Great Falls: Maryland Side
11710 MacArthur Blvd Potomac, MD 20854
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Hike the Maryland Side of Great Falls with the Whole Family!
You’ll find great hiking and breathtaking scenery at Great Falls, and with access from I-495 (Capital Beltway) it's surprisingly easy to get to such a remarkable highlight of the area. Enjoy a hike on the multi-use paths, many fit for biking, horseback riding, and dog walking (provided pets are kept on a 6-foot leash). Rock-climbing and kayaking are also permitted here.
The Maryland side, part of the C&O Canal National Historical Park, boasts the locally beloved Billy Goat trail and other trails kids of all ages will enjoy. The Billy Goat trail is most appropriate for older kids and a one to one parent or caretaker to child ratio is highly recommended to ensure safety. It is a formidable 8-mile trail that can be challenging in sections. Do not forget your bottled water.
The C&O Canal towpath, on the other hand, offers gentle terrain perfect for a family walk or biking excursion. At the Visitor’s Center, families can sign up for one-hour mule-drawn canal boat rides too and obviously access water fountains and restroom facilities.
We love taking a picnic and making a day of our visits to Great Falls. It's fun to see the way the landscape changes throughout the seasons. It' almost feels like you're visiting a new place on a sunny day vs a cloudy day or summer vs fall. Stop at Moby Dick House of Kabob's Potomac location on your way to pick up a picnic or on your way out for dinner! It's less than a ten-minute ride from the trailhead.