Arlington has abundant water features to enjoy, like rivers, lakes, and gardens. But sometimes, it’s nice to get away from the city’s hustle and bustle to enjoy the solitude that nature offers. What better way to relax than to hike on waterfall trails near Arlington?
Hiking is a fantastic option if you’re looking for a great way to spend your day off or get outside. Fortunately, there are many fantastic waterfall trails near Arlington that you can easily hike.
You don’t have to travel far to take advantage of all these great falls surrounding our city. So grab a bottle of water and head out on a natural adventure.
4 Secret Waterfall Trails Near Arlington
1. Scott’s Run
Scott’s Run Nature Preserve is a secluded park just outside the Beltway. Hiking in the area will lead you to a beautiful waterfall with views of the Potomac River and the surrounding forest.
Hike along the blue trail directly to the waterfall from the parking lot for a shorter hike. For a longer hike, hiking the outer loop counterclockwise is recommended. Begin the hike on the Woodland Trail from the parking lot to enjoy the waterfall at the end. If you hike this loop, be sure to follow the park’s rules.
2. Great Falls
The Great Falls is one of the most impressive natural attractions near Arlington. Even though the raging waterfalls are the main attraction here, more than 15 miles of hiking trails are within the park. By crossing the footbridge, you can get a close look at the falls.
In case you’re confused, you’ll find two national parks in Great Falls. Great Falls Park is on the Virginia side, and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park is on the Maryland side. Located in Maryland is the Billy Goat Trail. On the Virginia side is the River Trail that treks along Mather Gorge.
If you plan to hike this area, it’s important to remain on the trails and not disturb the plants and animals. The park trails are dog- and pet-friendly, as long as pets are on a leash over 6 feet or shorter.
3. Cunningham Falls
With a height of 78 feet, Cunningham Falls is Maryland’s tallest waterfall. It’s nestled in the Catoctin Mountains and is easily accessible by various trails.
Experienced and inexperienced hikers alike will enjoy the trail options at this park. There are easy, flat hikes and steep, rocky ascents—and everything in between. Mountain bikes aren’t allowed on the trails, so hikers will have to scout out the .5-mile to 7.5-mile options by themselves.
Please be aware of hunting seasons, and remember to wear bright colors while hiking!
4. Overall Run Falls
Overall Run Falls is a spectacular 93-foot waterfall in Shenandoah National Park. You can see the waterfall from a moderately strenuous hike, which is 6.4 miles round trip. The best part of this hike is the spectacular view of the Shenandoah Valley and Massanutten Mountain to the west.
Visit Overall Run Falls any time of the year, except in the summer when it can be dry. In spring, you’ll see the beauty of the falls at its fullest, and after a heavy rain, you will see a rushing torrent that flows over the falls.
The trail is moderately challenging, so come prepared to work up a sweat and bring plenty of water. About two miles downstream, you’ll find a series of interconnected swimming holes popular for cooling off.
Ready to go on an adventure?
So whether you are a local who hasn’t explored every inch of the county or a tourist visiting for the weekend, with this article, you have no excuse to be bored anymore.
Grab your boots, pack some snacks, and set out on an adventure. Whether you decide to go alone or bring friends, any of these trails will make for a great day trip. There is nothing better than discovering new waterfalls and taking in the view.
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Thanks for visiting!