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River Trail

Intermediate
 4.3 (18)

A rocky trail that traverses the bluff along the Virginia side of the Potomac in GFNP.


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Map Key

1.3

Miles

2.1

KM

Point to Point

259' 79 m

High

116' 35 m

Low

41' 13 m

Up

157' 48 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

25%

Max Grade (14°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Description

From the southern junction with Ridge Trail, this trail descends very steeply before following the Potomac River for approximately 1.5 miles, along the tops of the cliffs. In some areas, this trail runs right next to the edge of the cliff, offering spectacular views of the Potomac and Mather Gorge. Cliff heights range from 25-75 feet.

Some rock scrambling is required, especially in the section between the Canal Cut and Cow Hoof Rock. This trail can be hazardous in wet weather. Lichen, sand, and grit on the rocky areas and cliff edges make footing treacherous. Use care in these areas. Sections of this trail near the vernal ponds will flood after a heavy rain and can become icy in the winter.

Flora & Fauna

Vultures and great blue herons are common sights.

Contacts

Shared By:

Brian Smith

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 18 votes

#448

Overall
  4.3 from 18 votes
5 Star
39%
4 Star
50%
3 Star
11%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#9

in Virginia

#448

Overall
176 Views Last Month
8,670 Since Dec 28, 2014
Intermediate

0%
0%
88%
0%
13%
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Photos

Beautiful views of the Potomac can be had from River Trail.
Dec 28, 2014 near Great F…, VA
The rocky, cliff-top nature of River Trail.
Dec 28, 2014 near Great F…, VA
A stormy morning.
Jun 1, 2016 near Great F…, VA

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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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All Clear 18 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Sep 20, 2020
Jonathan Wrieden
Sep 16, 2020
Nick Mariotti
3.6mi — 1h 46m
Sep 15, 2020
Nick Mariotti
1.6mi — 54h 54m
Jul 3, 2020
Alec Lynde
Awesome views of Mather Gorge during the whole hike! 1.3mi — 2h 00m
Feb 16, 2020
Ericka S
Nov 9, 2019
Randy Poynter
Jul 13, 2019
Diane Pastor
Jun 16, 2019
Z A