Riverbend, Great Falls Parks, and Difficult Run Stream! 9.5 Mod. Miles!

  • April 14, 2013 · 9:00 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

Join Us For a Hike Along Riverbend and Great Falls Park! A 9.5 Mile Moderate Hike with a Shorter 5 Mile Easy Option!

Only about 15 miles from downtown Washington, the Great Falls area is probably the metro area’s finest close-in natural attraction. There, the broad and smooth Potomac River suddenly tumbles almost 80 feet in a series of rapids, and then squeezes through a narrow, mile-long, and sheer-walled gorge. National Park Service (NPS) lands protect both banks and provide riveting views of nature at work. This hike is a two-park, 9.5-mile loop leading through the uplands, to the falls, along the gorge, and onto the floodplain. You’ll experience assorted scenery, impressive vistas, and about 2,200 feet of elevation change. Scenery: Wooded uplands, river vistas, waterfalls, historic remains. 60 Hikes within 60 Miles Washington DC © Copyright Paul Elliott Published by Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.

Hike Pace
A moderate pace of about 2.5mph and the average hiking pace used as a baseline in most hiking books. (most common pace).

Trail Information
Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City:
McLean, VA
9.5 total miles (with shorter, 5.3 option)
Configuration: Modified loop
Uplands, river vistas
Trail surface: Mostly dirt; some pavement, gravel; very rocky in places one steep hill.
Elev. Gain:
2200 feet
Skill Level:
5 - 6 hours
Toilets, water, phones at the visitor centers; snack bar at Great Falls center (seasonal); toilets, water at Matildaville

Trail Notes for Leaders

Weather Information
We hike rain or shine. Click here to see an up to the minute forecast for where we will be hiking.

Carpool Information
To carpool from the Baltimore area, meet people at Savage Station. Click here for directions to Savage Station.  Use the comment section to discuss carpooling with other members.

If you can drive or want to carpool from additional locations, please post your location in the comment section below. Click here for suggested carpool locations complete with directions. For those who need a ride, reach out to the drivers. Make friends, and support the environment - by just offering a ride!

Directions to Where We Meet for This Hike

Click here for directions to where we meet.

Hike Meetup Time is 9:00 a.m.

Carpool meetup time from Savage is 8:00 a.m.

Gear Information
Click here for suggestions for what to wear and what not to wear for our hikes.

Please remember we are a social hiking group that values fellowship and camaraderie and practice good hike etiquette. We take breaks as necessary and have at least one guide in the front in addition to a "sweeper" in the back and guides/sweepers which means that no hiker is left behind. If you get upset because someone has to rest at the top of a hill etc. then find another group! We are very supportive, encouraging, and focus on safety while getting or staying fit on the trail and practicing Leave No Trace outdoor ethics.

Fido is Welcome on This Hike!

Let's have good times! Be sure to take the hike leaders numbers with you just in case!


Join or login to comment.

  • Heather

    sorry for the late cancel, I hurt my back yesterday.

    April 14, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I will have to miss this - I came down with a stomach bug.

    April 13, 2013

  • Rick G.

    RSVPs close: Apr 13, 11:00 PM Above is when the RSVPs were scheduled to close, but the meetup software had it closed already at 9:45 pm on Apr 13. Is the time in a different time zone???

    April 13, 2013

  • Bill P.

    This is a great hike any time of the year, but a bonus on Sunday will be all the early blooming spring ephemeral wild flowers. Bring a camera along with sunscreen, water and snack. They will be charging an entrance fee of $5.00 per car, so I advise ride sharing.

    1 · April 9, 2013

  • Kellie C.

    How to Move from the Wait list to a “Yes” - If you are on the wait list, you will get an e-mail as slots become available. It is a “first come first serve” system for available slots. Slots are open to everyone, whether on the wait list or not. However, being on the wait list will make certain that you are notified when open slots become available as well as letting me know to look for another leader if the trails (and parking) can accommodate it and still comply with our Leave No Trace pledge. Click the following link for how to get off the wait list and RSVP “yes”, http://www.midatlantichiking.co...­ Please don't hesitate to contact me if you need further assistance as that is what I am here for.

    April 9, 2013

  • Catherine l.

    I just opened a spot for someone. I can't make it. Have fun!

    April 8, 2013

  • rachel

    would love to join - anyone driving from DC? happy to help with gas $$

    March 23, 2013

13 went

Your organizer's refund policy for Riverbend, Great Falls Parks, and Difficult Run Stream! 9.5 Mod. Miles!

Refunds offered if:

  • the Meetup is cancelled
  • the Meetup is rescheduled
  • you can cancel at least 2 day(s) before the Meetup

Additional notes: Refund if I a notified 48 hours PRIOR to hiking time!

Payments you make go to the organizer, not to Meetup. You must make refund requests to the organizer.

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