Scott's Run Nature Preserve

Greater Washington D.C., Virginia

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Scott's Run Nature Preserve


  • Looking out from Stubblefield Falls Overlook.- Scott's Run Nature Preserve
  • View from the River Rock Scramble.- Scott's Run Nature Preserve
  • River Rock Scramble.- Scott's Run Nature Preserve
  • View from the River Rock Scramble.- Scott's Run Nature Preserve
  • Trail connector via the Potomac Heritage Trail.- Scott's Run Nature Preserve
  • Looking toward the river from Scott's Run Falls.- Scott's Run Nature Preserve
  • Scott's Run Falls.- Scott's Run Nature Preserve
  • Scott's Run Falls from above.- Scott's Run Nature Preserve
  • - Scott's Run Nature Preserve
Overview + Weather
Great river views. Waterfall. Well-maintained trails. Easy to get to.
Can be crowded on weekends. Swimming and wading are prohibited.
Greater Washington D.C., VA
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Net Elevation Gain: 
320.00 ft (97.54 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
2.40 mi (3.86 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
283.00 ft (86.26 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description


Scott's Run Nature Preserve is located just outside of Washington, D.C., serving as a perfect afternoon getaway for D.C. nature lovers. Most well known for Scott's Run Waterfall, the nature preserve also boasts several miles of well-maintained trails that eventually make their way down to the Potomac River.

One route that hits the highlights of the preserve is a 2.4-mile loop starting from the parking lot. Follow the Yellow Trail from the parking lot for 0.75 mile to Stubblefield Falls Overlook, where a rocky outcrop provides a nice view of the Potomac River. From Stubblefield Falls Overlook take the trail connector down to the section of the Potomac Heritage Trail, which runs through the preserve. Depending on the height of the river, there is a section of rock scrambling that juts out into the Potomac, which provides excellent views of the river.

Continue west on the Potomac Heritage Trail for 0.5 mile until reaching Scott's Run Waterfall. Although there is a tempting pool at the base of the waterfall, and there are often people swimming and wading, it is illegal to swim or wade in the waterfall or river because of the risk of drowning due to underwater hazards in that area. From the waterfall follow signs for the Potomac Heritage Trail heading south for 0.7 mile to a second parking lot. From that parking lot follow the Purple Trail (located up the wooden stairs on the left) back to the first parking lot.

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Field Guide

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(3 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(9 within a 30 mile radius)

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Adventure Community

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11 Members
Who's Done It
2 Members
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8 Adventures Explored
1 Adventures Published

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