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Hike at Great Falls Park, VA

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  • Great Falls National Park

    9200 Old Dominion Dr, McLean, VA (map)

    38.988094 -77.251289

  • Meet in the court yard next to the restrooms (below the Visitor Center)
  • ** This is a great hike for all hiking levels! **

    Entrance Fee:  $10 per vehicle.  Recommend bringing cash because their credit card machine was down last time we visited.

    Description:  We will start at the Visitor Center and stop at all three overlooks to view the gorgeous falls.  We will then follow the River Trail which offers spectacular views of the Potomac and Mather Gorge  - this trail can be very uneven in places and may require some rock scrambling.  We will then follow the Ridge Trail over to the Old Carriage Road Trail to return to the Visitor Center.

    Clothing/Gear:  Since it will be winter time, please dress in layers and avoid wearing cotton since it wicks away your body heat if it gets wet.  Hat, gloves, sunglasses, hiking poles.  Here is an excellent article about layering clothes - https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/layering-basics.html.

    Distance:  3.4 miles

    Total Duration:  2 – 4 hours

    Pace:  2 miles per hour

    Difficulty:  Easy to Moderate.  The trail can be very rocky in sections.

    On-Leash:  Dogs must be on a leash the entire hike - leash no longer than 6 feet long.

    Water: There is no water on this hike, so please bring enough for both you and your dog (recommend at least 2 liters).

    Food: A snack/lunch for the trail is always a good idea for both you and your dog.

    Weather: I will cancel the day before if there is a strong chance of rain or thunderstorms.  

    RSVP Policy: There are sometimes people on the waiting list, so please update your RSVP as soon as you know you can't make it.  

    Park website:  http://www.nps.gov/grfa/index.htm

    Trail Map: 


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  • Terri M.

    Yes, the Billy Goat Trail is on the Maryland side of the river. We will be hiking along the side of the river but the VA side is much different and while there is some rock scrambling it's relatively easy compared to some rock scrambles.

    November 23

  • Kristin K.

    The Billy Goat trail has been re blazed (light blue) and at one point is quite close to the water and requires that you climb up a rock face. Not for the faint, just be cautious. Enjoy..recently there...sitting out.

    November 23

    • Maria H.

      I believe the Billy Goat trail is in Great Falls, Maryland. This hike is in Virginia.

      November 23

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