Great Falls Park | HIKING TRAILS

Hiking along the River Trail at Great Falls Park

Hiking along the River Trail at Great Falls Park

There are approximately fifteen miles of hiking trails within Great Falls Park. Most are out-and-back, but you can combine multiple trails to form loops of various lengths. Difficulty runs from easy to strenuous, though most trails fall within the easy to moderate category.

I have stitched together a 6-mile hike that covers many of the trails in the park and passes historical sites as well as the most scenic terrain. The hike covers—in whole or in part—the Mine Run Trail, North River Trail, Potowmack Canal Trail, River Trail, Ridge Trail, Swamp-Ridge Connector, Swamp Trail, and the Old Carriage Road. Only the Matildaville Trail is omitted.

You can read about each trail segment in a separate review, and links to the next and previous segments are located at the bottom of each page. Start your virtual journey by clicking the link to the Mine Run Trail, or choose another link to skip directly to any trail segment.

Segment 1: Mine Run Trail

Segment 2: North River Trail + Potowmack Canal Trail

Segment 3: River Trail + Potowmack Canal Trail

Segment 4: Ridge Trail + Swamp-Ridge Connector + Swamp Trail + Old Carriage Road

Great Falls Loop Hike Map

Great Falls Loop Hike Map (click to enlarge)

I biked nearly all of the Old Carriage Road; the Difficult Run Trail in its entirety; and the southern half of the Ridge Trail. For information on these trails, see the Biking Trails web page here on National Park Planner. Though geared for bikers, the information and photographs are helpful for those planning to hike these trails.

The Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail follows five trails in Great Falls Park. It enters the park from the north along the North River Trail, then proceeds to the Potowmack Canal Trail, the River Trail, the Ridge Trail, and finally on to the Difficult Run Trail before exiting the park to the south.

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Last updated on April 7, 2020
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