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Scott's Run Nature Preserve - Outer Loop



3.2 mile 5.2 kilometer loop
95% Runnable


Ascent: 348' 106 m
Descent: -319' -97 m
High: 315' 96 m
Low: 66' 20 m


Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 13% (7°)


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Trail shared by Chris Kroehler

A nice and easy loop around the nature preserve.

Chris Kroehler

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Waterfall


Tucked in a corner between 495 and Georgetown Pike is Scott's Run Nature Preserve. It has many trails and many more (and confusing) connector trails. This run takes you from the main parking lot up to the Scott's Run Waterfall, along the Potomac River and past the secondary parking lot before returning to your car.

Need to Know

The named trails all have colored blazed while the connectors (of which there are many) do not. Fortunately the are numerous trail maps which can help you get your bearings. Or just bring your phone and the Trail Run Project mobile app.


Beginning at the main parking area follow the Potomac Heritage Trail - Scott's Run north. This is a wide, easy path with two creek crossings. Both have stepping stones as the water is almost always high enough to require them.

After finding the Scott's Run Waterfall, you'll turn east along the Potomac River. This trail is has a lot more roots and rocks so watch your footing. Slowing down may be required in some areas.

Before the Potomac Heritage Trail - Scott's Run dumps you out into a neighborhood; you'll need to take a connector trail to the right which bring you to the Oak Trail. There will be a trail map at the intersection if you're confused. Follow the Oak Trail until turning right on the Stubblefield Falls Overlook Trail. This trail brings you down to the smaller parking lot where you'll turn right again and follow the Parking Lot Connector Trail back to your car.

The interior of the Preserve has some nice views and nicely maintained trails. Bring the Trail Run Project mobile app and explore it.

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Sep 22, 2019
Carlos Murphy
4mi — 0h 30m
Aug 25, 2019
Colby May
Nov 2, 2018
Alex Nocella Nocella
Aug 4, 2018
Buster Doney
Aug 4, 2018
Austine Scales
got lost, was very muddy and part of the trails were underwater 3.2mi
Jul 15, 2018
Zachary Fleischmann
Fun! Pretty challenging in some parts. It was very hot and humid! 3.2mi
May 15, 2018
Allan Schoenberg

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 14 votes


  4.0 from 14 votes
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in Virginia


303 Views Last Month
5,614 Since Sep 1, 2017



Mar 9, 2020 near McLean, VA
Scott's Run waterfall.
Jan 23, 2017 near McLean, VA
Looking northwest across the Potomac!
Jan 6, 2019 near McLean, VA
Stubblefield Falls Overlook provides a nice view of both the falls and the Potomac.
Feb 27, 2017 near McLean, VA
The east parking lot provides ample space to park.
Feb 27, 2017 near McLean, VA
Scott's Run Waterfall cascades serenely near a viewpoint on the Potomac Heritage Trail.
Feb 27, 2017 near McLean, VA


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