The falls formed 35,000 years ago during the Last Glacial Period. 369 reviews of Great Falls Park "This (around 1,000 acre) park is accessible via VA or MD for a $5 entry fee at the gate, but you can also buy an annual pass and go an unlimited number of times. If you’re in the Washington, DC area and looking for a great location for landscape photography you should visit Great Falls. The Great Falls of the Potomac River are near the northern boundary of the park, as are the remains of the Patowmack Canal, the first canal in the United States that used locks to raise and lower boats. Judging which gives the best view is an effort in futility, and each person will have a favorite. It's immensely popular for hiking (with provided trail maps at the visitor center), rock climbing, dog walking and picnicking (there are picnic tables and small grills for your use in the picnic area). hiking forest river views nature-trips walking trail-running dogs-leash kids wildlife Just past the falls, the Potomac River narrows into a sublime canyon called the Mather Gorge. 286,932 were here. 15 trails with 14 photos Great Falls Park is located at the section of the Potomac River where the river falls over a series of steep and jagged rocks. Situated on 800 acres (3.2 km ) along the banks of the Potomac River in northern Fairfax County, the park is a disconnected but integral part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. The Park has the highest rated kayaking score, and a handfull people have made it up the Falls as the ultimate challenge - one of them died in a subsequent trip. Great Falls offers 15 miles of hiking trails, five of which are multi-use for horseback riding, hiking, and biking. A great place to watch the raging rapids in the Spring, have an afternoon barbecue in the Summer or enjoy the spectacular foliage in the Fall, Great Falls National Park is worth tacking on to a Washington, D.C. visit during most non-winter months of the year. It should be no surprise that Great Falls Park is relatively small, about 800 acres. The Park now allws people to climb down into base of the Falls near the third observation point - this is as hard and dangerous as it gets short of technical climbing (for which the Gourge is well known). This trail is pretty flat. There is a picnic pavilion/shelter available to rent. Great Falls is a census-designated place (CDP) in Fairfax County, Virginia, United States. A t 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. There are three scenic overlooks at Great Falls Park, all within a short distance of the Visitor Center and parking areas. Check the park's website for information on various annual passes that can save you a bundle. Great Falls Park, an 800-acre park located along the Potomac River, is one of the most spectacular natural landmarks in the Washington DC metropolitan area. Planned community facilities include jogging/walking trails, a bird habitat and observation areas. Park open dawn to dusk. The most popular locations are near the Falls overlooks, which offer views of the waterfall and river. The land here is is constantly being developed and the population ever-growing. Great Falls Park Waterfall Viewpoints in Virginia. McLean, VA more, Recommended experiences in and around McLean, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Parks, Specialty Museums, Military Museums, Historic Sites, Architectural Buildings, Specialty Museums. Beyond looking at the falls, there are many mile of hiking trails, nearly all of which are easy to moderate and qute scenic. Hotels near Great Falls Park, McLean on Tripadvisor: Find 13,524 traveler reviews, 1,499 candid photos, and prices for 972 hotels near Great Falls Park in McLean, VA. Discover historic homes, carousels, nature and more. Walking bordering the river is very peaceful and beautiful. Most visitors view the falls from the three overlooks near the visitor center on the Virginia side; there's also an overlook on the river's Maryland side, within sight but a long drive away. Then there is Mathis Gourge, a narrow, high walled canyon - great views from one of the few trails that is moderately hard (only towards the end). By 12:30, there is a long line of cars trying to get in, and they actually close the entry gates. The ruins of the. Click the image to view a full size GIF (100 kb) or download the PDF (300 kb). Great Falls Park At the Great Falls of the Potomac, the river drops 76 feet in less than a mile.At the same time, the banks narrow from 1000 feet wide to only 60 to 100 feet as the river squeezes through Mather Gorge. * If you live in the area, time your visit for spring or a couple days after a big rain to see the falls at their finest. The River Trail offers the best views of the Potomac and is an easy hike on level, shaded ground. There are 15 miles of hiking trails, and you can see remains of the Patowmack Canal, the first U.S. canal to use locks. Mon. Get an inside perspective of Great Falls Park, including real time images and video posts. There are three