8700 Potomac Hills Street, Great Falls, Virginia 22066
Sunrise to sunset. Visitor's Center: weekdays 9 am - 5 pm, weekends noon - 5 pm, closed Tuesdays.
run, outdoor-adventures, bike, hike
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Hike, Fish, and Canoe at Riverbend Park in Great Falls, Virginia
Just a short distance from Great Falls National Park, Riverbend is a local gem. This quiet park is considered one of the "prettiest parks in Northern Virginia." The Potomac Heritage Trail runs right through this well-maintained park, there is plentiful parking, and it is free. Parking is also available at the Nature Center, which is open for special events and serves as a great starting point if you want a short hike with little ones, just over a mile and half round trip to the Riverbend Visitor's Center.
If you prefer a longer excursion, pack a picnic and hike from the Riverbend Visitor Center to the Great Falls Visitor Center, only 1.8 miles downstream, where you can continue your journey while experiencing the great beauty of the Falls by linking into the trail system there. It provides a great balance to start at the less frequented Riverbend and work your way toward the more busy parkland around the Falls before heading back toward the much quieter park. The parking is also free, so if you come to hike in the region often you can save on the required entrance fee to Great Falls (though an alternative is just to purchase the annual pass which grants you repeated access to both the Maryland and Virginia sides).
You are sure to see a variety of wildlife during your visit, or in season might enjoy fishing, paddle boarding, canoeing or kayaking available at Riverbend before or after your journey. If you have already experienced Great Falls, Riverbend has more than enough to offer, with over ten miles of hiking trails with trails for horses and mountain biking as well.