$10.00 Individual Permit. The NPS operates a visitor center near the falls. 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. Set on the banks of the Potomac River, this 800-acre park has actually been welcoming visitors for many years, because well before coming to be a part of the National Park Service in 1966. Great Falls National Park 9200 Old Dominion Dr , Mc Lean, VA 22102 Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park 72 McBride Ave , Paterson, NJ 07501 Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center 11710 MacArthur Blvd , Potomac, MD 20854 Legal. On busy weekends all the parking may fill up by early in the morning, creating delays and temporary closures lasting up to several hours. Situated on 800 acres (3.2 km2) 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. Mon. One and a half million more people visited the George Washington Memorial Parkway than they did the Grand Canyon. Visitor center open 10 am - 5 pm. Passes can be purchased in advance online here. Walking bordering the river is very peaceful and beautiful. Book now at 20 restaurants near Great Falls National Park on OpenTable. 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. Great Falls Park provides a selection of recreational activities including treking, picnicking, kayaking, rock climbing, bicycling, and horseback riding. The trail does have some climbs and a few rocky areas. There is an entrance fee to enter the park. The park itself? 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 Park has many opportunities to … Great Falls cascades 75 feet over less than a mile of the Potomac River. Rome2rio is a door-to-door travel information and booking engine, helping you get to and from any location in the world. # We saw varied birds, and several deer on our hike. 8 Things To Do At Great Falls Park. This National Park preserves the 184 mile long C&O canal from Cumberland, MD to Georgetown. We visited early in the morning on a weekday and it wasn’t crowded and easy to socially distance. The gates survived from at least the 1830s and were found during restoration projects on stonework which were erected for the canal locks. The falls formed 35,000 years ago during the Last Glacial Period. [1] 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. The park is open only during daylight hours. There is a $20 entrance fee per car for visitors who drive into the 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). The River Trail is a good place to look for those clues. 286,954 were here. The best way to familiarize yourself with Great Falls Park is to connect with a Ranger and attend one of their ongoing programs. On the Maryland side is the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Parkland, which stretches for 184 miles from D.C. to West Virginia. Introducing Glacier National Park! This trail is pretty flat. Located at the end of an electric trolley line that began in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., the park contained picnic grounds, a dance pavilion, and a carousel. The trail does not pose much technical difficulty but offers some GREAT views! Several people a year end their day here by drowning in the river. An average of seven drownings per year occur in the Potomac River in the park vicinity, most of them alcohol-related even though consumption of alcoholic beverages is illegal within the park. Between 1906 and 1932, the Great Falls and Old Dominion Railroad and its successor, the Washington and Old Dominion Railway, operated an amusement park (trolley park) at the falls. Please choose a different date. The Great Falls Park is located along the banks of the Potomac River between the states of Viginia (Fairfax) and Maryland (Potomac). There are three observation points, two of them easily accessible. It is a National Park … The river trail has lots of views of the river, rock scrambles, and inclines/declines. Click the image to view a full size GIF (100 kb) or download the PDF (300 kb). The Ridge and swamp trails are relatively flat, less traveled, and more like a walk in the woods. Pawtomack canal have been partly preserved, and there is one spectactular lock that dropped 100+ feet almost straight down through solid granite reach able by trail - you can get to it past the conservation construction area. 