Great Falls, Virginia

I spent the last day of nice weather out hiking.

Great Falls. The best waterfall-ish feature northern Virginia has to offer.

At least it was a nice hike with good company!

Mathers gorge
I can see Maryland!

We went down the riverside trail first. It had many rocks to scramble over, and went right along the river at points, giving a great view.  Someone had attempted to take their baby carriage down it, but turned back – A wise decision. We also saw someone wearing a suit with sneakers. He takes his hiking very seriously.

Other than going off the trail briefly, it was very straightforward, inclines and declines, built up steps, and lots of rocks.

When we headed back, we took the carriage trail, which was super easy. It got a bit crowded there – I have never seen so many people out on one trail.

Observing the locals. Apparently the main thing Great Falls is good for is instagram posts.
Observing the locals. Apparently the main thing Great Falls is good for is instagram posts.

I suppose it is a nice spot for the city folk to get out and about. I’m not a hiking expert, but my judgement is that it was a relatively easy hike. The majority of it was literally a wide path built through the woods. Lots of other people thought it was challenging though, and there were people equipped with those hiking sticks.


Once we got past the north dam, the people thinned out a bit. I guess they didn’t want to go too far. We walked all the way up to the visitor’s center for the adjoining park.

In total, it was probably 6 miles. It was very nice, but I ended up getting home too late to ride. With daylight savings time now in effect, I don’t have much riding time. And then it started raining! I think I used up my last nice day of fall… I won’t be able to ride again until next spring. Waaaaaahhh.

(Although we are looking into lights for the arena now. Just when I think I have everything I need, suddenly there’s way more things that I need. It always happens that way.)

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  1. The harder Great Falls hiking in on the MD side, on the Billy Goat Trail. It’s s great dog-walk hike on the VA side though, we pretty regularly take our dog up into Riverbend park, which also has some nice trails.

      1. The MD side is fun; there’s one part of it at Carderock, which is less crowded but also less difficult (the dog has done it with me) and then the main part of it actually involves a small bit of real climbing, and is up at the MD-side Great Falls park and is usually pretty busy. I always see a ton of folks there with dogs, I think it’s a pretty popular spot for that.

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