Situated on 800 acres (3.65 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. Age and pass exemptions apply. Great Falls Nationalpark is in Maryland and in Virginia. Draw map.

This 800-acre park spans parts of Virginia and Maryland. You can spend 10 minutes in the tavern. From thundering falls to placid-looking shallows, deadly hazards lurk in water all along the Potomac River Gorge. My personal favorite is the Maryland side. The Great Falls of the Potomac River are located west of Washington, DC in Great Falls Park. The following information has been taken directly from National Park Service Regulations (NPS-22). 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. The picture above was taken on my birthday back on May 5th at one of the overlooks. McLean, VA The park is ideal for white water kayaking. Find the perfect Great Falls National Park stock photos and editorial news pictures from Getty Images. Includes church groups, college/school groups, scouts, service organizations, military, etc. The real must see area is the Great Falls of the Potomac. Great Falls Park Motorcycle Permit: $15.00 The park contained picnic grounds, a dance pavilion, and a carousel at the end of an electric trolley line that starts in Georgetown, Washington, D.C.. Select a pass option below to learn more! Check flight prices and hotel availability for your visit. Tucked away in the bustling metropolis of Northern Virginia is Great Falls National Park. Also valid for entrance into the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park. It looked like this that day. Great Falls Park Motorcycle Permit: $15.00 Admits one single private motorcycle and its passengers. Please Read Carefully. Admits the pass holder and occupants of a single, private non-commercial vehicle OR pass holder and three person (16 and older) where per person entrance fees are charged. Description. Below the falls, through Mather Gorge, the river is rated class 2-3 and has been a very popular kayaking run since the 1960s. Admits one single, private, non-commercial vehicle and all its passengers. If any member of the group has a pass, entry is good for the pass holder plus three others. Some passes provide additional benefits, such as a 50-percent discount on camping at some sites for holders of Senior or Access passes. The park is not responsible for misplaced, lost or stolen cards. Organized Non-Commercial Groups in vehicles with a capacity of 15 or less are charged the $20.00 vehicle permit. National Park Service officials watch extreme kayakers from overlook 2 in Great Falls Park in Potomac, MD on June 21, 2011. See More. Background History. This series of cascading falls has developed on the Potomac River in rocks formerly known as the Wissahickon formation. Great Falls Park: Great Falls National Park. Great Falls Park, operated by the National Park Service, is located on the southern banks in Virginia, while Chesapeake and Ohio Canal parkland is located along the northern banks of the river in Maryland. All rights reserved. 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 … Great Park with great waterfall The C&O Canal historic park starts in Georgetown in the District of Columbia stretches up into Maryland (northward) for over 180 miles. 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. This page is maintained by NPS employees for information and discussion. Blasting powder was used during the construction of the canal. Not valid for organized groups or concession operated facilities or activities. Great Falls National Park is located on both the Maryland and Virginia sides of the Potomac River ().All of these photos were taken on a single visit to the park in May 2004. Children age 15 or under are admitted free. Ample hiking trails in the area and easily accessible views at Olmstesd Island. The canal system was built to transport coal and other crops to Washington D.C. and operated from 1831 to 1924. On-site parking is free and easily available. In the evenings, a searchlight illuminated the falls. However I prefer the Maryland side by far. Great Falls is a series of rapids and waterfalls on the Potomac River, 14 miles (23 km) upstream from Washington, D.C., on the border of Montgomery County, Maryland and Fairfax County, Virginia. Select from premium Great Falls National Park of the highest quality. The ONLY location in the C&O Canal National Historial Park that collects entrance fees are at Great Falls Entrance Station. Learn More About National Parks and Federal Lands Passes, Charge Cards: Master Card, VISA, Discover, or American Express, entrance fees at national parks and national wildlife refuges, standard amenity fees (day-use fees) at national forests and grasslands and at lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and US Army Corps of Engineers. Entry into the water above the falls from the Virginia side is illegal. The Great Falls Tavern serves as a C&O Canal National Historical Park Visitor Center. and to be sure pass sales will be available. Physical pass must be presented at time of use. Learn More About National Parks and Federal Lands Passes. The park continues to provide picnic grounds and a visitor’s center, but the carousel (1954-1972) was destroyed by a flood caused by Hurricane Agnes. It is very beautiful and just about 30 minutes from Washington D.C. The park is roughly around 800 acres which includes one of the oldest canals in the United States (U.S.). Directions: To reach Great Falls Park from I-495, exit 44, Route 193 (Georgetown Pike), follow 193 west about 4.5 miles and turn right onto Old Dominion Drive. February 20, 2018. © Maryland Historic District. Always check with individual sites for details. Call ahead for entrance station hours of operation. 2 min read. 