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

  • Jan 22, 2012 · 11:00 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.

Our RSVP Policies and Group EtiquetteClick here to review our policies

Pace Options
We break down into groups no larger than 15 hikers per leader/sweep team for a more enjoyable experience for all of us and is better for the environment. Large groups really take away from the hiking experience for everyone on the trail and not just our group. For this particular hike you have 2 to choose from so you can hike with others of a similar pace. Paces should be based on your preference but also please know your limitations.

Pace Option 1: A moderate pace of about 2.5mph and the average hiking pace used as a baseline in most hiking books. (most common pace).
Pace Option 2: A fast paced group of about 3 - 3.5mph.
PLEASE put your pace preferences in your RSVP to help us be prepared.

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

Weather Information
We hike rain, snow, 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 preferences in the comment section below. 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 11:00 a.m.

Carpool meetup time from Savage is 10:00 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!

Mike H:[masked]




Harrison:  2nd Co-Lead hike 

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  • A former member
    A former member

    I am listed as a "no-show but did come for this hike

    February 15, 2012

  • Warren B.

    A great hike with the added beauty and challenge of the snow to this wonderful area. Thank you Mike for being prepared and lending out the stabilizers to those who wanted them. Great job and thank you Delmar and Mike.

    January 28, 2012

  • David B.

    Enjoyable hike with great views and some snow to make it feel like winter.

    January 23, 2012

  • zohreh

    Great time, great people and great leaders Jo and Harrison who worked very hard to make it an enjoyable and safe hike for everyone.

    January 23, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Second hike that I have joined in on and loved it. Our hike leader "Mike" was right on course. Thanks for a great day with my fellow hikers. Also, thank you to another Mike for lending me the "stablelizers" they were quite helpful.

    January 23, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great day for a hike. I always enjoy the site of snow on the trees. Harrison did a super job and is now a welcome addition to our Hiking Family as a Leader. I'll sweep for her anytime! I look forward to seeing you all on a trail again soon.

    January 23, 2012

  • Delmar

    Great day for a hike and great company. Thank you all for hiking with us and hope to see you again in the trails.

    January 23, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I could not have asked for a better group of hikers for my 2nd co-lead. You guys made the hike a great one. I look forward to seeing all of you on future hikes!

    January 23, 2012

  • Eva

    There is something pretty special about hikes with snow on the ground.

    January 23, 2012

  • Laura

    So glad I dragged myself off the couch this morning! Wonderful time, 9 miles never went by so quickly. And great hot cocoa at the end!

    January 22, 2012

  • Rici

    Great hike, hike leaders and conversation. Thanks to Harrison and Jo. Thanks also to Eva for taking such wonderful photos!

    January 22, 2012

  • Tom

    This hike was a perfect mix of beauty, exercise, and people. Thanks to Harrison and Jo, two awesome hike leaders!

    January 22, 2012

  • Kellie C.

    @Pujak, if you have them, BUT remember they are for ice and not snow. Rangers report not much ice at all on that trail. Just in case though, Mike is bringing about 7 loaner pairs of Stabilicers. The trail should be just snow and unless snow is over 8 inches it poses no problem and then we simply switch to snow shoes which we have some loaners for as well. So, if you have traction wear, please bring it just in case. We hiked through snowmagedon a few years back and learned a ton that season.

    January 21, 2012

  • Pujak

    Organizers: do you recommend stabilizers for this hike tomorrow?
    Snow/ice on the ground over there?

    January 21, 2012

  • Rici

    I'm doing Pace Option 1

    January 17, 2012

  • suman

    @Nayna thanks! I got onto for this hike! I shall see you next Sunday! Ciao!!

    January 15, 2012

  • suman

    Im Still in the waiting list! .. Well anyway
    I need a ride from Red line Metro preferably from Bethesda/ Grosvenor!

    January 15, 2012

30 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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