Great Falls Overlook Trail

MODERATE 114 reviews
#3 of 14 trails in

Great Falls Overlook Trail is a 4.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Potomac, Maryland that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until September.

4.7 miles
193 feet

kid friendly


nature trips

rock climbing

trail running


bird watching


partially paved




wild flowers





no dogs

Directions from Washington, D.C.: Travel the Clara Barton Parkway north 1.5 miles to MacArthur Boulevard. Turn left and travel to Falls Road. This is one of the C&O's entrances. Enter the area and travel to the large parking lot across from Old Angler's Inn. Trail begins at the upper road.

It was a great day. A little muddy but the trail is very sandy so not bad. Very level and easy to walk with stroller or dog. Lots of traffic.

4 months ago

Enjoying yes this trail since all Billy Goat trails were closed due to flooding.

4 months ago


8 months ago

Beautiful hike. One area where you are on the cliff is barely your foot’s width and is terrifying if you’re going against the flow of traffic for hiking. But overall the views are breathtaking.

9 months ago

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!

9 months ago

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

11 months ago

Always a great spot. Never a let down.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

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

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Great place for family and friends get together and walk

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

This trail was awesome. The whole family went. It was pretty rigorous around Billy Goat Trail A because of the natural rocks you have to climb. It can be dangerous. If your young children don't follow directions well, it may be better to leave them at home. Halfway around Billy Goat Trail A, there is a side trail to take to get back to the main Towpath. We were told by a hiker, and by the warning sign, that it got even more dangerous with steeper climbs and descents. So we chose to stop. Can't wait to go back and complete this hike. Beautiful, breathtaking views of the rapids and waterfalls.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Classic views of the falls

Saturday, June 03, 2017

This goes on the Billy Goat Trail A and note that dogs are NOT ALLOWED, not even on a leash. Disappointed that I couldn't take this route today with my pup, though it's a pleasant walk down the canal and back (past the entrances to the trail).

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Great spot, except for the large crowds on the weekends.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Always great. Never gets old.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Harder than we assumed, but a great workout. Being in shape definitely helps. Tons of rocks and rock climbing!

Monday, November 07, 2016

Love this hike!!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Beautifull vieuws

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Great hike to the falls! Amazing views. The trails are well marked and well preserved.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Excellent views. Hike was done on a warm July day, but trails offered fair amount of shade. Some trails have rocky terrain.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Beautiful views! Not as heavily trafficked during weekday mornings.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Amazing hiking experience.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Pretty easy trail, gorgeous views. Can get VERY crowded.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Had A amazing time. great for the whole family. staff was friendly and helpful and the view was spectacular!!!!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Fantastic views of waterfalls.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Loved this trail! The falls are absolutely beautiful. A nice serene hike that includes places where you can meditate and look out onto the river.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Great overlook. Great trail for families.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

The weather complimented the trail/hike well! Definitely going back!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Beautiful, but I bet it's even better in the spring and early summer when water levels are higher.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Very easy trail! You basically just walk over the a boardwalk that protects the bedrock. At the end you get a great view of the falls.

bird watching
Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Very easy trail. Great for young kids. Love it in the winter after a period of very cold weather. Wonderful
Ice formations.

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