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. All other access to the park is free. Pass is valid at Great Falls Park and C&O Canal National Historical Park for entrance fees only. In general, one pass covers the fees listed above for a driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle at per-vehicle fee areas or up to four adults at sites that charge per person. Great Falls Park Vehicle Permit: $20.00 I write articles and I do a little bit of programming on the site. The 800 acre Great Falls Park is part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway along the Potomac River, 14 miles upriver from Washington D.C. The entrance station is located at 11710 MacArthur Boulevard, Potomac, MD 20854. The park is roughly around 800 acres which includes one of the oldest canals in the United States (U.S.). You have access from both states to this Park. The total fee charged for an Organized Non-Commercial Group will not exceed the $100 fee per vehicle. (No per person fee) The street address for the Maryland side is: 11710 MacArthur Blvd. Share. 22101. Fees collected will support the park education program and outreach to new school audiences. It is an historic building in Potomac that currently is being used as the park's visitor center. Individuals 15 years of age and younger are admitted free of charge. Representations of pass are prohibited. Call ahead for entrance station hours of operation, Great Falls Park Addresses . CUA groups will be charged the $20.00 per vehicle fee or $10.00 per person fee at entry. According to the International Scale of River Difficulty, the Great Falls have a rating of class 5 and 6 whitewater . Admission to Great Falls Park is valid for seven consecutive days including date of purchase. Great Falls Park is a small National Park Service (NPS) site in Virginia, United States. The other day while making my rounds for Mom (Andrew's AFB & Walter ... Reed/Bethesda Medical Center), I noticed both hospitals have landscape images displayed throughout their corridors. The Great Falls Tavern Center and the Charles F. Mercer BoatThe Great Falls Park is located along the banks of the Potomac River between the states of Viginia (Fairfax) and Maryland (Potomac). George Washington Memorial Parkway The perils at Great Falls. Tips and reviews. Great Falls features both a Virginia and Maryland side. Also valid for entrance into the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park. Maryland: 11710 MacArthur Blvd., Potomac, MD; Virginia: 9200 Old Dominion Dr. McLean, VA; For an overview of the trails and amenities at the parks, see A Visitors Guide to Great Falls Park Admits one single private motorcycle and its passengers. The America the Beautiful – The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Series is your ticket to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites across the United States. Situated on 800 acres 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. A scenic trail near the river travels upstream starts at the mouth of Difficult Run, climbs to the top of Mather Gorge, continue pass the falls, the dam, and a reservoir before ending in Riverbend Park (Fairfax County). *No America the Beautiful: National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Passes will be accepted, and no exemptions for age. As of January 1, 2016 the C&O Canal National Historical Park will charge education program fees for curriculum-based, park-led education programs at Great Falls (Potomac, MD). The most popular trail in the park is the Billy Goat Trail. Great Falls is a part of the National Park Service and there is a small admission fee. Over 80% of the fees collected are returned to the park for specific projects. The falls' Virginia portion is situated inside the 800-acre Great Falls Park in the town of Great Falls. Feel free to leave a message. C & O Canal Under Construction Vehicles with capacity of 7-25 passengers: $40. Individuals 15 years of age and younger are admitted free of charge. Read related article. c/o Turkey Run Park All entrance fees and passes offered by Great Falls Park can now be purchased online through Recreation.gov. This is the guideline to be followed in granting education fee waivers. Vehicles with capacity of 26+: $100. 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. The Patowmack Canal is the first canal in the US that used locks to raise and lower boats. The park charges a small entrance fee of $5 per car (~600 available parking spots). Part of the parkthat's in the Potomac showcases the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and is a United States National Park. Great Falls Park is a small National Park Service site in Virginia, United States. Great Falls National Park May 2004 - Maryland side. At times during the March 21-22 weekends, the park … No more than $10 per student will be collected for any day of programs. It is a part of the National Park Service (NPS) and George Washington Memorial Parkway. Bona fide educational or scientific institutions may qualify if the following conditions are met. You can also see stone mason marks found on the stones unique to each artisan along the canals. Valid for twelve months from the date of purchase. Great Falls Park Individual Permit: $10.00 Seeing the water slice around and over the rocks is tremendous. It's really worth it! The Great Falls Tavern is located at the entrance of this park. 286,954 were here. Great Falls Park Great Falls Park is a small National Park Service (NPS) site in Virginia, United States. Here's what Trippy members say about Great Falls National Park: " Great Falls National Park would be another laid back place to visit." It is a part of the National Park Service (NPS) and George Washington Memorial Parkway. Vehicles with a capacity of 16 or more are charged a fee of $10.00 per person. The Wissahickon consists of resistant metamorphic rocks including schists, gneisses, metagraywackes and metaconglomerates. There’s around 15 miles (24 km) of hiking trails around the park that follows a small stream known as Difficult Run. MCLEAN, VA — Great Falls Park continues to operate with changes amid the new coronavirus situation. Great Falls, MD is part of the Chesapeake & Ohio (C & O) Canal National Historic