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Olmsted Island Bridges

Easy
 5.0 (2)

An accessible trail over a series of bridges ending at Great Falls Overlook.


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Map Key

0.3

Miles

0.4

KM

Point to Point

140' 43 m

High

132' 40 m

Low

9' 3 m

Up

16' 5 m

Down

2%

Avg Grade (1°)

4%

Max Grade (2°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features River/Creek · Views · Waterfall

ADA Accessible Wheelchair accessible.

Family Friendly This is an accessible trail to one of the most beautiful natural views in the D.C. area.

Note: leashed dogs are allowed in most of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park, but not on this trail (or Billy Goat Trail).

Description

This beautiful trail begins a short distance south of the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center on the west side of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath. The entire trail is paved and accessible to anyone. There are two bridges, both of which pass over ravines through which the Potomac River rushes and falls, resulting in excellent views of rapids. The islands are a unique floodplain terrace environment.

The best part of the trail is the main Great Falls Overlook at the end, which provides exceptional views of the main section of Great Falls. The overlook is a decent-sized platform with benches and railings to allow the whole family to enjoy the view.

The two bridges over Potomac torrents, exceptional views of Great Falls, and access to the Ohio Canal makes this trail arguably better than those on the Virginia side.

Contacts

Shared By:

Karl W

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 2 votes

#1096

Overall
  5.0 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#11

in Maryland

#1,096

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49 Views Last Month
2,006 Since Oct 9, 2017
Easy

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Photos

Great Falls locks (and fugitive waterfall).
Jun 30, 2016 near Great F…, VA
Great Falls Overlook
Apr 6, 2020 near unknown, unknown
Slightly-high-water creates intense rapids under the second bridge
Oct 15, 2017 near Potomac, MD
Downriver from the first bridge.
Oct 15, 2017 near Potomac, MD

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