Explore the most popular forest 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.

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
1 month 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
6 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
8 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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

Monday, February 20, 2017

great family hike

hiking
Friday, February 03, 2017

awesome and peaceful trials...loved the sound of the river

hiking
Saturday, October 15, 2016

Nice and easy ... some good harder parts ...

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

Very nice trail I did run into a snake in a tree when I was walking back to my car on the green trail Not sure what kind of snake it was

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.

birding
Saturday, September 26, 2015

Beautiful trails and lots of wildlife. I absolutely love going birding here, I always see lots of species. Kayaking was absolutely beautiful and serene.

Load More