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“My favorite place to hike and jog”
Review of Great Falls Park

Great Falls Park
Ranked #1 of 20 things to do in McLean
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: An 800 acre park located just off the Potomac river.
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
19 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“My favorite place to hike and jog”
Reviewed 28 May 2014

Nice in every season. The river trail has jaw-droppingly spectacular views and is great for hiking, but best to wear sturdy shoes with good traction. Parallel trails along the old Patowmack canal ruins and Matildaville ruins are excellent for jogging, up to 12 miles is a pretty easy loop along the river if you head upriver passing the falls and the dam and cross into River Bend park. Views of the falls are best from the Virginia side, which has good picnic facilities. For longer runs and equally scenic trails including the C&O Canal towpath that stretches from Georgetown to Ohio, the Maryland side of the falls are also very good.

Visited May 2014
1 Thank regulartraveler374
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
23 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Family fun”
Reviewed 28 May 2014 via mobile

I took my son the great falls for a weekend hike. The drive from bowie md was great. We did not like the hour wait to get into the park because they only had one person take money. We walked a few trails and enjoyed the visitor center. The fall are beautiful and a must see. After 6 hours in the park my son is asking yo go back.

1 Thank tanchick84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Encinitas, CA
Level Contributor
151 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Nice area for hiking, picnicing”
Reviewed 27 May 2014

OK, my mistake by going on a holiday (Memorial Day) but it was just too nice a day to skip. Got there at 9:45 am and the parking lot was about 3/4 full. Still a few picnic tables available but filling up fast. Did a short hike but it was obvious the place was filling up. Visited the nature center (were was everyone - it was practically empty!). Tried to use the bathrooms but they were closed - a sign directed us to a row of port-a-potties that were in AWFUL condition (remember, this was Monday of a 3-day weekend). I mean - they were so bad my friends had to go to 4 before they could find one that wasn't filled to the brim - totally gross!) Ate our lunch on the grass and when we left at 12:30, the line of cars was a mile long and it looked like they were only letting in cars when another car left. So my advice, especially on weekends, it to arrive early (9 am).

Visited May 2014
1 Thank SoCalEncinitas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alexandria, VA
Level Contributor
1,602 reviews
721 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 523 helpful votes
“The Rapids of the Potomac”
Reviewed 27 May 2014

A beautiful venue to enjoy the Potomac west of Washington! An intriguing set of water streams as the river flows toward the Chesapeake. Notice the gullies, rapids and pools that form around the jutting rocks. Some interesting trails that allow for discovery among the trees within the park itself are enjoyable as well. The best viewing comes in the early spring as melts take place further upstream and immediately after a heavy downpour. Bring a lunch and find a table to spread our and enjoy the morning or afternoon. A bit of a stretch to find the entry off the major road into or out of Great Falls, but worth the trip.

Visited May 2014
Thank jeffl499
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington, Virginia
Level Contributor
77 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Favorite spot in NoVa”
Reviewed 23 May 2014

This place is my favorite spot to visit in N Virginia. The park is beautiful, but I could just spend hours looking out at the falls. The kayakers that are daring enough to navigates this waters can keep us entertained all day. There are tons of hiking and walking paths for all different abilities. I'm not sure if it's allowed, but a couple of times we've seen rock climbers scaling the rocks. There are picnic tables and grills available and open space for kids to run around in. Pets are always welcome. Bathrooms are available. There is a nature center, which is good for first-timers and/or younger kids.

When we were younger, we would love to go film and photograph in black and white along the trails because of the beautiful scenery. Definitely worth visiting.

Visited April 2014
1 Thank CBNtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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