Conveniently close to the visitors center, travelers arriving at Great Falls Park will check out all three of Great Falls Park’s overlooks.
Travelers looking for a great way to experience the views of the stunning falls of Great Falls Park, Virginia, should make sure to add these three overlooks to their viewing experience the next time they visit the park.
Located conveniently close to the visitors center, travelers arriving at Great Falls Park will have the chance to check out all three of Great Falls Park’s overlooks. Their incredible views are the absolute best way to experience Great Falls Park.
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Viewing The Falls Of Great Falls Park
Travelers to Great Falls Park, Virginia, may be looking for interesting new ways to experience the views from around the park. Fortunately, Great Falls Park is home to three wonderful viewing platforms, which are just a ten-minute walk from the Visitors Center. Travelers will need to access the outlooks by walking. Outlooks two and three are handicap accessible with a convenient path leading right up to them. Overlook one is a bit harder to access as it lacks a convenient path. However, it is still reachable.
The first overlook is located to the left of the southern end of the Visitors Center. It is the closest for travelers to reach. A small trail will take travelers up to the dirt platform from which they can view the rapids. It should be noted that this trail is quite narrow and are not accessible for the handicapped. Travelers should be cautious to stay within the fenced-in area to avoid risking a potential fall.
The second overlook, located at Great Falls Park, has views of most of the waterfalls available in the park. Travelers trying to reach the overlook will take a left on a small wooden footbridge by the Patowmack Canal wayside. They will then take a staircase and ramp up to a large wooden viewing platform. This platform is fully handicap accessible.
The third overlook at Great Falls Park is accessible via the trail that goes past Overlook 2 across a second wooden footbridge. On the way to the overlook, travelers will pass the pole that marks the high water points for the river. It is a great chance for travelers to imagine what some floods through the area may have looked like. This overlook marks the furthest point along which the falls can be viewed.
Great Falls Park Is A Destination For Fun
The Potomac River gathers speed and power as it descends over a series of steep jagged rocks as it flows through the narrow passage of Mather Gorge. Travelers can even check out Patowmack Canal, which offers a glimpse into the early history of the area. Travelers will always be able to find something to do or a new place to explore at this 800-acre park just 15 minutes from the Capital of the US.
- Great Falls Park Vehicle Permit – $20.00
- Great Falls Park Motorcycle Permit – $15.00
- Great Falls Park Individual Permit – $10.00
- More Pass Information
Hiking at Great Falls Park
Hiking is a great activity to partake in at Great Falls Park. With acres of park to explore and miles of trails. There will be plenty of great locations in the park for travelers to hike through.
Camping at Great Falls Park
Great Falls Park may be open for day use only, with its campsites for day use only. However, that doesn’t mean that travelers are out of luck when it comes to camping. Fortunately, the park is surrounded by excellent camping destinations that travelers can take advantage of. Travelers may not be able to stay exactly at the park, but they will be able to at least enjoy camping close by.
- Lake Fairfax Park – Open year-round and the closest campground to Great Fall Park.
- Burke Lake Park – Open seasonally.
- Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park – Located in Maryland, from Georgetown to Cumberland. Drive-in, scout, and hiker-biker campgrounds are available and open year-round.
- Catoctin Mountain Park – National Park Service, located in Maryland. Cabins, group campgrounds, Adirondack shelters, and RV camping (maximum trailer length of 22 ft.) are available.
- Greenbelt Park – National Park Service, located in Maryland. Campground open year-round, RV camping available.
- Prince William Forest Park – National Park Service, located in Prince William County, VA, near Quantico. Campgrounds are open year-round; RV camping, group campgrounds, backcountry camping (permit required), and cabin camping are available.
- Pohick Bay – Northern Virginia Regional Park, located in Lorton, VA. Group, RV, and family camping are available. Open year-round.
- Bull Run Regional Park– Northern Virginia Regional Park, located in Centreville, VA near I-66. RV camping and tent sites are available. Open year-round.
- Shenandoah National Park – Located in Virginia, approximately two hours from Great Falls Park. Lodges, RV, tent, backcountry camping, and over 500 miles of trails. Campground opens seasonally, and backcountry camping (permit required) is available year-round.