Hiking Project Logo

River Trail

Intermediate

Trail

1.3 mile 2.1 kilometer point to point
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 41' 13 m
Descent: -157' -48 m
High: 259' 79 m
Low: 116' 35 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 25% (14°)

Dogs

Leashed
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Brian Smith

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

Brian Smith

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.

Hiked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know

Contacts

Rate This Trail

Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Trail

Check In

Check-Ins

Jul 13, 2019
Diane Pastor
Jun 16, 2019
Z A
May 27, 2019
Keylie Gibson
Clean, well maintained. Beautiful. — 12h 30m
Oct 14, 2018
Yichen Xu
1.5mi
Jun 24, 2018
John Hilton
Mar 4, 2018
Mark Toner
Jan 13, 2018
Michelle Anne
Oct 30, 2017
Annie Del

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 12 votes

#4717

Overall
  4.3 from 12 votes
5 Star
42%
4 Star
50%
3 Star
8%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#133

in Virginia

#4,717

Overall
197 Views Last Month
5,827 Since Dec 28, 2014
Intermediate

0%
60%
30%
10%
0%
0%

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

0 Comments

Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking