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Hike: Riverbend / Great Falls National Park, VA

  • Riverbend Park Visitors Center

    8700 Potomac Hills St, Great Falls, VA (map)

    39.017616 -77.255905

  • Park Maps / No Bus

    Long hike: up to 8½ mi., 850 ft. ascent/descent. Moderate hike: various options. 

    Trailhead Hike:  Meet at Riverbend Park Visitor Center at 9:00 a.m.

    Reward yourself for surviving the pre-holiday bedlam with a restorative day outdoors along the most dramatic stretch of the Potomac River. On this old Capital favorite, we’ll follow the River Trail from Riverbend Park (part of Fairfax County’s park system) eastbound to Great Falls.  There, a choice of loops will take us along the rim of spectacular Mather Gorge and past ruins of Matildaville and George Washington’s Powtomack Canal before we return to Riverbend.

    Leaders:  Susan Klein 703/[masked] and Vickie S. 571/[masked]

    Reservations:  Unlike CHC's usual Saturday bus hikes, signing up for trailhead or carpool hikes is not required. However, if you do sign up, we will have a better idea of the number attending, and you will be notified of any changes in plan.

    Driving Directions to Trailhead

    From the Washington Beltway:

    From the Beltway between the American Legion Memorial Bridge over the Potomac, and the Dulles Airport Access Road - Route 267, take Exit 44 for Georgetown Pike – Route 193. Go west outside the Beltway on Georgetown Pike for about 4½ miles, passing by the Difficult Run Trailhead and Old Dominion Drive - Route 738 (which goes to the Great Falls National Park). Turn right onto River Bend Road, Route 603. After about 2 miles make a slight right turn onto Jeffrey Road. After about ¾ of a mile turn right onto Potomac Hills Street and follow this to the Visitors Center. Parking is available to the right.  Suggested parking fee is $2 into a box at the visitor center.

    From Leesburg:

    Head east on Leesburg Pike, Route 7. Turn left on Georgetown Pike, Route 193. Go about 4½ miles and turn left onto River Bend Road, Route 603 and follow the directions above from this turn.

    **NOTE: Meetup has disabled the waitlist feature where members can be notified that a spot has opened for a full hike. You will need to check back on the event's page throughout the week to see if spots are available and RSVP.** 


    Cost, what to wear, what to bring: Bring sufficient food and water for a day's outing in a day pack or fanny pack with individual First Aid articles, a whistle, and extra clothing according to the season. Sturdy boots or shoes are a necessity. It is recommended to carry 8 oz. of water per mile to be hiked. Gatorade or other electrolyte replacement drinks are also recommended. 

    Liability: By RSVPing for a CHC hike, you are acknowledging and accepting that hikers are responsible for their own safety and must assume risks and liability for all outings. CHC leaders, officers, and representatives shall not be liable for any injuries, loss or damage to persons or property, direct or consequential, arising out of any trips or Club activities. Hikers are expected to be able to keep a 2 mph pace.

    (Optional) Membership Dues $10.00 per year. Click the "Member dues" link (on the left side of this page) to pay the $10 annual dues to support the Capital Hiking Club.  Dues help pay for the administrative and web costs of running the club, and you will also benefit from a reduced rate for club hikes.

    If the hike is listed as full and your 6 month free trial of the Capital Hiking Club membership has expired, Meetup may prompt you to pay the membership dues. If you choose to pay the membership, you are still not guaranteed a spot on the hike: you can only get a spot on the hike if one opens up. Dues are non-refundable. 

    More information is here:

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RSVPs closed

2 going

RSVPs closed

  • susan k.
    Hike Leader Paid Member Thru 7-2017,,
    Event Host

    Susan Klein

  • Vickie S.
    Hike Leader, Special Events Director, Paid Member Thru 10-2017,,
    Event Host

    CHC hike leader and Board member.

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