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Riverbend Park to Great Falls Overlook

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Riverbend County Park

Riverbend Park to Great Falls Overlook is a 3.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Great Falls, Virginia that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 3.5 mi Elevation gain 49 ft Route type Out & Back

Dog friendly

Kid friendly

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Forest

River

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Muddy

Rocky

Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
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Reviews (244)
Photos (291)
Recordings (242)
Completed (457)
Lauren Leckenby
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 10 2020
HikingRocky

Great trail that leads straight to Great falls. You’re right along the river the whole time. You can park at riverbend free of charge.

View Lauren's Recording
Todd Christopher
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jul 06 2020
Hiking

Nice trail with plenty of river views throughout and, of course, excellent views of Great Falls at the end.

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John R
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 27 2020
Hiking

Excellent trail.

Kanchana Mani
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 27 2020
HikingOff trailOver grownRockyScramble
View Kanchana's Recording
Hoa Pham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 14 2020
Hiking

I took my mom here on Sunday prior to 8:30 am. Was worried about not having space for parking but it was more than enough at the visitor center, since we were an early bird. The hike was great! Easy to navigate and the water view was beautiful. Loved that the trees provided so much shade. Being able to view the river brought so much joy to my mother’s face. It was nice and breezy going early. I don’t recommend going too late in the mid day since as we were leaving lots of people were entering, which makes it difficult for social distancing. Would definitely revisit again.

Laura Johnson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon May 25 2020
Hiking

Great trail - parking isn’t the greatest due to the COVID shutdown. You’ll have to park in the nearby residential area. Get there early! Before 8 for the best spot. The trail is pretty narrow most of the way which makes it hard to move over for passerby’s. The honeysuckle smell amazing right now. Watch out for snakes. Saw one large black snake near Great Falls and two teenage sized brown snakes near the rocky path.

Jess McGlinsey
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HikingMuddy

Great trail! Parking at riverbend and walking to the falls is a lot easier than trying to fight traffic to park at the falls visitors center. It’s about 2 miles to the falls visitor center and overlook 1 from the riverbend parking lot.

View Jess's Recording
Kat Scott
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Mar 21 2020
Hiking

Easy out and back trail that follows the water. Pretty and quick.

View Kat's Recording
Manny Ericta
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Feb 15 2020
HikingRocky

Cold day but the sun was out

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Lily O.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jan 12 2020
HikingMuddy

This park is lovely. The trail runs along the potomac river so you have a nice view of the water while you hike. The park is clean, taken care of, and trails are clearly marked. This trail is easy and the park is very public. Great for families, or someone looking for a safe place to hike solo. Good experience overall.

Paula Slade
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Oct 05 2019
Hiking

My favorite so far! What breathtaking views of the falls

Sarah F.
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HikingRocky

Nice little trail to get around the entry fees and crowds at Great Falls - if that's your move for the day. Very flat and follows the Potomac, eventually merging with the NPS area just north of the first overlook of the falls. If you're exploring with little kids, this is a great way to ensure a bathroom at the start and midway points of the walk -- Riverbend Park has restrooms, as does the Great Falls visitors center. Recommend for river views if the Billy Goat Trail isn't your thing!

Jon S.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarWed Aug 28 2019
Hiking

I did this hike with 5 Cub Scouts and their parents on a sunny Sunday afternoon. The parking lot at Riverbend visitor center was nearly full, but the trail wasn’t too crowded in Riverbend Park. Great Falls Park, on the other hand, was very crowded. We took Mine Run Trail back to get away from the congestion on the Potomac Heritage Trail. There was no one else on that trail. It was well marked in Great Falls Park, but there are no signs once you get back to Riverbend Park. Be sure to have a trail map if you leave Potomac Heritage Trail. You won’t get lost, but you might travel a few more miles than you intend. There are a couple rocky stretches in Riverbend Park that require you to watch your footing, but 90% of the Potomac Heritage Trail is level and well groomed.

Athena Jane
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Aug 19 2019
HikingMuddy
Lilith Sawyer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat May 25 2019
Hiking

I suspected doing this on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend might not be ideal due to crowds, but it wasn’t as bad as I anticipated in that regard. There were still plenty of parking spots when I arrived around 10:15 am. I choose this park due to having done both Great Falls National Park and the C&O Park several times and wanting to try something different while staying in the area this weekend. Pros: shaded, flat most of the way (good if you are seeking more of a stroll than a hard hike), some fun rocky points to navigate, river views the majority of the way Cons: muddy in spots (I imagine it getting pretty bad in early spring as well as winter), crowded at the start of the trail and closer to Great Falls, a lot of dogs (which you might not be a fan of on hikes if you’re like me and get tired of them barking at each other and nearly tripping you, though at least they were all leashed which is not always the case elsewhere) It took me just under 40 minutes each way to/from the Great Falls visitor center. It was much more crowded there than at River Bend.

CeCe G
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HikingMuddyRocky

A nice/mellow overall flat trail right next to the beautiful sounds of the running river. We had to walk through a wet rocky area and a small narrow incline on this hike but nothing strenuous. So on our way back to the visitors center we climbed a marked purple trail to get our heart rate going. Overall I would recommend this trail if you are looking for a leisurely scenic hike on a beautiful day. I even got a pic of a few patches of yellow daises saying hello to us sprouting up from the springtime soil.

sihao Li
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Feb 12 2019
Hiking

This is my favorite local trail.

Miranda S
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Nov 19 2018
Hiking

One of my favorite walks to do in the area. It’s a pretty trail and nice not having to pay the entrance fee at great falls.

Sarah G
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Nov 05 2018
Hiking

Relatively flat and well marked path. Nice views of the water and the falls. Started a little crowded around 9/9:30. Took us about an hour with our dog.

Joshua Sizemore
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Sep 30 2018
Hiking

Area is nice. Trails are marked but not well kept. Lots of different trails around the park and a nice visitor center. Also has a nature center but didn’t get a chance to check it out.

Rachel Kern
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Aug 22 2018
Hiking

Easy trail - mind your step as it can get a bit rocky and muddy in some areas. This trail will take you from Great Falls Park up to Riverbend Park and back. Bug spray is a plus in the summer months when the mosquito are in full force.

Chuck Bishop
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Aug 11 2018
Hiking

Great out & back for all levels and is kid friendly. Gets very crowded, so get there early. Very scenic with the river along the entire length of the trail, with plenty of places to stop and enjoy the views.

Danielle T.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Mar 31 2018
Walking

If you're willing to trade a 4 mi RT walk to skip the fee and lines into Great Falls Park, this is your trick. It's a pretty stroll along the Potomac and gives you access to fishing if that's your thing, but this trail is simply my conduit to GF if I'm meeting up with someone without a park pass or if I anticipate crowds at the park gate. Not really a destination trail, in my opinion.

Alan E.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jul 16 2017

Nice easy hike. Saw a doe and its 2 fawns. The great falls overlook was amazing.

Alfred Hull
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 26 2017

Amazing views! Excellent trails and the waterfall was a nice ending, just marvelously done!! GO!

Karina Slota
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Beautiful day. Busy as it was Easter Sunday. Nice trail. Wear appropriate shoes! Dogs enjoyed it as well.

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