Park and they’re located off Falls Road in Potomac. Your application package must contain all of the following. There’s an average of 7 drownings per year in the Potomac River or its vicinity most of them alcohol-related even though consumption of alcoholic beverages is illegal within the park area. Passes allow free entrance to individual pass holders under the conditions stated on the pass. Tom McEwan was the first kayaker to make a run on the river on 1975. All holders of America the Beautiful Interagency Passes, Golden Passports, Great Falls Park passes and those under 15 years old and younger will be exempt from payment of fees. The sighting of the Painted Bunting, on the Maryland side of Great Falls, was first documented last week. On six dates in 2021, all National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee (including Great Falls Park) will offer free admission to everyone. Two wooden canal lock gates located on the park visitor center was excavated in the 1980s. Please visit official websites for more information. Great Falls National Park MD & VA Shot With A Panasonic HC-X1 Come experience the national parks! The Great Falls Park is located along the banks of the Potomac River between the states of Viginia (Fairfax) and Maryland (Potomac). Mark your calendar for these entrance fee–free dates in 2021: Vehicles with capacity of 1-6 passengers: $25 plus $3 per person. *No America the Beautiful: National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Passes will be accepted, and no exemptions for age. A few miles outside of DC and it feels a world away. Admits one individual when entering by foot, bicycle, or equestrian. 10/24/2013 The project was abandoned in 1830 due to the completion of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal on the opposite side of the river and the popularity of railroads. Great Falls Park Motorcycle Permit: $15.00, Great Falls Park Individual Permit: $10.00. Rockville, MD; Great Falls National Park ; Due to the escalation of the coronavirus outbreak, local state parks, ranges and preserves, as well as many stores may be closed. The canal is a Civil Engineering Landmark as well as a Virginia Historic Landmark along with several ruins of the small town of Matildaville, Virginia. Extreme kayakers Jason Beakes and Nathan Sass on the rapids in Great Falls Park in Potomac, MD on June 21, 2011. It contains a large picnic area, but its only open during the daylight hours. Visit the Park's website for more information.. Great Falls is one of the most popular spots on the canal for walkings out to the falls, watching the mule-drawn canal boat pass through Lock 20, picnicking, and/or heading out to the Billy Goat Trail. The Great Falls and Old Dominion Railroad and then later its successor the Washington and Old Dominion Railway operated an amusement park (trolley park) at the falls between 1906 and 1932. C & 0 Locking Mechanism Great Falls Park 9200 Old Dominion Drive McLean, VA 22102. Kayaking at the Great Falls Before any development on the Great Falls, there are Native American petroglyphs that have been discovered within the park on cliffs overlooking Difficult Run. Great Falls Park The natural beauty of Great Falls is unmatched with its series of steep, jagged rocks that flow through the narrow Mather Gorge. Organized groups are not eligible for the vehicle permit. The popularity of the falls for expert white water kayakers only started in the early 1990s. The tavern is the Visitors Center for this part of the C&O Canal park. Also valid for entrance into the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park. George Washington partially funded the Patowmack Canal and this one-mile (1.6 km) bypass canal began operating in 1785 to give small barges the opportunity to distribute manufactured goods upstream and raw materials downstream. Individuals 15 years of age and younger are admitted free of charge. Get directions, maps, and traffic for Great Falls, MD. Great Falls National Park Mc Lean, MD 22102. The park sometimes closes because of the lack of parking space creating delays and temporary closures lasting for several hours. 9200 Old Dominion Dr, McLean, DC. Just a 30 minute drive from DC gets you a great escape from the hustle and bustle of life in the city. It offers several viewing platforms that provide visitors with vantage points overlooking the falls. Removal of seats from a vehicle does not then qualify for the lower rate. More information about the America the Beautiful – The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Series, including available passes, costs, benefits, and how and where they may be obtained, is available. Void if altered, and pass is non transferable/ non refundable. Explore the most popular trails in my list Great Falls Park, MD with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you. 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 NPS does not permit camping or swimming in the park. The confusion arises because the Potomac river is 405 miles long and runs from the Potomac Highlands in West Virginia to the Great Falls in Maryland. There was a proposed bridge to span the falls but, due to a strong lobby to eliminate additional bridges over the Potomac and concerns over environmental impacts, the project was never undertaken. The falls total 76 feet (20 m) over a series of major cascades. The Great Falls Park was part of the Northern Virginia Parks system and was transferred to the NPS in 1966. The NPS operates a visitor center near the falls. It’s one of the first known examples of blasting powder being used for engineering purposes anywhere in the world. Potomac, MD 20854 Also valid for entrance into the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park. Mentioned in these answers: VIEW DETAILED MAP. (No per person fee) There is no fee for support vehicles ("sag wagons"). The Maryland side of Great Falls is part of the C&O Canal National Historical Park. 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