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Trail Etiquette. Many of our local trails are on private property. Help us keep these trails open for all to enjoy by following these guidelines.

 

photo of Potomac Heritage Trail between Great Falls and River Bend

 

Did you know?

Many of our roads were originally Native American trails. Nine roads in Great Falls were in use before the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

 

photo of Potomac Heritage Trail between Great Falls and River Bend

Trails Build Communities

Fifty years ago people could walk just about anywhere. Today, the roads belong to automobiles. Parents drive children everywhere. Interaction between members of the community is limited. Trails help build a community. People out walking meet other people out walking, bicycling, riding horses.

Trails Benefit Health

The US Surgeon General estimates that 60 percent of adults are not regularly active and 25 percent are not active at all. A safe system of connecting trails would encourage walking, biking and healthier lifestyles for all.

Trails Act as Traffic Calming

More than 10 percent of driving trips are less than a mile. If people were able to walk to parks or commercial areas, traffic on our local roads would be reduced. Marked crosswalks at popular routes (e.g., across Georgetown Pike to the library) would create safety and encourage people to to park and walk within the village.

Trails Benefit the Environment

The most harmful emissions come from idling and stop-and-go traffic. If people were able to walk to parks or commercial areas, traffic on area roads would be reduced, and air quality improved.

Why Stone Dust or Natural Surface?

The majority of trails in Great Falls are designated as stone dust or natural surface. our trails are meant to be people-friendly and accommodate all-terrain strollers, mountain bikes, and even all-terrain wheelchairs. Stone dust and natural surfaces absorb water and are better for the environment. Stone dust serves to strengthen the trail for use by horses and bicycles. Stone dust trails provide "soft" surfaces for children on bicycles. Stone dust blends in with the historic and scenic nature of Great Falls roads.