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Good For Kids
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A bench near the Potomac River practically pleads with you to have a seat and relax for a while.
Closest available address
8700 Potomac Hills Street Great Falls, VA 22066
Park = 7-dusk, visitor center varies, typically 9-5 M-F and 12-5 Sa.-Su.
Best time to visit
Summer, Fall, Spring
Riverbend Park is a 418 acre county park on the Potomac River. It neighbors Great Falls Park and includes a portion of the Potomac Heritage Trail. Riverbend is mostly a weekender destination. Picnicking, boating and to a lesser extent hiking are popular activities. Facilities are limited but include a small museum and a boat ramp. The park has 2.5 miles of river frontage.
Historically the Riverbend area was mostly farmland. A river ferry also was located here and during the War of 1812 President Madison used it to escape the British invasion of Washington, D.C. During Prohibition, moonshine production proliferated and remnants of it can still be found here. Riverbend was created in the 1960s from a number of small land purchases. The park together with other conserved lands around the Potomac River forms an important natural area with a large number of rare species.
Riverbend offers seasonal river kayak tours and kayak certification classes; the park website has more information. Kayak and Jon boat rentals are also available. The park museum is small and can be seen quickly. There are some mildly interesting exhibits on park geology, but if time is limited, don’t fret about skipping the museum. As far as hiking, the Potomac Heritage Trail heading south to Great Falls Park offers good views of the river. The trail was mostly level and unobstructed, but a few parts near the river were more rugged. Conn’s Farm Meadow can be a good place to see birds and other wildlife in spring and summer. It’s a short walk from the visitor center. If you are looking for a convenient spot near DC to boat, picnic or take a short walk, Riverbend can fit the bill. While it has less to see and do then Great Falls Park, it is usually less crowded and is more serene.
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2/6/2013 5:23:56 AM
You have to love the serenity of these pictures so calming.
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