The trailhead for the Potomac Heritage Trail is found at the parking area for the Theodore Roosevelt Island, with the endpoint at the Scotts Run Nature Preserve. In a couple of places, the trail runs close to the road, separated from speeding vehicles by a short stone wall and grassy greenway. Most of the trail is set a distance below the parkway shielded by dense forest trees and rushing waterfalls, which nicely mute the auto sounds.
Your fur-baby will find this trail furscinating! Many squirrels rustle and chatter among the tree branches and undergrowth, and birds like cardinals, robins and blackbirds call from far above. An occasional deer will make its presence known, as will non-venomous snakes. In the spring and summer, wildflowers gild the pathway and under the trees, and in fall and winter, the trees bared of their leaves, furtastic views of the Potomac are captivating!
A pawrfect spot to stop for a snack or picnic is at Turkey Run Park which features single and group picnic areas, and the trail makes it easy to diverge onto another historic trail or into a park along the way. Views across the river include the Georgetown skyline with the National Cathedral prominent, as well as the Francis Scott Key bridge with its many arches. Thirty and forty-foot waterfalls command your attention and provide a spot for your doggo to take a refreshing drink and maybe a splash, too! A couple of sets of wooden steps assist in some of the climbs to the bluffs over the river, and one particularly rugged spot has had a metal handrail installed.
Be sure to keep your pup leashed, and bring water to share, and clean up bags for the journey.
Whether you live in the DC Metro area or are visiting the nation's capital, the Potomac Heritage Trail is a fine way to enjoy a broader view of the city while marveling at the almost wilderness nature of the hike!