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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

96%

Runnable

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

Runner Notes

This trail includes a lot of rock scrambling, which can make for added fun or frustration, depending on your running style.

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

  4.4 from 21 votes

#348

Overall
  4.4 from 21 votes
5 Star
48%
4 Star
43%
3 Star
10%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#6

in Virginia

#348

Overall
11 Views Last Month
9,464 Since Dec 28, 2014
Intermediate Intermediate

0%
11%
78%
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11%
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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
View from the trail
Jun 5, 2022 near Great F…, VA
View from the trail
Jun 5, 2022 near unknown, unknown
A stormy morning.
Jun 1, 2016 near Great F…, VA

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Current Trail Conditions

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