Great Falls (VA) Hike

IIf the New Year is odd, that means it's time to head for the Virginia side for Adventuring's traditional New Year's Day outing at the Great Falls of the Potomac. Starting from the Visitors Center, we'll head out the Old Carriage Road to picturesque Difficult Run, which we'll follow to its confluence with the Potomac, where we'll lunch. Then we'll traipse along the Ridge Trail, pausing to enjoy the dramatic view of Mather Gorge at Cow Hoof Rock, and then accept the challenge of the River Trail to wind up at the Falls overlook. Total length of this moderate loop hike will be about 5 miles; though our elevation change will be modest, sections of the trails will be rough, rocky, muddy and/or icy. Meet at 11 a.m. by the elevator for the Dupont Circle Metro Station, on Connecticut Avenue just below Q Street, or at 11:45 a.m. by the restrooms at the Great Falls Visitors Center. Bring beverages and a bag lunch. Transportation, admission, and trip fees should be around $7. For further information, contact Craig, (202)[masked], or: [masked].

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  • Brett F.

    I think the 'sweep' did a *great* job!

    January 5, 2013

  • Craig H.

    For the third time in the last seven years or so, exactly 40 Adventurers -- no more, no less -- showed up for our New Years Day hike at Great Falls, thereby tying but not breaking our record hike attendance. Weather was typical for January 1 but better than predicted, as we had no precipitation to worry about, temperatures were seasonal, and winds were light. We made good time on easy trails to get from the Visitor Center to our lunch spot at Cow Hoof Rock. The second half of our hike was both more challenging and more scenic, as we stayed close to the cliffs above Mather Gorge for one fabulous viewpoint after another. The kayakers were out in force on the Potomac, continuing their own New Years Day tradition. Our route was shorter than usual so we wound up sooner than usual, Lollygagging Dynamically (TM) at the stupendous Great Falls overlook.

    January 1, 2013

  • Tom

    Had a great time, always enjoy hiking with Adventuring! Hope to do more hikes this year. Thanks for organizing, Craig!

    January 1, 2013

  • Steve A.

    Great views of the gorge and river and terrific company. Many thanks to Craig for organizing. Happy New Year to all!

    January 1, 2013

  • Jeff H.

    Always a great way to start the new year. A chance to see old friends and meet new ones. Kudos to Craig for keeping 40 hikers moving somewhat in a straight line. Happy New Year!

    January 1, 2013

  • Suzanne

    I apologize but I overslept this morning and missed the meet-up.

    January 1, 2013

  • Marc F.

    Will see you at the trailhead.

    January 1, 2013

  • Craig H.

    Happy New Years Eve , everybody!

    Chances look pretty good that we'll set a new all-time hike attendance record tomorrow; more than 40 people have signed up through Meetup or otherwise, and 40 is our record. While most of us are heading directly to the Visitors Center at Great Falls, VA, we should have two or three carloads of folks carpooling from Dupont Circle at 11. ETA at the Visitor Center is 11:45.

    Weather forecast is pretty typical for New Years Day: Overcast, seasonally chilly, slight wind, 30% chance of rain. Be prepared for showers, though they should be light. Sturdy boots are strongly suggested.

    If it is raining, I may shorten or otherwise alter our route to minimize our exposure on slippery rocks. Beware of the cliffs, fiscal or physical. We'll probably finish around 3:30 or 4 p.m.

    Bring your own lunch and beverages, plus whatever calorie-laden holiday treats you might care to share/unload.

    Looking forward to starting off 2013 right.

    1 · December 31, 2012

  • Brian J.

    It's so unfair that this is on New Years, I would love to go... Have fun guys :(

    December 31, 2012

  • Craig H.

    Jean Harris, who was convicted in the early 80s of killing her lover while serving as Headmistress of the Medeira School near Great Falls, has died. We can talk about this sordid case Tuesday.­

    December 28, 2012

  • Sam B

    Craig -- if we're meeting at the restrooms on the Md side, I don't need directions. I don't know how to get to the Va. side.

    December 28, 2012

  • Sam B

    Craig - can you give directions to the trailhead -- I will be driving from Balt.



    December 28, 2012

  • Craig H.

    The concept of hiking on New Years Day seems to be sweeping the nation. Glad everybody else is jumping on the bandwagon.­

    December 19, 2012

    • Jeff H.

      It takes time. But eventually the rest of the country catches up to you.

      December 19, 2012

40 went

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