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. For a peaceful hike, a family outing, an exploration of the area’s rich history, or all of the above, the 800-acre Great Falls Park is a can’t miss. Situated on 800 acres (3.65 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 Patowmack Canal, which George Washington partially funded, was a one-mile (1.6 km) bypass canal that began operating in 1785 to give small barges the opportunity to skirt around the falls and to distribute manufactured goods upstream and raw materials downstream. Great place for a 1/2 day hike in the DMV, Absolute gem of a park within a stone's through of Washington DC. While Great Falls Park is not specifically ranked, the George Washington Memorial Parkway, which includes many sub units like Great Falls Park, was the 6 th most visited National Park in 2019 (the C&O Canal was #11). On November 7, 2011, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar dedicated America's 397th national park. Great Falls Park was a part of the Northern Virginia Parks system and was transferred to the NPS in 1966. Learn More Important Disclaimer: This opportunity is curated from a public source and subject to changes and/or cancelations that might not be reflected above. Entry Fee: For vehicles, there is a $20 fee. years old. Location: Great Falls Park is in McLean, Virginia, about 18 miles from Washington, D.C. The first kayaker to run them was Tom McEwan in 1975,[3] but only since the early 1990s have the Falls been a popular destination for expert whitewater boaters in the DC area. * 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. Great Falls Park is a small National Park Service (NPS) site in Virginia, United States. Explore reviews, photos & menus and find the perfect spot for any occasion. Fifteen miles (24 km) of hiking trails traverse the park and follow a small stream known as Difficult Run. - Fri., 10 am - 6 pm weekends and winter hours 10 am - 4 pm. With the National Park Service for 54 years, after being a county park and a railroad company amusement park before that. Admission $5 for noncommercial vehicles. A proposed bridge to span the falls was also considered but, due to a strong lobby to eliminate additional bridges over the Potomac and concerns over environmental impacts, the project was never undertaken. Check the park's website for information on various annual passes that can save you a bundle. Also including views of the Great Falls from the Maryland side of the river, C&O Canal NHP offers history, recreation, scenic views and much more. The park itself? This is one of the first known examples of blasting powder being used for engineering purposes anywhere in the world. A scenic trail near the river travels upstream from a landing at the mouth of Difficult Run, climbs to the top of Mather Gorge and passes the falls, a dam, and a reservoir before ending in Fairfax County's Riverbend Park. Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park is home to one of the country's most spectacular waterfalls — a 260-foot-wide, 77-foot drop that rushes through the Passaic River Gorge and is recognized as a National Natural Landmark. Great Falls Park is a small National Park Service (NPS) site in Virginia, United States. Great Falls National Park is a natural jewel situated just 14 miles northwest of our nation’s capitol. It is possible to get an idea of what the Potomac looked like before the falls and Gorge formed. During the construction of the canal, blasting powder, which at the time was essentially gunpowder, was used to blast through solid rocks. An annual pass is #35. Soon that will change. The Walk in the Treetops canopy tour combines a little excitement with an educational experience. For the National Historical Park in New Jersey, see, National Park Service unit in Virginia, United States, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, "Great Falls Park, USGS Vienna (VA, MD) Topo Map", Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park, National Register of Historic Places listings in Virginia, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Virginia Department of Historic Resources, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Great_Falls_Park&oldid=999981738, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from October 2015, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 12 January 2021, at 22:54. With the completion of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal on the opposite side of the river, and the oncoming age of railroads, the project was abandoned in 1830. Find all the transport options for your trip from Great Falls to Waterton Lakes National Park right here. By 12:30, there is a long line of cars trying to get in, and they actually close the entry gates. # The main Canal trail (with the waterfall viewing) gets quite crowded, and mask wearing was around 75%. The Great Falls are rated Class 5-6 Whitewater according to the International Scale of River Difficulty. 1. The sighting of the Painted Bunting, on the Maryland side of Great Falls, was first documented last week. more, Recommended experiences in and around McLean, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Military Museums, Parks, Specialty Museums, Historic Sites, Architectural Buildings, Specialty Museums. Great Falls Park features extraordinary views of the Potomac River and Great Falls, along with 15 miles of hiking trails, and five miles of horseback riding and biking trails. Great Falls Amusement Park had an inn with a restaurant, a dance hall, a movie theater, an observation tower, and a carousel. Just half an hour outside the nation’s capital lies one of the nation’s natural hidden gems, Great Falls National Park. Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. Such varied terrain. 