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North River Trail

Easy
 3.4 (5)

An easy trail that parallels the Potomac River between GFNP and Riverbend County Park.


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Map Key

0.6

Miles

1.0

KM

Point to Point

163' 50 m

High

152' 46 m

Low

10' 3 m

Up

1' 0 m

Down

0%

Avg Grade (0°)

1%

Max Grade (1°)

Dogs Leashed

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

Description

This trail runs from Great Falls National Park to the Riverbend County Park. Most of the trail is straight and level, with the exception of a steep, rocky hill that must be climbed to bypass the Aqueduct Dam. This trail will flood when the Potomac river levels rise, and trail conditions after a period of high water will be very muddy.

Swimming and wading are prohibited in both Great Falls and Riverbend Park. Dogs must be on a leash at all times in both parks. Use care while hiking near the Aqueduct Dam and do not attempt to walk out onto the dam itself. Low-head dams like this one have a powerful hydraulic on the downstream side. Getting caught in one of those hydraulics is usually fatal.

This trail connects to the Gabrielson Trail. It is possible to continue to Algonkian Regional Park in Loudoun County, a one-way distance of approximately 12 miles.

Flora & Fauna

This trail runs next to the Potomac River. It is an excellent place for wildflowers in the spring and bird-watching throughout the entire year. Watch for signs of beaver activity as you go. The occasional bald eagle, along with herons, ducks, and other water birds are easily observed from the trail. Fishing spots are abundant here and are easy to access from the trail. A Maryland or Virginia state fishing license is required for ages 16 and up.

Contacts

Shared By:

Brian Smith

Trail Ratings

  3.4 from 5 votes

#21557

Overall
  3.4 from 5 votes
5 Star
20%
4 Star
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3 Star
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2 Star
20%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#550

in Virginia

#21,557

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1,154 Since Jan 7, 2015
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Photos

View across the aqueduct dam from Riverbend Park towards the falls.
Apr 30, 2016 near Great F…, VA

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May 10, 2019
Michael Henry
Apr 20, 2019
Nicholas H
Mar 10, 2019
Snaps Lilacs
Oct 21, 2018
Mark Toner
May 28, 2017
Bonnie Sweigart
1.3mi
Apr 21, 2017
Vesma M
Jul 23, 2016
Gin Cady
May 26, 2016
Gwen Pribish