Holiday Weekend Hike: Cross County Trail in Fairfax County, Virginia: From Colvin Run Mill to the Potomac River! An Easy-Side-of-Moderate 8.7-Mile Hike
The northernmost section of the Cross County Trail (CCT) in Fairfax County follows a lovely and leafy stream valley through upscale suburbia from a historic mill to the Potomac River.
Come out and join Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group for a hike along a scenic stream to Great Falls, VA and see for yourself this wonderful tucked away gem that is most convenient! Our route meanders along a little-used portion of the Cross-County Connector Trail in Fairfax County along Difficult Run Stream - starting at a historic working water-powered mill at Colvin Run Mill, which is owned and operated by the park service.
We'll see special sites along the way such as the operational mill and miller buildings, an old style general store, mill race, a trestle for the old train tracks, and beautiful trails along the streams leading up to the Potomac River. We'll continue along Difficult Run to where it empties into the Potomac River, and then head back.
Click Here for More Information Regarding the Mill
Much of Fairfax County's Cross County Trail lies within green, shaded stream valleys. Off limits to developers, the county's stream valleys support biodiversity and wildlife. It offers a rough Appalachian Trail-like experience. Some of it is stone dust. In some areas, there can sometimes be a lot of mud. "People call and complain that there's snow on the trail. Well, we don't plow the trail. Get your cross-country skis or snowshoes out. It's a natural, outdoor environment. It's maintained, but it's not groomed. That's the beauty of it. That's why it's great!
Nearby City: Great Falls, VA
Length: 8.7 Miles
Scenery: River views, stream valley, woodlands
Skill Level: Easy-Side-of-Moderate
Trail Surface: Dirt or dirt and gravel, with some muddy stretches after recent rain; short stretch of pavement near the mill; gravelly old road north of pike
Facilities: Toilets, water, phone at the mill; toilet at Georgetown Pike parking lot.
Park Entry Fee
There is no park entrance fee.
Click Here for suggestions regarding what to wear and what not to wear for hiking the trails.
We hike rain, snow, or shine. Click Here to view the forecast for the area where we will be hiking.
The goal for this hike is to maintain an average moving pace of ~ 2.5 mph. This speed is frequently used in popular hiking publications to represent the pace of an average hiker. We welcome you to please sign up for another hike if you know that this is not a comfortable pace for you. We strive to offer a variety of hikes and pace options so we can always have something for everyone no matter their interest and ability.
Our RSVP and Group Etiquette
Click Here to review our RSVP policies and group etiquette.
Carpool Suggestions and Information
Note that you are responsible for knowing how to get from carpool locations to the venue. Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group is not responsible for transportation to and from events or carpools. Suggested carpool times and places are provided as a courtesy because many members are either new to the area or unfamiliar with a particular hike or venues location. Please use the 'Comments' section below, or reach out via e-mail to make arrangements for carpooling needs and offerings.
If you can drive or want to carpool from additional locations, please post your location and needs in the comment section below. Click Here for a list of suggested carpool locations complete with directions and other details including other carpool information. 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
Meet & Greet and Sign-In — 9:45-9:55 a.m.
The Hike is at 10:00 a.m.
Please remember we are a volunteer supported organization that values fellowship and camaraderie while practicing good hike etiquette and Leave No Trace principles. Our hikes are led by generous, dedicated, and qualified MAHG members who volunteer as leaders for Mid-Atlantic Hiking Groups volunteer leadership team. Hikes also have a volunteer “sweeper” to help ensure that no hiker is left behind. MAHG volunteers and members are very supportive, encouraging, with a focus on safety while enjoying the excellent camaraderie and benefiting from the many health benefits of hiking and unplugging from the stress of day-to-day life. Sharing what we know and learning from each other is an important part of MAHGs core values, as is our dedication to the conservation of our natural resources and our commitment to the organization's mission. Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group is a volunteer supported tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization,and donations ARE tax deductible. Tax ID: [masked].
A Well-Mannered, Leashed Fido is Welcome on this Hike!
Let’s have fun out on the trails and see you there
• Click Here to Learn more about Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group’s Mission.
• 100% of Every Dollar Goes Directly to the Expenses of Serving our Mission.
Refunds offered if:
Additional notes: Holiday & holiday weekend events are non-refundable & non-transferable. Visit midatlantichikinggroup.org for MAHG info or the 'Pages' tab. MAHG is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization & donations (not fees) ARE Tax Deductible-Tax ID: 47-5141831
Payments you make go to the organizer, not to Meetup. You must make refund requests to the organizer.