A quiet wooded community in western Fairfax County, VA, Great Falls is home to more than 15,000 people. It’s a mostly residential area filled with single-family homes of varying styles and sizes, from Tudor mansions and Craftsman homes to expansive horse farms and luxurious estates. The area’s proximity to Washington, D.C., and the Northern Virginia tech corridor, as well as its high-ranking school systems, add to its popularity, and that has led it to being recognized by Forbes magazine as one of the most expensive zip codes in the country.
At the Great Falls of the Potomac, the river drops 76 feet in less than a mile. At the same time, the banks narrow from 1000 feet wide to only 60 to 100 feet as the river passes through Mather Gorge. The combination of dropping and narrowing as the river passes over jagged rocks creates a dramatic series of waterfalls and rapids. It’s a stunning, and easy-to-reach slice of nature only 18 miles from busy Washington DC.
Hiking is the most popular outdoor activity in Great Falls Park VA. See the section above for our favorite hikes in the park.
Rock Climbing is another popular activity in Great Falls. Sign in to the Hiker’s Log at the Visitor Center then head to the area between Overlook 2 and Sandy Landing to pick your route.
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