Scotts Run Nature Preserve in McLean!
A Moderate 4 Mile River and Waterfall Hike
"This hike features river views, a waterfall, wildflowers, amphibian breeding areas in spring, and some pretty interesting ruins as well. It includes palisades along the Potomac and the rocky lower end of Scotts Run." Copyright 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Washington, DC Published by Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.
Visitors have flocked to Scott’s Run for years to witness the spring wildflowers that grow there. Sources say that trail-ing arbutus, Virginia bluebells and trillium blooming on the steep hillsides create a small oasis of rare and fragile plants. Remarkable and rare species grow along the precipitous cliffs, in steep valleys and throughout the mature hardwood forest of very large oak and beech trees, ancient hemlock and wild cherry trees that stand as tall as the oaks.
Scotts Run Nature Preserve consists of a rather hilly, wildflower-riddled tract of riverside woodlands scarcely 4 crow-miles northwest of Washington. For songbirds and other wildlife, it’s a true sanctuary.
This hike will be led at a moderate pace.
Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: McLean (Very near DC but you would never know it! In the vicinity of Great Falls)
Scenery: Rolling woodlands, river views, and hopefully wildflowers
Exposure: Mostly shady with a couple of open areas where it is somewhat sandy near the river
Trail Surface: Mostly dirt or gravel; rocky, rooty near river. There are some boulders too.
Length: 4 total miles
Elevation Gain: 1,900 feet but in undulating hills
Trail Type: Modified Loop
Skill Level: Moderate 2.0 - 3.0 mph pace options
Duration: Up to 3.5 hours including dawdling time at the river and enjoying scenery/pics etc.
Local Maps: USGS Falls Church and my map of choice, PATC Map D
We hike rain or shine! Click here for up to the minute trailhead weather
If you can drive or want to carpool from somewhere, 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 the Trailhead
Click Here for Directions to Where We Meet for This Hike
Hike Time is at 6:45 p.m.
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 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 and please take the hike leaders number with you just in case!