Riverbend Park and the Potomac Heritage Trail

Great Falls, Virginia

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2 Reviews
4 out of 5
Enjoy woodland, pond, and river vistas and a family-friendly experience in this grand Potomac River setting in Fairfax County. Only about 20 miles from the White House, Riverbend Park and its neighbor, Great Falls Park, are probably some of the metro area’s finest close-in natural attractions. Fairfax County’s 409-acre Riverbend Park is a popular place to kayak, with wooded uplands, hiking trails, and a pretty floodplain shoreline. This hike is a double-loop walk that accesses part of the Potomac Heritage Trail (PHT), along the Potomac River, as well as a few moderate climbs through dense forests. You’ll experience openings in the path with views of the fast-moving Potomac River, but keep your distance; do not tr y to wade or swim here. The route has limited blazes and signposts, so follow the directions closely—and avoid the poison ivy.
60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Washington, DC

DESCRIPTION FROM:

60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Washington, DC

by Renee Sklarew and Rachel Cooper (Menasha Ridge Press)

Enjoy woodland, pond, and river vistas and a family-friendly experience in this grand Potomac River setting in Fairfax County. Only about 20 miles from the White House, Riverbend Park and its neighbor, Great Falls Park, are probably some of the metro area’s finest close-in natural attractions. Fairfax County’s 409-acre Riverbend Park is a popular place to kayak, with wooded uplands, hiking trails, and a pretty floodplain shoreline.

This hike is a double-loop walk that accesses part of the Potomac Heritage Trail (PHT), along the Potomac River, as well as a few moderate climbs through dense forests. You’ll experience openings in the path with views of the fast-moving Potomac River, but keep your distance; do not tr y to wade or swim here. The route has limited blazes and signposts, so follow the directions closely—and avoid the poison ivy.

© 2017 Renee Sklarew and Rachel Cooper /Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking, Walking
Nearby City: Great Falls
Distance: 3.2 miles
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 3 hours
Season: Year-round
Additional Use: Birding
Features: Wildflowers
Accessibility: Kid-friendly
Local Contacts: Riverbend Park, 703-759-9018, www.co.fairfax.va.us/parks/riverbend Great Falls Park, 703-285-2966 or nps.gov/grfa
Local Maps: Available in the visitor center; tinyurl.com/rbtrailmap
Attractions: Uplands, river vistas
Driving Directions: Directions to Riverbend Park and the Potomac Heritage Trail

Recent Trail Reviews

10/1/2006
0

This is a pleasant walk through the woods. The kids will enjoy the huge ant-hills on the mound builder trail, the occasional horse and deer, and the smell of pine on hollow schoolhouse trail. However, if you are looking for a hike, this is not it.


1/25/2006
0

a quiet hike within 30 minutes of DC is a rarity. This park has so many trails to try that you could come back 15 times and never do the same hike twice! Good views, nicely maintained trails (lots of mud in winter) and unique history.



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Apr 2018