What to Bring:
We will be hiking through Great Falls Park . Directions are listed below. Plan to meet by the bulletin board near the Visitor's Center side of the Great Falls parking lot.
For the exact time to meet at the trailhead, contact one of the hike organizers.
This hike will be limited to 12 people plus dogs.
We'll head out on the trails of Great Falls Park for a ~5 mile loop. This hike will take us along ridge of the Mather Gorge, carved by the Potomac. We'll have views of Great Falls, and probably see kayakers testing their nerves on the rapids. The trail is rocky and requires some minor scrambling in places. After leaving the ridge we'll climb into the woodlands of Great Falls before looping back. Along the way we'll also pass remnants of the canal system and locks as well as ruins of Matildaville and other historical sites as we hike trails that were once the main roads in that area.
This hike is rated "B". For more information on the rating system, click here.
What to Bring:
As usual, come prepared for the hike. This means appropriate footwear, a hat, and sufficient water for you and your dog (at least a quart for each of you). Be prepared for potential inclement weather. If you dress in layers, you will find it easier to adapt to changing conditions as you heat up while hiking and chill down when stopping for snacks or where the wind is blowing. The trails are rocky and steep in spots, and likely to be muddy or slick with snow. Sturdy hiking boots with ankle support are a requirement. Bring snacks for you and your dog if you wish.
Basically the main rules we have are that dogs need to stay on leash and under control, and that you scoop your poop. Please bring a 6-8' standard leash for your dog. With a large group, flexible leads can allow people and dogs to trip or tangle, resulting in rope burns or injuries.
In addition, if the hike leaders feel that you are not properly equipped for the hike, or that you or your dog are not physically prepared for the hike, they reserve the right to turn you away at the trailhead.
We'll be hiking rain, snow or sunshine unless there is severe or dangerous weather. If the weather is too hot, too cold or too wet for you on the day of the hike, don't be afraid to sit this one out. We want you to have fun! We have planned other hikes, so if you don't think you'll enjoy yourself this time, just wait for the next hike. However, if you have registered for the hike and need to cancel, please let the hike leader know as soon as possible so we can offer your space to another hiker.
From the DC Beltway:
To reach this point from the Beltway (1-495) take Exit 44, Georgtown Pike (MD Rt. 193). Proceed West about 4 miles, to the traffic light at Dominion Rd. Turn right and follow the road to the park entrance. Note: There is an entrance fee for the park. Plan to meet by the bulletin board near the Visitor's Center side of the Great Falls parking lot.
From Columbia and Points North:
Take I-95 south to the DC Beltway and head west (outer loop - toward Silver Spring). From there, follow the directions listed above.
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To register for the hike and to get the details on meeting location and time, or for anything else about this hike or the hiking club in general, please contact Jeff Bolognese.