it's the best route.

Trail maps here:

I mostly followed the Track above. I recommend following it - it's the best route if you want to avoid annoying River rd noise.

Blockhouse Point Park trails are well marked and have blue blazes. Western sections of the Track fall outside the park trail system.

Start: Pennyfield lock parking lot. Walk back north on Pennyfield Lock rd - look out for mowed path on left a short way up.

Pennyfield to River Rd Parking: Busy trail, well marked.

River rd to Callithea Trail: follow Track south on the pipeline gap to Upland Woods Trail and connect to Blockhouse Trail on any of the connectors (Fawn, Turkey Fan, Spring House).

DO take Blockhouse Trail to end, viewpoint for lovely views (not on the track). Double back to pick up Callithea trail.
DO take Paw Paw trail to end, viewpoint for gorgeous views. Double back to Callithea trail.
CAUTION: Cliffs on both of the viewpoints above. Exercise care with dogs and children.

TRAIL UNMARKED at the end of Callithea - follow well defined path on track to an obvious split in the path at a pretty glade (with old corrugated pipe). I made a left here. Path follows edge of C&O park territory to Violette's Lock rd.

Turn south on Violettes and east on towpath. This is a super pretty stretch. You can get down to the river with a little bit of scrambling to enjoy the rocks if the river is low ( be careful!).

14 days ago

22 days ago

trail running
1 month ago

2 months ago

4 months ago

5 months ago

6 months ago

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Saturday, February 18, 2017

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