Difficult Run

3.50 out of 5
View Topo Map


↑ 1,500 ft
↓ 1,400 ft
elevation (ft)

Out & Back
Trail Description
About this trail
Don't let the title "Difficult Run" fool you--it's named after the stream it parallels, not its level of difficulty. There's nothing technical to speak of here--unless you like the technical nature of erosion, washouts, mud bogs and consistent hoof damage. The mud bogs remain even long after any rain. The trail sees no maintenance, so the ravages of the traffic and weather go unchecked. The trail's not all like that--the western portions are better than the eastern portions. If the whole length was as good as the western end, I could give it three stars, but the east end barely rates one star. There are better trails in the area.
added by John FischEpic
Trail Features
Trail features
  • Lift Service
  • Drinking Water
  •   Night Riding
  • Pump Track
  • Restrooms
  • Winter Fat Biking
Directions to Trailhead
Get Directions
Create a free Singletracks account to get directions to this trail.

Trail Q&A
Rider Questions
Please login or create an account to ask a question.
Recommended Trails
Recommended Trails
Lake Fairfax
Frederick Watershed
Reddish Knob
Snowshoe Bike Park
Seven Springs
The Southern Traverse
Massanutten Western Slope
Sugarloaf Mountain Bike Area
Conway Robinson State Forest
Mcintire Park
Wolf Ridge Trail
South Germantown Pump Track
Blackwater Falls State Park
Clopper Lake
Mint Springs Valley Park
Bryce Mountain Bike Park
Argyl/Ferry Farm
Evolution Bike Park at Crested Butte Mountain Resort
Wannamaker Park
Rockburn Skills Park
Rays Indoor Mtb Park
Laurel Hill Park
Belle Isle
Patapsco Valley State Park (Avalon Area)
Rosaryville State Park
Pocahontas State Park
Kingdom Trails
Fountainhead Regional Park
Poor Farms
Greenbrier State Park
Gambrill State Park
Fair Hill
3rd Battle Of Winchester Trail
Hoyles Mill Connector
Rappahanock River Trail
Whitney State Forest
Marrington Trail
Lake Maury
Freedom Park (aka:district Park)
Brandywine State Park
Angler's Ridge
Northbank Trail
Douthat State Park
Local Info & Nearby Trails
Trail Check-ins
Trail Check-ins
what's this?
Recent Trail Check-ins     (121 total check-ins)
  Scott_Primrose   2 weeks ago
  BigDaddy@CTSI   2 weeks ago
  John Ernst   on Sep 3, 2019
  BigDaddy@CTSI   on Sep 2, 2019
  John Ernst   on Aug 27, 2019
Photo & Video Gallery (20)
Trail Photos & Videos (20)
Reviews (8)


October 2, 2018
Review: Nice ride from Lake Fairfax to Great Falls.

Granny Gear

October 6, 2017
jaydubbz33 Granny Gear  
Review: Trail has improved over the years, climbs, rocky downhill, technical areas, and some nice jumps


December 11, 2015
rybolov Gramcounter  
Review: Boggy in some spots. A couple creek crossings. Not overly hard except for the climb at the end into Great Falls Park. You can join this with Colvin Run for a good mix of trail.


July 2, 2014
Review: I rode the eastern portion of Difficult Run in Spring 2014 before all of the trees and brush grew in. Because it was so bare at the time, it was a lot easier to look ahead for obstacles and ride faster. Now (Summer 2014) with all the growth and other folks on the trail you have to be a bit careful when attempting to get your speed above 10pmh (in certain sections). Overall, I liked the entire ride but unless you're familiar with the trail, you may not realize that the trail actually continues all the way to the Potomac River (beyond the parking lot on Georgetown Pike). The trailhead for the eastern portion of the Difficult Run trail picks up where Colvin Run crosses Leesburg Pike. I'd be interested to find out if anyone has ever attempted to ride their bike across the rock bridge where it appears to be too deep to ride in the water.

Terrain encountered: Pavement, hard-packed dirt, gravel, sand, and watermelon-sized rocks (half-buried).

Obstacles encountered: Walk-your-bike water-crossings, tree roots (love 'em), dried creek beds, half buried culvert pipes, over-grown brush, brush w/ thorns, and fallen trees (fairly large).

Sections of the trail were as wide as four to five feet and other portions were as narrow as one foot wide.



December 11, 2015
rybolov Gramcounter  
Review: I've biked through the creek before as long as it's the summer and the water is low. Just get some speed into it because the rocks on the creek bottom are slimy and you don't have a lot of traction.



August 15, 2014
Siethon1 Gramcounter  
Review: Yeah I tried to ride over the rock bridge, I FAILED, but I tried. I just tried to go as fast as possible and did some hops over some of the gaps between the rock.


August 17, 2012
Review: Ridden here a handful of times and always enjoyed it. It's more of a family ride than anything...definitely not hardcore singletrack. The trail is like a hybrid xc trail/walking trail. Wide in parts with rocks and stream crossings, legit singletrack in some parts. BEAUTIFUL scenery if you ride all the way to Great Falls.

Bunny Hop

June 7, 2011
Review: I started on this trail and return to it every so often for a good early weekend morning work out. It has its share of narrow passes, average climbs and down hills, and a couple of water crossings (if you take it all the way to Great Falls). In the morning, you run the risk of surprising dog-walkers, but the trail really begins to get crowded as the day wears on.

* Review edited 6/6/2011

Bunny Hop

August 11, 2010
RappAttack Bunny Hop  
Review: very nice endurance trail not to crazy technical, MTB virginia guide book says to start in Reston i however started around great falls off GT pike and went out and back very cool and it connects with some single track in the park

Granny Gear

May 25, 2009
Review: this is a good trail for people who r getting in to mountain bikind. But it is also not strait and that easy. There are some steep hills and some high creek crossings. I love it though!

Difficult Run MTB Trail 3.50 out of 5 based on 8 ratings. 8 user reviews.
Trail Conditions
Trail Conditions          < / > embed
Feature Article
75 Miles of Urban Singletrack: A Day on Fairfax's Cross County Trail