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Trip Planner:   USA  /  Virginia  /  Fairfax County  /  McLean  /  Great Falls Park

Great Falls Park, McLean

4.8
#1 of 23 in Parks in Fairfax County
Must see · National Park · Water Body
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Great Falls Park covers 324 hectares (800 acres) of protected land along the Potomac River. This national park offers 24 km (15 mi) of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, as well as a designated picnic area where you can enjoy quiet time in nature. It’s just a short walk to the Great Falls to watch the Potomac River cascade over the edge and into the Mather Gorge. Experienced white-water rafters will enjoy the power of the Potomac, and climbers can try their skills in the designated climbing sites. Take the guesswork out of planning a McLean vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.
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Great Falls Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
1,347 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • This park was an unexpected delight. Just beautiful. Great hiking trails for the "non hiker". Wear tennis shoes! I was in sandals... not the best foot wear for the visit. The views are spectacular... 
    This park was an unexpected delight. Just beautiful. Great hiking trails for the "non hiker". Wear tennis shoes! I was in sandals... not the best foot wear for the visit. The views are spectacular...  more »
  • The Virginia side has the best, most direct views of the falls rather than in Maryland, though the Maryland side (see a separate review) also has excellent trails and views. There are three—short... 
    The Virginia side has the best, most direct views of the falls rather than in Maryland, though the Maryland side (see a separate review) also has excellent trails and views. There are three—short...  more »
  • This is a great option to get a hike in while not having to wander too far from DC. It does get really crowded during nice days (specifically spring, summer, and probably fall as well). The River... 
    This is a great option to get a hike in while not having to wander too far from DC. It does get really crowded during nice days (specifically spring, summer, and probably fall as well). The River...  more »
Google
  • A beautiful park, well-maintained featuring its natural attributes splendidly. The observation areas are well situated for everyone, including the physical-challenged people. Many shaded areas for families to picnic or just simply taking a break to take in the views. We really enjoyed walking, hiking along the river trail. The trail took us right to the edges of many cliffs, showing the spectacular views of the water. A great area to enjoy nature, just a few steps from the hustle of the city. A must visit in the DC area.
  • I love Great Falls park for a good day out in nature. There are so many hikes and trails to choose from and can be for all level of hikers/walkers. Its also a great spot for just a picnic or finding look out points over Potomac. I'm pleasantly surprised at the level of care and maintenance that goes into this large of an area including keeping trails clear. Entry fee to the park is $20/car without a National parks annual pass. Love coming back here.
  • Very fun experience and atmosphere ! I was thrilled to see that they do military discount upon entry. Finding parking was a little tough due to the amount of spots they have available. The park itself, including the bathrooms and walkways, were clean. They had a food truck serving different types of foods and drinks. The views of the waterfall is amazing & the hiking trails also has great views. I will definitely be back.
  • This place is beautiful! You only need to be a walker to experience its beauty. Lots of paved trails. However, there are pathways you can take that are also clearly marked. Plenty of placards to indicate what happened or what is going on at certain locations. There are the overviews of the falls; personally I liked overview 1 best, as it is the closest to the falls!
  • What an amazing view and place to visit. Very easy! Walkable locations even if you are less than spry. Stay away from lookout one. If you're not down for a little bit of off-road rock navigation. Overlook two is even better and overlooked three is the best! Don't be surprised by the $20 entrance fee like I was. They do accept credit card. Many trails that you can walk on as well and lots of beautiful nature

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