Explore the most popular river 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.

Great hike, with better views than expected. Started at the most westerly side and went clockwise, meaning all the good views were in the first 1/3rd of the hike. The views face westerly so better to move in this direction if you want to have the sun at your back for photo taking. Arriving in the afternoon would put the sun right in your face on the photos. The southern half of this hike is smooth but can get a bit boring. Enjoyable afternoon hike.

10 hours ago

Great hike on a warm Sunday in March. Did it in a single day, took seven hours at a moderate pace. The distance came out as closer to 14 miles than 12. Still a lot of snow on the trail making it muddy on the AT going up to the ridges. Went counter-clockwise and enjoyed the water on the way down, but since most of the good views on the ridges are south and west facing, it meant the sun was in my face by the time I arrived at the ridges in the early afternoon. If you are a photographer, I would recommend going clockwise instead.

Not very impressed with this hike. For starters, it was VERY crowded on the trail. That’s never particularly fun and takes away from the outdoor experience. Second there wasn’t much to see on the almost 3 mile hike there (and back for that matter) and thirdly, I wasn’t wowed by the viewpoint. There are many better views if your willing to drive an extra 30 minutes. All in all, I doubt i will return.

14 hours ago

The trail head is actually really easy to find, and you park in a gravel lot right next to the trailhead. Don't go through the housing development...walk towards the trailhead. It is the CCT (Gerry Connolly Cross Country Trail) that starts from the parking lot.
This trail has a diverse set of terrain to cover and a good mix of flat and climbs. 2 river crossings (big boulders and pillons to walk on while crossing). Gets pretty busy near the Great Falls Area--pretty empty on the stick part of the lollipop loop.

Amazing hike. The rock scramble is tough but great fun.

1 day ago


Fun trail! Need decent hiking/water shoes! Do not go when it has rained heavily...when we got there it was the devil's hot tub and you could barely see it :( Opportunities to swim and lots of cool rocks to stop and picnic lunch on :)

Super quick and simple trail out to the boulders and falls. Middle of March, a little snow left so the drive was a little slushy on Panther Creek Rd but not inaccessible. Due to the time of year and time of day, we wanted to get out in time before sunset to avoid any issues with the drive. We put our two young girls on our backs and ran out for the better part to make it quick, which makes my review "super quick and simple" legitimate. There is a campground very quickly off the parking area you will pass. Summer time would be wonderful on the boulders but I'm sure packed full while off season brings outdoor enthusiasts more peace. GO!

on Occoquan Regional Park

3 days ago

The directions posted in the search for the CCT trail head in Occoauan aren't clear. I drove over an hour finding it at Occoauan Regional Park. The jaunt around the old Lorton Prison was cool. There was wildlife to watch. Then the trail picks up on Lorton Rd, which is concrete, noisy, and very busy with traffic. Only walked a couple of miles, yet didn't encounter another person on the trail the entire time. No trouble parking either. Overall a nice afternoon walk, just hoped for more quiet wooded areas, but as I hike segments I'm sure I'll find more.

trail is clearly marked, nice for a short, day hike. would definitely go again!

on Cedar Creek Trail

4 days ago


Beautiful hike! A little difficult on the way up, but I can’t complain about the views!

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.

Very nice hike! It was a good level of difficulty for three fairly in shape hiking novices. The flowing water and views were pretty! The only downside was that the trail at the end was not clearly marked.

6 days ago

Good challenge! Lots of steep ups and downs. Did this loop clockwise, camping at Campbell Creek overnight. Much longer hike Saturday (about 10 miles), but I needed to give myself enough time to drive home Sunday (Northern Ohio). If you're in good shape, you could probably knock this out in a long day. Good campsites around each shelter, and a few good sites along the Mau-Har trail. Water was flowing great at each source, and especially along the Mau-Har. No water between Mau-Pin Shelter and Harper's Creek Shelter, so pack accordingly. There were a few good views, but one was particularly amazing. Ran into about a dozen or so other hikers.

All types of trails rolled into one hills,flats,views.
Had different views at different sections of trail. Vista views from high points, River views, Lake views, and beautiful views thru the woods.
Trail was marked very well easy to follow and well maintained even after a bad wind storm. Will be returning in Spring, Summer,and Fall to enjoy this park and trail system.

Some clarification on this hike, which might be helpful. From the small (get there early) parking lot on Pine Grove Road (immediately to the right off of Harry Byrd Memorial Highway), it is 2.5 miles to the most significant overlook, a perfect destination, nice place to take in the view and a snack, and a logical turnaround point for a decent out and back day hike. As tracked here on AllTrails, the Raven Rocks map brings you further along the AT to mile 2.7, and then veers south on an unmarked trail that delivers you at mile 2.9 to a cellular tower and access road (the actual Raven Rocks are to the north, but off trail and not visible from the AT). The tower is not a great destination, and frankly detracts from the hike. It would be much better to turnaround at the 2.5 mile overlook. The overall hike is not really "hard;" moderate plus would be a more apt description to account for the elevation gain, multiple ridges, and rocky trail. "Rocky" is relative, though. New Englanders and thru hikers will tell you that this is nothing compared to the White Mountains in New Hampshire! Plus, what rocks there are here certainly help to counter erosion. Enjoy! This is a nice trail that gets your heart pumping, and the views are nice rewards.

We did this hike during the winter, and we loved it! The rock scramble on the way up was super fun. We ended up taking the Pole Ridge Trail to Piney Branch to Hull School back down to the fire road. In all, it was about 9.5 miles. Took us 4 hours total, and the only part that required some athleticism was the rock scramble at the beginning! Nice little day trip.

Beautiful hike!! We had a sunny crisp (35deg) day and it was perfect!

So fun! The scrambling is challenging but fun. Gorgeous in the fall.

7 days ago

It's got your ups, your downs, your turn arounds. Nice easy short walk in the woods. Bluff over lake is great.

I see in the reviews about my being my "new favorite hike". Well I see why now, as this is a moderate hike with great views once you get to the ridge. I love going to triple crown hikes close by but can be way to crowed at times. we hit Hay Rock about 9ish and didn't see a soul until starting back down. hay Rock itself is somewhat intimidating to climb, but after my son went up the steep side i saw that the other side was a easier to climb. oh, did I mention this is my new favorite hike now. [(;-)

8 days ago

Great easy trail. The path is easily identifiable with clear directional markers.

Offers relative serenity and beauty a stones throw from DC. It doesn’t quite live up to nearby Great Falls, but is a worthy alternative.

13.6 miles from Bear's Den Parking Lot to Rt 50 parking lot. There were some blow down areas due to the wind storm on 3/3/18, but ATC was out there starting to clear the trail. Tough as always but worth the time and we had a beautiful day.

We hiked this on one of the windiest days of the year with 4 very small children & it kicked our butts! The view was worth it, and we’d definitely do it again, but this was a huge challenge for us! We parked in the Priest Wilderness parking lot on 56 & hiked in from there to the overlook. Did about 7 miles total, as we skipped going to the shelter.

Another great day hike. Took my gf and her son out for the day and had a blast. Heavily trafficked, but you’re still able to find your own space

Great trail. Ascent up mountain is strenuous. But you can park at the top and still get the good views. At the bottom of the gorge there is a very cool boulder field.

hard hike, trail is mostly rocks. worth every step.

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