Disclaimer: This recap of our 40-Mile Great Falls Ramble contains affiliate links…


Back to Some Hills and Notable Landmarks

After a couple of weeks of cruising along on wide open and relatively flat roads, it was time to challenge myself on the rolling hills winding their way around Great Falls, VA. On Sunday morning, Bill and I joined the Dawn Patrol and another cycling group for a ride they dubbed the Great Falls Ramble. 

Bill and I slinked into the parking lot just a few minutes before 9 AM, our meet-up time. We normally arrive for our rides at least 20 minutes early to have plenty of time to get our bikes ready, but we’d misjudged how long it would take for us to drive there. I quickly attached on our Garmins, lights, and water bottles to our bikes as Bill checked our tire pressure.

After a quick description of our two ride options from our ride leader (there was a shorter ride as well), we rolled out of the parking lot and through a neighborhood as we made our way to the W&OD Trail for a few miles before exiting at Clarks Crossing Park as we made our way toward Great Falls. At 69°, it appeared we were going to have another fantastic fall-like day to enjoy our time outside.

Our ride took us along wide open parkways and twisty narrow roads, and up a a few incredibly steep hills with rewarding descents on the other sides. Notable landmarks we rode by included Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Riverbend Park in Great Falls, the Potomac River, L’Auberge Chez Francois (a famous local French restaurant), and the Trump National Golf Club. We stopped at Green Lizard Cycling for water and fuel before getting back on the W&OD Trail for about eight miles and then hopping back on neighborhood streets for the mile back to the school parking lot.


Ride Overview
  • • Ride Name: 40-Mile Great Falls Ramble
  • • Location: Fairfax County, Virginia
  • • Start/Finish: Louise Archer Elementary School, Vienna, VA
  • • Course Type: loop
  • • Distance: 40 miles
  • • Time: 2:50:50
  • • Average Speed: 14.1 MPH
  • • Elevation Gain: 2,136 feet
  • • Elevation Range: 135 to 440 feet
  • • Temperature Range: 64° to 90°
  • • Ride with GPS: Link to turn-by-turn navigation cue sheet
  • • Course Map:

40-Mile Great Falls Ramble


Fun Pictures From Along the Way

With my GoPro (affiliate link) attached to the front of my bike and Bill’s GoPro (affiliate link) attached to the front of his; unless otherwise noted, we captured most of the following pictures from along the course…

Rolling out of the parking lot…

Photo credit: Peter

Riding along a very crowded W&OD Trail before exiting to the roads…


Crossing the Dulles Toll Road…


Riding past Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts…


Rolling into Riverbend Park with the Potomac River straight ahead…


Resting and refueling with my honey…

Photo credit: Peter

Refreshed and leaving Riverbend Park…

Photo credit: Peter

Quick group pic before we leave the park and hit the hills!

40-Mile Great Falls Ramble


Starting to climb…

40-Mile Great Falls Ramble


Rolling past Trump National Golf Club…


Checking to make sure my GoPro was turned on. It was… 😉


Waiting for the light to turn green…


Stopped for a rest at Green Lizard Cycling…


Garmin Stats

Post-ride Garmin (affiliate link) picture…


Garmin map and graphs…

40-Mile Great Falls Ramble


Final Thoughts on the Ride

We really enjoyed this ride and were happy that we hadn’t used being tired from our previous day’s rides as an excuse to skip this fun morning adventure. It was great to see my cycling friends again after two weeks of doing my own thing. I loved the change of scenery from the more open roads and the challenges that the hills gave us. I’d do this ride again in a heartbeat, albeit an elevated heart beat from all of the climbing required!


  • • Have you been to Riverbend Park along the Potomac River?
  • • Do you prefer riding roads, recreational trails, technical trails, or gravel?
  • • Are you usually early, right on time, or late to events?


Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on the blue product link and then make a purchase, I will receive a small commission for referring you. You will pay no more or less for the product; however, Amazon will show their gratitude for my referral by paying me.