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Potomac Heritage Trail is a 19.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Arlington County, Virginia that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 19.2 mi Elevation gain 1,673 ft Route type Out & Back
Dogs on leash Kid friendly Hiking Nature trips Walking Bird watching Running Forest River Views Wild flowers Wildlife Muddy Over grown
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Reviews (96)
Photos (574)
Recordings (88)
Completed (285)
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Duane Butcher
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 7, 2020
Hiking
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Joel Brown
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 5, 2020
HikingBugsClosedMuddyOver grownScrambleWashed out

Some parts were better than others, but most of it was overgrown, muddy, poorly marked, and/or had tons of spider webs crossing the path. We went from the Roosevelt Island parking lot all the way to the other end, but stopped at that end. The begging was terrible, so if you still want a long hike, I recommend starting at Potomac Overlook or Chain Bridge. Some parts were enjoyable, but would highly recommend Mount Vernon trail if you want a nice long hike along the Potomac.

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Suman Reddy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 15, 2020
Hiking

Good for jogging.

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Jim Millar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 23, 2020
HikingBlowdownMuddyOver grownRocky

We walked from 123 toward Roosevelt island . Many places washed out lots of trees across paths. The “ green dot” marking disappeared at the Gulf Branch . I guess we will try again another day . Seems like park service could do a little better.

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Elaine Kulm
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 17, 2020
Washed out

we were hoping to check out this trial as its walking distance from our home, but came to find that sections of it were washed out. There is caution tape blocking the trail but no obvious detour route. We ended up crossing Chain Bridge and getting on the C&O canal trail, so ended up not hiking a vast section the Potomac Heritage Trail.

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Ricky Moore
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 15, 2020
HikingMuddyOver grown

Giving this a 4 stars because I love the Potomac River. The trail itself is not bad but nothing spectacular. It is a good trail for beginner hikers that want to be close to a residential neighborhood, highway or city while still getting a bit of nature. Still, if you love the Potomac River and enjoy seeing people in their own world fishing or kayaking as you hike on by then the Potomac Heritage Trail is worth the hike.

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River Visual
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 3, 2020
Hiking

Finished hiking the complete length of this trail today-have done it in pieces over the last week or so. While it does have some nice bits and pieces, it has some really unfortunate sections, including multiple stretches that require walking on the curbside of the GW Parkway, and some views of the DMV’s finest underage drinking spots. Watch out for copperheads when you are down by the riverside! If you don’t want to leave the area, your time is better spent in Rock Creek Park.

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Rick Servoss
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarOctober 12, 2019
HikingOver grown

We hiked this trail from key bridge to chain bridge road. It's not very scenic, you're next to GW Parkway for a good bit, it's not very well maintained and the last quarter mile or so before chain bridge is unmarked. There are some scenic spots, and some nice water falls, but for the most part this was underwhelming. The best part of this trail is that for a trail connected to a city it was not heavily trafficked. So if you ignore the car noise, it is peaceful. We're probably not going to do this trail again.

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lou rod
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 21, 2019
HikingMuddyOver grown

I visited this trail in late spring. I parked at Roosevelt Island and walked to Chain Bridge. I do not recommend walking this trail between Spring and Summer as their is an infestation of Copperhead Snakes. While walking this trail the snakes were hatching from their eggs and I may have seen up to 50 snakes on my short walk. It was an obstacle course just trying to avoid stepping on them. Aside from the snakes the trail is not that scenic. It basically hugs the Potomac River and is filled with foliage. After I arrived at Chain Bridge I crossed the bridge and walked back to Georgetown via the C&O Canal path. I then crossed the Georgetown bridge and walked back to my car.

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Cindy Rice
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 25, 2019
HikingClosedOver grownRockyScrambleWashed out

There is a trail closed sign at the trail head on Rosevelt Island, what this means is really questionable, but maybe the trail is really closed?? Maybe it should be. Anyway my party and I went to the next trail accessible spot at the Potomac Overlook Regional Park and went down the Donaldson Run. Much of this trail crosses back and forth across a steam which would make this very difficult during high water, there were several trees down and the trail blazes were hard to follow. Once we got to the Potomac Heritage Trail we found much of the same, trees down, rock slides, areas where if the water was high would be impossible. There is one spot where a tree has fallen and taken out an important section of railing. It was fun and challenging but certainly not the urban hike I was envisioning. We laughed at our circumstances many times. Boots, hiking stick, water, and a downloaded map are a must.

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Austin LaVigne
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 19, 2019
HikingMuddyRockyScrambleSnow

Did this trail after a big snow storm. Hiked from Cherrydale area, through Potomac Overlook Park, and from there to Roosevelt Island. A nice remote hike in the middle of the city.

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Courtney W
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 15, 2018
Hiking

Fun trail between Key Bridge and Chain Bridge. It is overgrown and as you approach Chain Bridge it is very poorly marked. Does remind me of the Billy Goat Trail at times. Lots of rocks and creeks to cross. Beautiful views. We walked back to Key Bridge on the tow path.

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Nichole Sevilla
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 11, 2018
Hiking

The trail is not maintained, overgrown vegetation in most of the trail areas where you can barely walk through it. The trail ends short about 3 miles due to fallen tree and now way to get to the other side unless you kayak through the waters. At the end I returned to my vehicle door crow barred at the top/failed attempt to break in my vehicle in the main parking lot. A lot of runners, kayaking, bikers. Seemed safe, just never know

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