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. The views of the falls are great and we enjoyed some of the moderate. The park visitor center has the bottom portions of two wooden canal lock gates excavated in the 1980s from the canal. When you pay for admission it’s good for reentry for a week which is nice if you want to go multiple days in a row. Entry into the water above the falls from the Virginia side is illegal. Listed in the table below are Great Falls Park Virginia's plans or projects which have been closed for more than a year. It is a part of the National Park Service (NPS) and George Washington Memorial Parkway. Hours: Great Falls Park opens at 7 am and closes at dark. Is this attraction a good place to visit on a, Is this a must-do if you are traveling with a, I come here often to explore various trails, from the relatively flat gravel trail beside the cannal to the more rugged Billy Goat trail (beware, the rocks have been smoothed to the point of being a b, The first time I visited I was amazed that such place exists near the major metropolitan area, less than 10 minutes from a busy Tyson's Corner and you are in a different world of 100% nature, breathta, If you need a break from the politics of Washington DC., journey down the road a short distance to Great Falls National Park. I like better the VA than the MD side. This page is maintained by NPS employees for information and discussion. The park is part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway and covers some 900 acres on the Virginia side of the falls. Rock climbers frequent the cliffs in Mather Gorge above the Potomac. Horseback Riding Great Falls Park is a real haven, 800 glorious acres where you can hike, ride your horse, ride your bicycle, fish, climb and just generally have fun, and all of this only 15 minutes way from Washington DC. The Patowmack Canal offers a glimpse into the early history of this country. Mon. Great Falls Park is part of the National Park System. The Paterson Great Falls is the most historic place that virtually no one in America has ever heard of, let alone visited. Entrance fees are collected during all hours of operation, unless for posted Fee Free dates. The Great Falls of the Passaic River is a prominent waterfall, 77 feet (23 m) high, on the Passaic River in the city of Paterson in Passaic County, New Jersey, United States.The falls and surrounding area are protected as part of the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park, administered by the National Park Service.The Congress authorized its establishment in 2009. The rocks are 750 million. 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. The Virginia side is much more scenic than the Maryland side. There are 15 miles of hiking trails, and you can see remains of the Patowmack Canal, the first U.S. canal to use locks. Great Falls Park Virginia National Capital » Virginia. This article is about the park in Virginia. Great Falls National Park is located at 9200 Old Dominion Dr., McLean, VA 22102. The falls total 76 feet (20 m) over a series of major cascades. Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park. 137 Miles from Great Falls. 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. 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. The ruins of the. The park is roughly around 800 acres which includes one of the oldest canals in the United States […] The 600-space parking lot speaks to how busy it  can get here. Shop for great falls national park art from the world's greatest living artists. Choose your favorite great falls national park designs and purchase them as wall art, home decor, phone cases, tote bags, and more! The rocks are 750 million years old. If you are a nature lover and want to have a moderate ride this is the place. This is a great place to visit, especially if you’re looking for a nearby outdoor excursion close to DC! Two reasons: (1) You get an expansive view first, then work your way closer and closer and (2) If you're tired when you get to Overlook 1, you or your kids will be less likely to hurt yourself trying to mountain-goat on the dangerous rocks. Rome2rio makes travelling from Great Falls to Waterton Lakes National Park easy. Whitefish Mountain Resort Whitefish, MT Kids from 1 to 101 love the addictingly fun Alpine Slide and the Scenic Lift Rides to the Summit of Big Mountain. Admission to Great Falls Park is for seven consecutive days. Paterson Great Falls is a hidden Gem in the 3rd largest city of New Jersey. To the north, the Washington Aqueduct Observation Deck offers a view of the upper falls. The park continues to provide picnic grounds and a visitor's center but the carousel that operated between 1954 and 1972 was destroyed by a flood caused by Hurricane Agnes. All great falls national park artwork ships within 48 hours and includes a 30-day money-back guarantee. # We hiked South. The canal is a Civil Engineering Landmark as well as a Virginia Historic Landmark. A National park for the 21st century. * 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). Stonemason marks found on the stones are unique to each artisan and are identical to some found in foundation stones of the White House and the U.S. Capitol. If you want to avoid crowds is advisable to arrive early. There are two overlooks near the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center. * Take the warning signs seriously. 