National Parks / Natural World

Great Falls Park Washington

Where is it at?

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Great Falls Park
11710 MacArthur Blvd
Washington
DC
20854
Tel: (703) 285-2965

Where are we going today?

At Great Falls, the Potomac River builds up speed and force as it falls over a series of steep, jagged rocks and flows through the narrow Mather Gorge. The Patowmack Canal offers a glimpse into the early history of this country. Great Falls Park has many opportunities to explore history and nature, all in a beautiful 800 acre park only fifteen miles from the Nation's Capital.
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What people are saying?

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    The place offers great overlooks over powerful waterfalls but also offers much more beyond them, so below are some ideas if you have been there, done that, etc here are some more ideas:
    1. For easy mountaing biking, ride a trail from Great Falls to Riverband or in the other direction to Difficult Run.
    2. Learn rock climbing and go rock climbing near Rocky Island.
    3. Watch kayakers surf waves or run down the rapids, or if you kayak, you can enjoy it yourself.
    4. Hike to Riverband or the dam, or in the other direction to Rocky wave where you can scramble...Read More

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    Great place for a hike! I love coming out here in autumn to see the leaves change colors and to hike along the Potomac River. I enjoy hiking the River Trail along the water. It is a beautiful palce to take the family, a date or friends. Bring a picnic with you and have a nice lunch or snack a long the river during your hike. There are plenty of places to rest and to relax as you are hiking. There are not too many water fountains once you leave the main area, where the parking is, so bring a bottle of water with you! It is amazing how close you...Read More

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    The nicest park in Northern Virginia. Perfect for taking your kid for a stroll, your dog for a walk, or your girlfriend for a bike ride or hike. Fantastic views of the Potomac River at various viewpoints. You can often spot all kinds of wildlife (blue herons, hawks, etc) as well as adventure-seeking kayakers down in the rapids below.

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    Where to begin. I love this park. Not only are there Falls, but historical remnants everywhere. My favorite was hiking through Matildaville and coming up on George Washington's Patowmack Canal and Locks. I spent a couple of hours hiking the area and was impressed.

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    Outstanding park for hiking experiences on both sides of the river though we like the Virginia side better for shaded picnic areas. Breathtaking scenery on the River trail all the way to the southern part of the park not to mention Difficult Run trail. Awesome in every sense. Only thing being from West Virginia we are spoiled by the free admission of our state parks ( here it is $5 per car), trash cans in the picnic areas and plentiful and well stocked rest rooms. In this very busy park there is only one working toilet with running water accommodating...Read More

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by Vadim Shun

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The place offers great overlooks over powerful waterfalls but also offers much more beyond them, so below are some ideas if you have been there, done that, etc here are some more ideas:
1. For easy mountaing biking, ride a trail from Great Falls to Riverband or in the other direction to Difficult Run.
2. Learn rock climbing and go rock climbing near Rocky Island.
3. Watch kayakers surf waves or run down the rapids, or if you kayak, you can enjoy it yourself.
4. Hike to Riverband or the dam, or in the other direction to Rocky wave where you can scramble rocks near the river.
5. Hike towards Difficult Run , good place to stop and to turn around is near VA Chute rapid.
6. Go fishing.

Whatever you do, enjoy the nature and keep the park clean.

by Scotty ST

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Great place for a hike! I love coming out here in autumn to see the leaves change colors and to hike along the Potomac River. I enjoy hiking the River Trail along the water. It is a beautiful palce to take the family, a date or friends. Bring a picnic with you and have a nice lunch or snack a long the river during your hike. There are plenty of places to rest and to relax as you are hiking. There are not too many water fountains once you leave the main area, where the parking is, so bring a bottle of water with you! It is amazing how close you are to D.C. because when you are here you feel like you are in the middle of the forest and far away from a city. Nice place to get excersize and enjoy the nature.

by Mike Peters

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Outstanding park for hiking experiences on both sides of the river though we like the Virginia side better for shaded picnic areas. Breathtaking scenery on the River trail all the way to the southern part of the park not to mention Difficult Run trail. Awesome in every sense. Only thing being from West Virginia we are spoiled by the free admission of our state parks ( here it is $5 per car), trash cans in the picnic areas and plentiful and well stocked rest rooms. In this very busy park there is only one working toilet with running water accommodating two persons at a time and antiquated and remote at that. A second toilet will be available in 2015 we were told ( Virginia side). Most picnic tables and grills have been removed from the south parking area Virginia side. Don't know why.

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