Explore the most popular dogs on leash 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.

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 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.

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.

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
8 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
11 months ago

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.

not hard at all. plain view.

hiking
Saturday, June 17, 2017

Great place to go with FRIENDLY dogs - several parts for off-leash and can detour to the Potomac for them to swim. Very secluded, few hikers, mostly those with dogs. About a half mile from where u park to where u pick up the trail but it's a dirt road. Easy to follow to trail head and entire trail marked.

This is a beautiful, flat, well-maintained trail along the Potomac river. I'm sorry others have given a poor rating because it is easy-going; it's a great trail, just easy.

This is a flat trail, definitely not hard.

hiking
Thursday, May 04, 2017

A good evening workout with all the rock scramble. A quarter mile stretch is very steep where all the elevation is concentrated. Most of the trails in Great Falls gets crowded on a good weekend, go on a weekday evening to have a good time. It should take less than 2 hours to complete it at a decent pace.

Definitely easy and flat for the first part but has some moderate climbs in the second half. A great little trail with some nice views of a quieter part of the Potomac

Nice Breeze and view of the Potomac. Pretty much flat sidewalks and dirt paths. Picnic tables throughout and some covered shelters. Don's Johns by the boat launch and soccer fields. Sheltered bathroom by shelter one but was locked. Dog friendly.

hiking
Monday, February 27, 2017

Just starting out hiking again after a few years off.. This was a good trail to pick back up on. Not too hard yet still fun to complete. Ended up taking the Difficult Run Trail at the end and connecting back up with the Ridge Trail. I would recommend it!

Monday, February 20, 2017

great family hike

Sunday, November 27, 2016

awesome trials and scenery.

Easy trail. Great with dogs. A few places they can get in easy water.

Great trail with river crossings and steep rock steps. Culminates with great view of the Potomac.

Trails is getting more and more difficult as it's close to Chain Bridge, due to a lots of rock hopping and climbing. So make sure, get a good hiking shoe, great scenery of the Potomac river though. I do the loop thru the C&O canal back to George Town, Roosevetl Island for a total of ~ 8 miles.

hiking
Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I've been here several times, most recently with my son's cub scout troop. The trail is rustic and narrow (single-file in many spots) but a big plus for the young boys was the wide road downhill from the parking area to the trailhead. They ran and ran, so by the time we were to the trailhead they had gotten their excess energy out and they were ready for a slower walk to look at plants and bugs! We did the shorter hike, down to the river and back.

Some sections of the longer train are closed off because of the many trees that have fallen down in recent storms, The Nature Conservancy owns the land and has developed an aoudio tour to help visitors better understand what they are seeing at this preserve (see http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/virginia/placesweprotect/fraser-audio-tour-1.xml ).

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