observation points, two of them easily accessible. The 600-space parking lot speaks to how busy it  can get here. At 800+ acres, Great Falls Park in McLean, Virginia is a not a huge park, but it is home to some beautiful scenery. Know before you go! The Great Falls Lions Club sponsored the playground through a generous donation. Great Falls Park is located in McLean, Virginia, which is a short 15 miles from Washington D.C. Great Falls Park is a small National Park Service (NPS) site in Virginia, United States. Length 4.7 miElevation gain 193 ftRoute type Loop After all, part of its appeal is that it’s an oasis in an urban sprawl. * If you're focusing on the overlooks, start with Overlook 3 (the farthest away) and work your way back: Overlook 2, then Overlook 1 (the closest to the falls). The picnic area by Overlook 3 has a nice view of the Falls with space for larger wedding parties. - Fri., 10 am - 6 pm weekends and winter hours 10 am - 4 pm. It is a part of the National Park Service (NPS) and George Washington Memorial Parkway. This page is maintained by NPS employees for information and discussion. The park itself? The Great Falls Park is located along the banks of the Potomac River between the states of Viginia (Fairfax) and Maryland (Potomac). This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in the United States. Great Falls Park has many opportunities to explore history and nature, all in a beautiful 800-acre park only 15 miles from the Nation’s Capital. Great Falls is just one place to visit along George Washington Memorial parkway. Great Falls Park is part of the National Park Service (NPS). The river trail has lots of views of the river, rock scrambles, and inclines/declines. * Take the warning signs seriously. # We hiked South. The Great Falls area enjoys long, warm summers, making it a … RV campgrounds in Great Falls, Montana, are close to several Montana road trip attractions, like the C. M. Russell Museum Complex and the Roe River, and this town also hosts Malmstrom Air Force Base. Though none of the falls by themselves is a showstopper, the total effect of all the falls at once is spectacular! Please choose a different date. Native animals, such as whitetail deer, fox, box turtles, squirrels, coyotes, bats, and chipmunks also call this place home. Mon. Contact park … This is a popular spot for rock climbing (on the cliffs in Maher Gorge above the falls) and for expert whitewater boaters (note the word "expert" -- Great Falls is rated Class 5-6 Whitewater). Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. With the National Park Service for 54 years, after being a county park and a railroad company amusement park before that. Although primarily a bedroom community for Washington, D.C., one major attraction is Great Falls Park which overlooks the Great Falls of the Potomac River, for which the community and the park are named. Visitor center open 10 am - 5 pm. Throughout the year, over 150 different species of birds can be seen at Great Falls Park. The Virginia side is much more scenic than the Maryland side. Great place for a 1/2 day hike in the DMV, Absolute gem of a park within a stone's through of Washington DC. Take the warnings seriously - a number of people are killed in the Park every year when the fall of jump into the water, including an occssional expert swimmer. I like better the VA than the MD side. Great Falls Park has many opportunities to explore history and nature, all in a beautiful 800-acre park only 15 miles from the Nation's Capital. Great Falls cascades 75 feet over less than a mile of the Potomac River. # Arrive as early as you can. Others climb up a rock formation in the middle of the Falls to make repeated trips down - quite a sight. Great Falls Park Mountain Bike, Hike, Trail Running, Horse trails near Reston, Virginia. Admission $5 for noncommercial vehicles. Most of the park's 800 acres are forested. The population was 15,427 at the 2010 census. Each time we go here (and it is easy for us since we live here) the Falls, 9200 Old Dominion Dr, McLean, VA 22102-1019, We escaped to Great Falls Park on Election Day 2020 to de-stress a little and found ourselves wondering why it had been so many years since we, local residents, had last visited. Gibson Park: Art/Sculpture Bandshell Basketball Benches Concessions Drinking Fountain Garden Landscaped Parking Lot Picnic Table Picnic Table with Shelter Ask at the visitor center about our Jr Ranger books. Visitor center open 10 am - 5 pm. on the River Trail, and made a loop coming back on the Ridge Trail and Swamp trail. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. This regional Great Falls map zooms out just a bit in order to include the various area roads as well as the C&O Canal National Historical Park. Great Falls annual passes and America the Beautiful passes are available at the Great Falls … The center features information regarding the park and historical information about the building and the region.

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