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Level: Intermediate
Length: 6 mi (9.7 km)
Surface: Fire Road
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +187/ -153 ft
Total: 83 riders

Mountain Biking Great Falls National Park

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#74 of 300 mountain bike trails in Virginia
#2,684 in the world

The trail does not pose much technical difficulty but offers some GREAT views! If you are a nature lover and want to have a moderate ride this is the place. The trail does have some climbs and a few rocky areas. I've ridden this trail when dry and in snow. The snow provided a better workout and I could enjoy the views. I would ride this trail again.

First added by getonthetrail on Dec 22, 2003. Last updated Apr 30, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
From I-495 exit 13 northwest of McLean take Route 193 (Georgetown Pike) west towards Great Falls. Go about four miles, then turn right on Old Dominion Drive, which becomes the park entrance. You will see signs for Difficult Run trail and parking on your left. You can park here for free or continue about 1 mile to the park entrance a pay a fee.
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Great Falls National Park Trail map

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Trail conditions

Overgrown (on Jun 30, 2018)
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Great Falls National Park videos

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section of difficult run trail in…
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Mclean, Virginia

Beginner | 1 mi
Easiest | 183 mi

Rider questions

Q: why is it rated intermediate?
A: Don't know, it really is a beginner trail. Nothing too difficult here, except a couple of uphill climbs depending on which way you're riding.

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  • Siethon1

    THIS PARK IS AWESOME!, IF you know where to bike. Which is not on the main trail. Instantly, the beginer trail becomes a black diamond trail. You will have to go find the trail your self however...

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  • BPWussykat

    This is a beautiful multi-use trail system but not really so much an MTB trail. You can expect it to be crowded near trailheads and won't typically find other riders out there. Trails are OK and I would say good for a easy / recovery / scenic pull. You simply can't turn it on here as you never know if / when you're going to come up on that family with the kids and dogs in tow. I've hiked / run / ridden Difficult Run, Great Falls and Riverbend - good for a quick fix, but there are better places to RIDE if you need to get your grind on.

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  • Jim Muth

    I just rode this after hiking most of it last fall. It's an enjoyable ride since I didn't see but 5 people in the outlying areas. The parking is no longer valid. The best place to park is along Georgetown Pike at Difficult Run. Parallel the road to get to the gravel service road or if you are venturous under the bridge and follow Difficult Run to Ridge Trail. Be ready to carry your bike though as there are big rocks and a sizable washout. I'd recommend taking the gravel road do out and back on Ridge Trail. The view is worth it.

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  • IdahoLife   ✓ supporter

    This is one of my favorites for nostagic reasons but the ride is fun but not great. Nothing extreme or special that will set this place apart. just some overall good riding.

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  • Timothyfluegge

    The lack of knowlege evident in the other reviews is what makes this park so great-the good trails aren't crowded cuz no-one knows how to find them. There are also some great trails over towards Riverbend park.

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  • John Fisch

    There is some very cool scenery here. Unfortunately, what's under your knobbies is what's most important and that's just not worth recommending. The only good climb is on dirt road, as is almost all this ride. There are a few rocks, but nothing to get excited over. Bottom line, the climbs are a bit much for a newby and the lack of technicality will deter most better riders. This one barely gets a 2.* Review edited 11/23/2008

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  • ploughman

    This is a great trail if you wanna just get out. Being fairly new at riding, the hills are great for some endurance but once you reach the top there is a great payoff on the trail. Just a fun ride with ups and downs.
    there is a little bit of the assigned trail that makes you get on the local road. but its for only 500 feet or so.

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  • KT

    Great Falls does have singletrack!! The total ride is about 6.8 miles (loop). It begins through the park and past the restrooms. You then climb a steep, long hill on Old Carriage Road. There is some nice singletrack that runs along Difficult Run which is part of the loop. I found the ride fun but difficult to follow as it is not well marked. Check out the Falcon Guide to riding in the DC/Baltimore area for directions on this ride.

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  • h2ojunky

    Nice trail, but not at all technical. Riding along the C&O is nice, and is a good workout if you see how fast you can get to Georgetown and back!

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  • kltbo

    Good trail for beginners and families. Doubletrack and when i went very loose gravel. Good starting point to get to the Cross County Trail though.

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