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). Meet A Ranger. In the evenings, a searchlight illuminated the falls. Direct access to the park is usually by way of Georgetown Pike (Virginia Route 193) and Old Dominion Drive. Trolley service continued until 1934, at which time automobiles became the main mode of transportation to the park. Mountain Biking Great Falls National Park Add a review #219 of 286 mountain bike trails in Virginia #10,892 in the world. One can visit Great Falls National Park in Virginia and/or Maryland but many do not realize the falls are just 15 miles above the nation’s capital. 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). Here the mighty Potomac River, which acts as a watershed basin for a 11,000+ square mile area encompassing sections of Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, drops 77 feet in just a half-mile, separating Maryland and Virginia in quite a fierce manner. Others climb up a rock formation in the middle of the Falls to make repeated trips down - quite a sight. Great Falls trail maps. With the National Park Service for 54 years, after being a county park and a railroad company amusement park before that. Great Falls cascades 75 feet over less than a mile of the Potomac River. The park has several viewing platforms that provide visitors with vantage points overlooking the falls. Great Falls Park Visitor center open 10 am - 5 pm. People in general are wearing masks but due to the with of trails keeping social distancing can be challenging The place, Hotels near Claude Moore Colonial Farm at Turkey Run, Hotels near Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, Hotels near (DCA) Ronald Reagan National Airport, Hotels near (BWI) Balt.-Wash. Intl Airport, Scott's Run Nature Preserve: Tickets & Tours‎, Tysons Galleria Shopping Center: Tickets & Tours‎, Claude Moore Colonial Farm at Turkey Run: Tickets & Tours‎, Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail: Tickets & Tours‎, Holy Transfiguration Melkite Greek Catholic Church: Tickets & Tours‎, McLean Community Center: Tickets & Tours‎. This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in the United States. The interesting tidbit about Washington, DC and the surrounding area which includes Virginia and Maryland is that all three seemingly run together. Hikers in Great Falls Park are walking along the ancient Potomac River bed, now located 40-75 feet above the river's current location. Along the trails, the ruins of the small town of Matildaville, Virginia can also be found. There is no public transportation to the park. # There is an entry fee to the park. Major highways in the vicinity of the park which provide regional connections include the Capital Beltway (Interstate 495), the Dulles Toll Road (Virginia Route 267) and Leesburg Pike (Virginia Route 7). Beyond looking at the falls, there are many mile of hiking trails, nearly all of which are easy to moderate and qute scenic. difficulty trails. on the River Trail, and made a loop coming back on the Ridge Trail and Swamp trail. The park contains a large picnic area and sufficient parking for 600 vehicles. The Patowmack Canal offers a glimpse into the early history of this country. 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. Click on the project title for more information. The falls formed 35,000 years ago during the Last Glacial Period. 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. The Maryland side of Great Falls is a part of the C & O Canal National Historic Park and is located off of Falls Road in Potomac. The George Washington Memorial Parkway was developed to ensure the easy linkage of George Washington's most visited places. 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). The canal was never a profitable enterprise. I started doing the Passport for National Park and decided to start with my own town. The NPS does not permit camping in the park. National Park Service. Great Falls Park: Maryland Location . TIPS: * This is a national park, so it's pricey to get in: $20 for a car, $15 for a motorcycle, $10 to bike or hike. # Arrive as early as you can. https://www.alltrails.com/parks/us/virginia/great-falls-park Below the falls, through Mather Gorge, the river is rated class 2-3 and has been a very popular kayaking run since the 1960s. For people on foot or bike, entry is $10 per person. 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. Native American petroglyphs have been discovered within the park on cliffs overlooking Difficult Run.[2]. 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. Just ten miles from Washington, D.C., Great Falls National Park is an often overlooked gem of our National Parks system. 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