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

I went on this trail as a brand-new-to-Great-Falls person and was expecting a walking trail. The River Trail is DEFINITELY a hiking trail that requires frequent use of your hands for navigating hills and over rocks, and includes very steep inclines that will leave inexperienced hikers (like myself) out of breath and physically strained. You will spend most of your time looking at the ground to watch your footing and very little time enjoying the beautiful scenery around you. Early March 2018, there were downed trees on the trail that were difficult to pass without being extremely nimble. A wet patch of mud on a slope caused me to tumble; I cut my palm on a rock trying to break my fall. I do not recommend this trail after any amount of rain. I cut this trail short and took a shortcut over to the Old Carriage Trail, which can be classified as a walking trail... very smooth and only slight inclines.

This park was listed as an Audubon Hotspot for birding year-round but we hardly saw any birds at all (early March). We saw the most birds near the parking lot (and just common birds). Disappointing.

Not bad except for the highway being right next to you.

Terrific! Beautiful views, a great path surface, and a bit of elevation change every once in a while to keep you honest. This is a walk/hike that provides you with great water views as you walk in a forested area; a rare combination!

Across from a prison! Do not recommend for single women

Nice, easy, convenient NoVA hike/walk. Melting snow on the trail made it somewhat like walking through a swamp - wear boots if wet.

This was a much better hike than I expected it to be. I’ve been to Great Falls Park a number of times to look at the falls but wasn’t aware that there was a loop with some elevation and rocky parts and more challenge than I expected. It was also beautiful - a warm winter mid-week day with few people and great views through the bare trees. I highly recommend it for a good hike close to downtown DC.

1 month ago

Beautiful and easy scenic walk. Fun playgrounds are close by for the little children.

1 month ago

lucky to have this park near our home.
love creek

1 month ago

Nice place to walk.
For a small stretch , you can hear cars.

Cool short hike. We went 1/21/18 the lake was still frozen. Stocked trout fishing available (requires special license) several ppl fishing. I’m not 100% sure what trail we took. I think we did Lake loop on one side and the Cliff/overlook on the other. Some elevation on the overlook side but no spectacular view (no actual “overlook” or “cliff”) overall it was a fun loop. Dogs were allowed on leashes. Moderately trafficked for January. Park was closed and no payment required to get to where we hiked.

I love this scenic, easy trail! It’s well maintained and any potential “trip” rocks/branches are spray painted orange for you to avoid them. There are several entrances to this park. I usually park at the one near Smithfield Station so that I can walk another quarter mile to town for lunch after the hike. Good variety— I love that you get to walk over bridges, see dogs playing in a dog park, and get to walk by the water and among the trees. The trail has porta-potties with hand-washing stations.

Pretty easy walk, a lot of ups and downs. $2 park fee, make sure you go to the building by the water to pay before you go to leave.

amazing as good as it gets beautiful waterfalls

rock climbing
2 months ago

Amazing outdoor walls, right on the river, a great day activity for any aged climber.

trail running
3 months ago

Nice local run, trail markings can be a bit confusing.

The trail was easy to follow and pretty flat. There were lake views and was mostly wooded. I gave it 3 stars for several reasons. It was crowded and the people did not seem friendly. I prefer more rural trails. Most of the trail is next to a very busy and loud highway. There’s also a lot of loud overhead jet noise. The other side of the trail backs up to peoples homes. And there are apparently rattle snakes although I didn’t see any. I wasn’t aware we even had rattle snakes in this area. It was a nice length though. They did have a dog park which was empty but I wouldn’t use it based on the unfriendliness of the people there. I don’t think we’ll be doing this one again.

Nice little back yard treasure

trail running
3 months ago

Awesome trails.. we run them in combination with the surrounding trails!

This almost got a four star because of the various abandoned water buildings to explore in alongside the river. Lots of eclectic picture opportunities as long as your not trying to get beautiful River pics.

Great walk along the river, old carriage road great for running as well

4 months ago

More for walkers and runners than anything else. Still very pleasant.

I've done every trail on the VA and MD side. MD is usually less crowded. I would say every trail is dog friendly but if you have a small dog there are some places you will need to carry them. I love Great Falls because how how versatile the trails are regardless if you want hard or easy, water or forest.

I hiked this a couple times. We hiked along the river and it’s a pretty easy hike. If you’re trying to cross the river in some parts the rocks are very slippery and not sturdy. I definitely fell down one time trying to be too adventurous. Beautiful! We saw people in the canoeing in the water. Water stream is very intense!

Beautiful views and perfect for longer flat runs. You have to share the trail with horse riders and bikes but it's not a big deal . Well maintained

very easy hike

The paths were great but the only thing I didn’t like was that there were no markers or many signs on what path you were on. It’s a maze and it would be great to have more markers/signs. Thank goodness for this app.

5 months ago

This place was so much fun! It was a little hard to find at the beginning but well worth the destination with all the big rocks on the river. Def going back!

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