Hikers in Great Falls Park are walking along the ancient Potomac River bed, now located 40-75 feet above the river's current location. 8 Things To Do At Great Falls Park. 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. The George Washington Memorial Parkway was developed to ensure the easy linkage of George Washington's most visited places.  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. 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 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. 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. Just ten miles from Washington, D.C., Great Falls National Park is an often overlooked gem of our National Parks system. Visitor center open 10 am - 5 pm. For people on foot or bike, entry is $10 per person. The Ridge and swamp trails are relatively flat, less traveled, and more like a walk in the woods. 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). Great Falls Park: Maryland Location . 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. Below the falls, through Mather Gorge, the river is rated class 2-3 and has been a very popular kayaking run since the 1960s. 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. Such varied terrain. Great Falls Park was a part of the Northern Virginia Parks system and was transferred to the NPS in 1966. Fifteen miles (24 km) of hiking trails traverse the park and follow a small stream known as Difficult Run. 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. 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. * Take the warning signs seriously. The canal is a Civil Engineering Landmark as well as a Virginia Historic Landmark. Great Falls Park Visitor center open 10 am - 5 pm. The best way to familiarize yourself with Great Falls Park is to connect with a Ranger and attend one of their ongoing programs. * 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). Just half an hour outside the nation’s capital lies one of the nation’s natural hidden gems, Great Falls National Park. 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. years old. The rocks are 750 million years old. 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. 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. 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. 286,954 were here. I started doing the Passport for National Park and decided to start with my own town. 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. The canal was never a profitable enterprise. Great Falls trail maps. * 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 National Park is located at 9200 Old Dominion Dr., McLean, VA 22102. Passes can be purchased in advance online here. There is no public transportation to the park. The park is part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway and covers some 900 acres on the Virginia side of the falls. 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. The park is roughly around 800 acres which includes one of the oldest canals in the United States […] 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. 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. With the National Park Service for 54 years, after being a county park and a railroad company amusement park before that. Walking bordering the river is very peaceful and beautiful. The NPS operates a visitor center near the falls. The Great Falls Park is located along the banks of the Potomac River between the states of Viginia (Fairfax) and Maryland (Potomac). Please choose a different date. Paterson Great Falls is a hidden Gem in the 3rd largest city of New Jersey. An annual pass is #35. There are three observation points, two of them easily accessible. It is a part of the National Park Service (NPS) and George Washington Memorial Parkway. # We hiked South. 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. Shop for great falls national park art from the world's greatest living artists. National Park Service. # There is an entry fee to the park. 1. The Patowmack Canal offers a glimpse into the early history of this country. Mon. 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. $10.00 Individual Permit. The Paterson Great Falls is the most historic place that virtually no one in America has ever heard of, let alone visited. We visited early in the morning on a weekday and it wasn’t crowded and easy to socially distance. The NPS does not permit camping in the park. Rome2rio makes travelling from Great Falls to Waterton Lakes National Park easy. This article is about the park in Virginia. 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 views of the falls are great and we enjoyed some of the moderate. 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. This is one of the first known examples of blasting powder being used for engineering purposes anywhere in the world. This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in the 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. 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. Others climb up a rock formation in the middle of the Falls to make repeated trips down - quite a sight. Explore reviews, photos & menus and find the perfect spot for any occasion. Find all the transport options for your trip from Great Falls to Waterton Lakes National Park right here. Great Falls Park is a small National Park Service (NPS) site in Virginia, United States. 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. The rocks are 750 million. # We saw varied birds, and several deer on our hike. 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). Great Falls cascades 75 feet over less than a mile of the Potomac River. This National Park preserves the 184 mile long C&O canal from Cumberland, MD to Georgetown. 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. 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. Click the image to view a full size GIF (100 kb) or download the PDF (300 kb). Meet A Ranger. Great Falls cascades 75 feet over less than a mile of the Potomac River. The trail does have some climbs and a few rocky areas. Great Falls Park provides a selection of recreational activities including treking, picnicking, kayaking, rock climbing, bicycling, and horseback riding. This trail is pretty flat. # The main Canal trail (with the waterfall viewing) gets quite crowded, and mask wearing was around 75%. The river trail has lots of views of the river, rock scrambles, and inclines/declines. Soon that will change. 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. Introducing Glacier National Park! Trolley service continued until 1934, at which time automobiles became the main mode of transportation to the park. I like better the VA than the MD side. Great Falls National Park is a natural jewel situated just 14 miles northwest of our nation’s capitol. 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. Check the park's website for information on various annual passes that can save you a bundle. 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. This page is maintained by NPS employees for information and discussion. One and a half million more people visited the George Washington Memorial Parkway than they did the Grand Canyon. 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. On busy weekends all the parking may fill up by early in the morning, creating delays and temporary closures lasting up to several hours. If you are a nature lover and want to have a moderate ride this is the place. If you want to avoid crowds is advisable to arrive early. 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. Direct access to the park is usually by way of Georgetown Pike (Virginia Route 193) and Old Dominion Drive. 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. A National park for the 21st century. Admission to Great Falls Park is for seven consecutive days. Book now at 20 restaurants near Great Falls National Park on OpenTable. The falls formed 35,000 years ago during the Last Glacial Period. The Great Falls are rated Class 5-6 Whitewater according to the International Scale of River Difficulty. on the River Trail, and made a loop coming back on the Ridge Trail and Swamp trail. The Virginia side is much more scenic than the Maryland side. Rock climbers frequent the cliffs in Mather Gorge above the Potomac. The ruins of the. Mountain Biking Great Falls National Park Add a review #219 of 286 mountain bike trails in Virginia #10,892 in the world. Click on the project title for more information. 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). 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 trail does not pose much technical difficulty but offers some GREAT views! Great Falls Amusement Park had an inn with a restaurant, a dance hall, a movie theater, an observation tower, and a carousel. 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). 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.