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“Timeless and well loved by residents and visitors alike!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Great Falls Park

Great Falls Park
Ranked #1 of 18 things to do in McLean
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: An 800 acre park located just off the Potomac river.
Level Contributor
73 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Timeless and well loved by residents and visitors alike!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

It doesn't matter what decade or century you are in, or if you are a local resident or not, Great Falls Park is a fabulous place to visit. You can see evidence of old canals, enjoy the rushing Potomac River, watch the kayaks, negotiate the rocky waterway and stand in awe at the high water marks from floods years ago. Enjoy a picnic, visit the nature center, go hiking, imagine George Washington making plans for the canal and locks, or just be one with nature.

There are different vantage points to see the falls, and it's an easy walk to them. With a bad knee I made it just fine. My family has been coming here since the 1940's and we all love it!

Visited August 2013
Thank Wewah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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864 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
McLean, Virginia
Level Contributor
39 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Great park with many options!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

We loved the short walk from the car to the views. My sister and I brought our 2 kids that are 4 and 1. We were able to see the main overlooks, and then explore the trails a little bit before the kids got too tired. There are plenty of tables for picnics, and even plenty of rocks along the trails to sit and enjoy the scenery. We'll definitely be back!

Visited July 2014
Thank Danski2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
138 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Hidden in plain sight”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

I'm embarrassed to say I didn't even know this was nearby Vienna, VA, where I've visited family at least a dozen times. I was looking for things to do to take a mobility-restricted relative out-and-about. The park is such a treat. There are paved or smooth enough walkways/paths for everywhere you need to go to see the falls. Plenty of benches or big rocks for when you need to stop and take a rest. The falls themselves are mind-blowing- grandeur and power. It would be a great spot to bring a picnic and frisbee and hangout for the afternoon.

Visited April 2014
Thank Kelly P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lebanon, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
154 reviews
69 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Spectacular!! An absolute GEM!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014 via mobile

Awesome views of the falls and so easily accessible. Easily mesmerized viewing the falls and crazy kayakers climbing over the rocks to continue upstream - they're absolutely crazy! Excellent trails taking you up close and personal with ruins of old village, canal and lock remnants. This is a must see!! Hint - arrive very early on weekend to avoid long wait to enter park.

Thank John G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Falling Waters, West Virginia
Level Contributor
63 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“outstanding hiking”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2014

It is always nice to come back to this park when in the Dulles Airport area in Washington for some outstanding hiking. We prefer the Virginia side as it provides more shaded hiking possibilities, the River Trail is the best. Use hiking boots or at the very least trail runners, rough and slippery footing on this trail. Difficult Run trail is the next best and then the easy ones back to the picnic area. The south parking area is shaded and very quiet. Too bad all but three picnic tables removed from this area. But even with own chairs and tables this area is much more relaxing than other ones. which can get very crowded. Once past the three overlooks the hiking trails into the woods and gorge are underused. Being from West Virginia we are spoiled when it comes to park facilities. We are used to free admission ( here it is $5 per car--not too outrageous but not free) and we are used to trash cans especially in picnic areas ( here you have to carry your trash out) but what is the worst is the deplorable state of the toilet facilities-third world style. In WV we have clean and comfortable rest rooms in shelters and picnic areas well stocked and cleaned several times a day on busy days. here it is porta potties stinky until the visitor center rest rooms are renovated and the 1950's style "running water" toilet just off the south parking lot where you become one with "Mr. Spiders" and have to negotiate the trash bags ignorant picnickers have dumped There is rarely any soap available in the sinks.. What a shame for a national capital area park to have such disgusting toilet facilities. We always bring our own food . There used to be a snack bar in the Visitor's Center but we heard it closed. The beauty of the setting and trails overcome the sub par facilities for us to give this park a "very good" rating.

Visited July 2014
1 Thank MountaineerLu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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