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Great Falls Park

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Located only 15 miles from the nation's capital, Great Falls Park is a beautiful 800-acre park with many opportunities to explore nature and history. Explore the narrow Mather Gorge where the Potomac River builds up speed and falls over a series of steep and jagged rocks. The scenic falls feature several 20-foot waterfalls and cascading rapids, with a total 76-foot drop in elevation over a distance of less than a mile. The Patowmack Canal offers a glimpse into the early history of this country. Nearly a half million people come to Great Falls Park each year to explore one of the nation's first canals, see the Great Falls of the Potomac, or enjoy an outing along Mather Gorge's dramatic clifftops.

To learn more about Great Falls Park, visit

Local Info

Please Note: There are no singletrack trails within Great Falls Park that are open to mountain bikes. Five miles of the park's trails are open for bicycling. Cyclists may use the Ridge Trail, Difficult Run Trail, and the Old Carriage Road Trail, but must yield to pedestrians and horses. This page serves as a general overview of the area. If you're visiting the park and looking for places to ride, check out the following areas:

Visiting Tips

Great Falls Park is open year round from 7 am to 30 minutes after sunset. The park is closed December 25.

Fees & Passes:
To learn more about park fees, click here.

Camping & Lodging

Great Falls Park is a day use only park with no camping permitted. There are many options for camping in the area. Visit the park's website for recommendations on nearby camping.

Food & Drink

A snack bar is located in the visitor center courtyard. The snack bar is open seasonally from March through November and offers light snacks, hot dogs, pizza, french fries, and drinks. The snack bar is open Wednesday to Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm.

Bottled water is sold in the park's bookstore during visitor center hours on Monday and Tuesday only. There are no vending machines in the park. There are a variety of restaurants and dining options in the nearby towns, the closest of which are McLean and Great Falls.

Other Activities

The park offers many recreational opportunities, from a picnic with family and friends, to a run, ride, or hike along the Potomac River. Enjoy bird watching or fishing along the river, or if you are feeling adventurous, head out onto the Potomac for some whitewater kayaking or canoeing. Note that the Potomac River has many challenging currents, standing waves, and hydraulics. Swimming, wading, and tubing are not allowed.

Additionally, Great Falls Park has some of the best rock climbing in the immediate vicinity of Washington, D.C. Visit Great Falls Park's website for more information on the park's other activities.

Great Falls Park Biking

  • 4 Miles 6 Kilometers of Trail
  • 0 Recommended Routes
  • 1 Easy Trail Easy Trails
  • 2 Intermediate Trails Intermediate Trails
  • 0 Difficult Trails Difficult Trails
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Trails in Great Falls Park - 3

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1.5 mi 2.5 km #1Old Carriage Road
Great Falls, VA
Great Falls, VA
1.4 mi 2.3 km #2Ridge Trail
Great Falls, VA
Great Falls, VA
0.7 mi 1.1 km #3Difficult Run Trail
Tysons Corner, VA
Tysons Corner, VA

Photos of Great Falls Park - 10

MTB Project is built by riders like you. Add Your Photos

Beautiful views of the Potomac can be had from River Trail.
Apr 1, 2016 near Great F…, VA
Great Falls.
Apr 1, 2016 near Great F…, VA
Rutted and rocky descent near the east end of the Ridge Trail.
Aug 11, 2017 near Great F…, VA
Rock Garden on the Ridge Trail
Aug 11, 2017 near Great F…, VA
Difficult Run alongside the Difficult Run Trail
Aug 11, 2017 near Great F…, VA
Terminus of Difficult Run where it meets the Potomac.
Aug 11, 2017 near Tysons…, VA
Steep rock garden at the end of the Difficult Run Trail.
Aug 11, 2017 near Tysons…, VA
Lookout number 2 always a great place to shoot some pics!
Oct 27, 2018 near Great F…, VA
View from overlook 3, lookin mighty fine !
Oct 27, 2018 near Great F…, VA
Shredding the Trails with Mario & Won
May 7, 2019 near Great F…, VA