River Trail

Great Falls Park, Virginia 22184

Elevation Gain495ft
Trailhead Elevation274ft
Elevation Min/Max94/274ft
Elevation Start/End274/274ft

River Trail

River Trail is a hiking trail in Great Falls, Virginia. It is within Great Falls Park and Great Falls National Park. It is 1.3 miles long and begins at 274 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 2.6 miles with a total elevation gain of 495 feet. Spitzbergen Cliffs and another cliff and the Spitzbergen Cliffs viewpoint can be seen along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Ridge Trail.

River Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park at Great Falls offers some of the best family-friendly hikes in the Washington area. From the challenging rock scramble on the Billy Goat Trail: Section A (see Hike 19) to the gentle, jogging-stroller-passable hike on the River Trail, you and your kids can spend multiple weekends enjoying nature along the Potomac River.

A loop hike, the River Trail travels 1 mile on compact soil adjacent to the calm waters of the Potomac River just upstream from where the river crashes 60 feet over the falls, and returns to Great Falls Tavern on the crushed stone towpath along the C&O Canal."

"Great Falls Park and its sibling across the Potomac River, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, are the best locations to view Great Falls and each provides a unique perspective of the falls. Great Falls Park has three observational decks. The first is closest to the visitor center, while the third is farthest from it and allows the best overall view.

The land around the falls has been a major attraction for thousands of years, from serving as a trading location for the Powhatan and Iroquois tribes, to acting as a site for milling and electricity generation, to housing an amusement park during the first half of the 20th century."

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Trail Information

Great Falls Park
Nearby City
Great Falls National Park
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
Great Falls Park (charges a fee)
Local Contacts
Available at the entrance station and on the park’s website
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018