Matildaville Ruins Est. 1790 Hiking Review

Matildaville Ruins Est. 1790 Hiking Review
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Park Information

Matildaville Trail Map
Great Falls National Park Home Page


Great Falls National Park
9200 Old Dominion Drive
Mclean, VA 22102


7am – Sunset

Entrance Fee


The Matildaville Trail is located on the Virginia side of the Potomac River in Great Falls National Park, located at 9200 Old Dominion Drive Mclean, VA. There is a $5 entrance fee. Matildaville is an old town located along the Patowmack Canal that existed from 1790 to around 1830.

The town was built around the channels and locks that boats used to use to get down Great Falls. George Washington played a major part in the area because he saw the potential by being able to do business from Washington, DC to Ohio and transportation was important along the river. Matildaville was built as an industrial town and flourished during the years that the channel was active.

Matildaville Included

  • Forge
  • Gristmill
  • Store
  • Storage Buildings
  • Homes
  • Inn

It was a very quick and easy hike with very little elevation. If you are looking to park close then right after you check in at the park, make an immediate right down a paved road and this will take you very close to Matildaville and the remains of the channel locks. They are both in the same area. Make sure you have good hiking/walking shoes or boots and bring water.

Matildaville Hiking Suggestions

  • Walking shoes
  • A bottle of water
  • A camera

There aren’t many remains left but there is a lot of history. There are signs next to each remain that explain what you are viewing and a bit of history too. This is a very easy walk so you don’t need to bring much on this one. This was a great hiking history lesson and I learned a lot on this hike. I recommend this to anyone who is a fan of history. I would suggest that you view the falls while you are visiting the park as well and there is a welcome center near the entrance of the park as well with exhibits.


Chris spends his time photographing and taking video of wildlife and nature. He spent 2 years in high school studying forestry (Gainesville, FL) and is currently studying to be an Advanced Master Naturalist at the University of Florida. His mission is to inspire others to get outside and learn.