Explore the most popular trails near Great Falls with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Great Falls, Virginia Map
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Loved this place. River trail is moderate, not highly difficult. Great hike to make you sweat! Park seems pet and family friendly.

Great views of the potomac! The ruins of The Company House and the locks stirs your imagination how the canal was in those days. Awesome hike/walk!

hiking
28 days ago

Very pretty and easy. The first part is along the river then you loop around to follow the Bootlegger’s Trail and Madison ‘s Escape to the parking lot. Some uphill walking but nothing strenuous. Beautiful views of the river and I saw a family or deer.

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.

hiking
1 month ago

I did this trail while rehabbing my knee after injuring it on a trampoline and I did well with two hiking sticks to aid me. The views were pretty awesome and I saw a blue heroin fly upstream when he was spooked by the fire and rescue boats that were doing rescue drills. There were only a few rock scrambles along the way which weren't that difficult to navigate. I started early, beating the steady flow of tourists that came later, even on a Monday.... loved having the trail and lookouts mostly to myself. I did meet a few nice people along the way. The history of the falls and the canals was pretty interesting.

Though the trail is serene, the markers AND maps to get you there are dreadful. There are too many trails without blazes or signs and it makes following a map difficult. Even using real time GPS with Google had me second guessing. There was trash in areas. I’m not sure we’ll go back.

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.

Change in elevation might be low, but not as easy as I would have thought. Not bad, a good moderate trial with wonderful views. Just surprised how much garbage people leave throughout the park :(

Fabulous hike, but stay of River Trail--stay on the Ridge trail to the Great Falls Center.

Fabulous hike, but stay of River Trail--stay on the Ridge trail to the Great Falls Center.

Great short, moderate hike. The first half of the trail is very well maintained and there are plenty of signs to keep you on the trail. The second half is a bit more rugged and has a few steep climbs. Even though the parking lot for the area was full, the trail was still lightly trafficked. There are plenty of paths from the trail that lead down to the water. The views, the moderate hills, and having the trail to ourselves the majority of the time earns this trail four stars.

Nice walk along the river, a couple decent hills.

2 months ago

This was more strenuous than I thought considering it has only +500 elevation. But it has very nice views through the River trail.
First 2.5 miles (river and ridge trail) is great workout and the other half(old carriage trail) is good cool down.
Overall great experience.

While visiting DC we came out to this location for some nature and walking and absolutely loved it. Breathtaking views, nice overlooks onto the waterfalls. We wish we could have had more time here. A nice park it attached to the trails too.

I’m not sure how much of this trail I was actually on and how much I improvised, but the entire park is gorgeous. There was a trail run on the day I visited so it was very packed, but I was still able to go off the trail and find quiet places to relax.

Great trail - easy but very family friendly with enough room for bikes, runners, dogs and people.

Lovely trail! It’s fairly easy, with a couple rock scrambles and inclines to keep things interesting but easy stretches in between. Definitely doable for a beginner, there were all skill levels hiking when I was there. Gorgeous overlooks onto the river, and plenty of historial interest. Only drawback was that it was too populated for any of the wildlife to be out and about, but this trail is more about the scenery.

hiking
5 months ago

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.

Fun trip, but a bit confusing narrow trail when you get down by the water. We had our 6yo with us, and although she was not a fan of the grade, once we found a spot to go by the river, she had lots of fun (catching frogs, skipping stones and paying in the water). The edge does not bring you to the Potomac but a few slower run offs - nice and peaceful and shaded areas. On the way back we stumbled on to a better marked trail, which made it easier. Also, did experience a random big tree cracking and falling about 150m in front of us - scared my dog and my kid - but thankfully no one got hurt. It was definitely an interesting experience. Wish the trails were better marked and less confusing.

we did the first two miles, and this trail was boring and low intensity. it was a roughly paved walking trail.

if you want to do this, I would suggest not starting from the boat launch.

also, don't go after a rain. there were 1 foot deep, 6 foot wide streams accross the trail.

hiking
10 months ago

pretty easy trail to follow.

My 5 year old son and I had a great time. We started on the Matildaville Trail. It helps to be handy with a map to find the beginning of the trail but once you're on it it's a pretty easy hike to start with. The ruins of the old town are definitely the highlight there. We looped back on the River Trail which was a tougher hike but manageable. My son especially loved the spots where you could climb over a couple rocks and get a good view of the river. Overall we hiked about 3.5 miles and we both had a great time. We'll definitely come back!

One of the best. Varied terrain keeps it interesting. Traveling from Algonkian eastbound, terrain gets difficult after Trump Golf Course. Some inclines a bit difficult and definitely a scramble. River not always visible. Well kept except on the portion going through Trump Golf course.

hiking
Sunday, August 27, 2017

This was part of the entirety of the trail I did, which totaled just over 3 miles. Not my favorite trail, as not a lot to see, but did incorporate some gradual inclines to add a bit of challenge.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

I loved it. Great workout after climbing on some of the stones.

hiking
Tuesday, July 18, 2017

My go-to is the Great Falls Loop trail, but this is a good alternative if I'm short on time or with a new hiker. This still takes you along the River Trail (my favorite) with its Potomac views and rocky terrain, but returns via the peaceful canopied Matildaville Trail. If you're looking for a casual, but somewhat substantive hike while visiting the park, this is the one. It's my usual recommendation for first-timers. In general, just avoid the Old Carriage Road as it is just that: a gravel road.

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