Great Falls Park Trails

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Trail Distance: 15 miles
Time Estimate: 20 min +
Elevation Gain: 204 feet
Leash Rule: On Leash
Difficulty: Moderate
Parking: $15
Route Type: Loop
Restroom: Yes
Description
Just 15 miles from the Nation's Capital is the rugged and gorgeous Great Falls Park. This 800 acre park sits along the Virginia side of the Potomac River, and features some of the best waterfall and nature views near Washington, DC. It's a great place to check out with friends, or take a quiet weekday morning hike with just you and your canine companion. You can watch in awe as the Potomac River builds power and cascades over a series of jagged rocks before it flows through the Mather Gorge. 

There are several ways to explore the history and nature in the park, including checking out the museum in the visitors center, taking a guided tour, kayaking, or hiking. The best way to explore this natural area with your canine is by means of the many trails. There are 15 miles of trails spread throughout the park, divided into 9 trails. They range from an easy 0.4 miles to 1.6 miles. Some of these are also used for horseback riding and biking. There are no paved trails in the park, but they all have a more natural feel of packed dirt and gravel. 

One of the most rewarding hikes in this park is probably the River Trail. This trail is 1.5 miles, and is rated moderate to difficult. It traverses the tops of the cliffs along the Potomac River, offering spectacular views of the river, the falls, and the Mather Gorge. There are some sections where you and your pooch will need to do some rock scrambling, so this trail is not for the faint of heart. The Patowmack Canal Trail is an easier option that follows the remains of one of the first canals to be built in the United States. 

Pups are welcome to explore all the trails, overlooks, and picnic areas in the park with their humans, as long as they stay leashed and picked up after. Be sure to bring enough ater to share, and clean up bags.

Exploring Great Falls Park Trails is the pawfect way to spend some quality time outdoors with your four-legged friend. 

Trail Features
Loose Terrain, Steep Inclines, Forest, River
Abundant Wildlife, Waterfall, Scenic
Cautions & Considerations
Your pupper needs to stay leashed for their own safety, as loose dogs can become prey to coyotes. Be aware of dangerous currents in the Potomac, cliffs, and venomous snakes. Always check the weather before heading out, and be prepared for sudden changes.
Address
9200 Old Dominion Dr.
Mclean, VA 22102
Hours
Mon 7:00 AM - Sunset
Tue 7:00 AM - Sunset
Wed 7:00 AM - Sunset
Thu 7:00 AM - Sunset
Fri 7:00 AM - Sunset
Sat 7:00 AM - Sunset
Sun 7:00 AM - Sunset
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Address
9200 Old Dominion Dr.
Mclean, VA 22102
Hours
Mon 7:00 AM - Sunset
Tue 7:00 AM - Sunset
Wed 7:00 AM - Sunset
Thu 7:00 AM - Sunset
Fri 7:00 AM - Sunset
Sat 7:00 AM - Sunset
Sun 7:00 AM - Sunset