Blockhouse Point Loop Trail

MODERATE 29 reviews
#1 of 3 trails in

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

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
5 months ago

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!

7 months ago

We walked along the Muddy Branch Greenway trail, and it was enjoyable. The main problem with this park is that there aren't loops, and the Blockhouse Point trails don't connect with the C&O trail to create loops to get back to your car. The map makes it look like the Greenway trail connects with a bridge over the canal so you can walk the C&O. In reality, the connection wasn't marked, and we had to walk maybe .5-.75 miles to get to the bridge at Lockhouse 22. It was a little confusing, but not too bad.

The bad part was that, based on the map, we thought we would find a bridge at Canyon trail to get us back over the canal and so we could hike to our car in the parking lot. Either we missed the bridge, or there isn't one. Instead, we walked 2.5 miles and made it all the way to Lockhouse 23 (Violettes Lock) which is well beyond the Blockhouse Point trails. We actually had to get an Uber to take us from Lockhouse 23 back to our car at the Blockhouse Point parking lot.

9 months ago

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!).

3 months ago

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