Seneca Park-Seneca Tract of Great Falls! An Easy-Side-of-Moderate 6 Mile Hike

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Seneca Park (Seneca Tract) with Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group! An Easy Side of Moderate 6 Miles

Directions: Click the link under “Directions to the Trailhead” located near the end of the event listing. The linked page has location/direction details, driving/parking info, including where to Meetup after you arrive. · , VA

How to find us

Use the link provided under the heading “Directions to the Trailhead” in the event posting below for detailed directions and information regarding where we meet. You Must be Logged in order for the Link to Work.

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Seneca Park -- Seneca Tract Along the Potomac River (Great Falls Area)! An Easy-Side-of-Moderate 6 Miles

Seneca Tract is one of those hidden Fairfax County gems combining lovely woods, pretty streams, fascinating Civil War history and a stretch along the Potomac that’s part of a designated National Scenic Trail.

The Seneca Tract boasts about 110 species of birds, including the bald eagle, and 300 varieties of wildflowers. A hike offers glimpses of the many natural habitats found in the Piedmont region, including deciduous forest and Potomac floodplain forests. The terrain slopes toward the Potomac River, with views of the Seneca Breaks islands and the Potowmack Canal remnants from George Washington's era. The Rowser's Ford crossing located here was used during the civil war. It was at this location where 5,000 Confederate soldiers crossed the Potomac River in the dead of night, successfully carrying munitions and supplies, without any loss of life, in what was called J.E.B. Stuart’s most difficult achievement by the cavalry during the war.

Among the animals are known to live here are the mole, eastern chipmunk, gray squirrel, woodchuck, skunk, raccoon, white-tailed deer, fox, and beaver. Several species of turtle found here, including the wood turtle, usually live farther north. There are many amphibian species present, including the southern leopard frog, spring peeper, gray tree frog, American toad, two-lined salamander and northern red-backed salamander. The park has about 110 species of birds, including 39 nesting species and the bald eagle. Among the nesting birds are the red-shouldered hawk, ruby-throated hummingbird, downy woodpecker, scarlet tanager, and blue-gray gnatcatcher. About 300 species of wildflowers have been identified in the preserve; of particular interest are the following unusual or rare species: purple cress, marsh marigold, purple fringeless orchis, false (white) hellebore, and poison hemlock. In the mature deciduous forest, the trees are rich in American beech, oak, tulip poplar, hickory, and near the floodplain, there is a variety of sycamore, silver maple, boxelder, and wild persimmon trees.

Along the Seneca Break’s Islands, there are excellent views of relics of George Washington's Potowmack Canal.

Trail Information

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Great Falls
Scenery: Woodlands, river views, remnants of 200-year-old canal
Length: 6 total miles
Elevation Gain: 500 ft
Exposure: Mostly shady; less so in winter
Trail Type: Loop
Skill Level: Easy Side of Moderate
Trail Surface: Chiefly dirt, some gravel; rooty, and can be muddy in places.
Season: Year-round
Local Maps: USGS Seneca, Vienna
Facilities: None

Park Entry Fee
There is no park entrance fee.

Gear Suggestions
Click Here ( for suggestions regarding what to wear and what not to wear for hiking the trails.

Weather Information
We hike rain or shine. Click Here ( to view the forecast for the area where we will be hiking

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 any particular place, please post your offer to help those in need of a ride, and those looking for a ride, in the comment section below. Click Here for a list ( of suggested carpool locations, each complete with a physical address, GPS coordinates, driving directions and additional 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 ( 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!

Please take the hike leader's number with you and enjoy the hike!


• Please Click Here Now ( Help Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group with Serving our Mission (

• Donations ( to Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group Are Tax Deductible: Tax ID[masked] ( Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charitable organization.

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