What better place to go than Great Falls Park? Hiking is addicting like this, so fifteen days after our incredible cliff-edge sunset hike and station, I was looking for a magnificent waterfall. Admittedly, this Virginia regional park receives little attention if you are not from the area and happen to know about it. In this regard, it is similar to its Virginia sibling, Shenandoah National Park. Great Falls Park, on the other hand, is a respite from the city’s reputation for populace, buildings, and activity.
This is due to the fact that Fairfax County, Virginia’s highest-populated state with over a million residents, is where this national park is located.
This also means that Washington, D.C., one of the most populous cities in America, is only 45 days away from Great Falls Park.
However, taking pictures of the area around Great Falls Park makes it easier to appreciate the natural splendor inside the area. The park, which is well-known for its wide views of the Potomac River, has a canyon, overlooks the river with waterfalls, forest, marsh, and many rare plants. Two facts about the park intrigue me: first, it has n’t been a national park for very long; in fact, Great Falls is frequently crossed off lists of national parks. The truth is that it acquired this position in 1966 as part of a Parliamentary provision that mandated the preservation and protection of the George Washington Memorial Parkway on the property that contains the ancient Patowmack Canal and natural beauty. The second is that there are only 800 acre in this national area, making it relatively small compared to others. I’ve been doing some research for a while to make this claim as well: Gateway Arch National Park is ranked first for the fewest acre at 91, with Great Falls Park coming in second. Third place goes to the National Park of American Samoa, which has 4, 000 acres. ( Great Falls more than claims this spot too. )
Andy and I decided to change that because, despite all of these special features and the fact that it was only a few hours away from us, we had yet to explore this regional area.
The blue-blaze River Trail was our choice:
479-foot get in altitude
Two out of five levels of difficulty
The Potomac River continues to carved its approach through the Mather Gorge, and the River Trail is a dirt path that leads to picturesque sees with the best views.
This first view was exquisite and was perched above the 60-foot river.
A beautiful observation about the Mather Gorge: Technically, it is a gorge within if you will. It is an extremely thin, one-mile-long passageway surrounded by rocky cliffs. Stephen T. Mather, a conservationist who founded the National Parks Service and, consequently, national parks, is honored with the name of the valley.
We may see roof pass by and proceed down with the river from where we were.
We had our future overlook further down the trail, which was extremely impressive because of the river and the water’s darkening hue from a lighting teal.
Since we have known each other, Andy and I have lived next to the James River, so we are used to having beautiful valley opinions. Being close to a river makes us feel at home. However, the Potomac stood out from the James in a stunning way, making this river feel amazing and unique to us on our outing.
Additionally, our trail was lead from waterfalls over creek rocks to swiftly moving rapids in deep waters, which is where our next stop was a dozen yards along.
Here, we observed birds soar high in the sky and citizens properly navigating rocks by the river.
As the light yellow and black dark water levels were more accessible on the rock, this section of the path not only ideal displayed the Mather Gorge but also revealed how small the creek was.
This is n’t always the case, even though the river was low when Andy and I went. This indication indicates that the basin is constrained and funneled as it passes through the gorge following major storms, snowmelt, and torrential rains inland, quickly filling it with water that engulfs the surrounding scenery. In truth, it has been reported that the river rises to such a height that it crosses this cliff’s advantage!
The flowers are a major issue for biologists because of these floods…
Twenty-seven rare, threatened, or endangered Virginia and regional plants can be found in the swamp at Great Falls Park ( also known as the Northern Piedmont/Lower New England Basic Seepage Swamp ).
The Riverside Bedrock Terrace Pine Woodland and two other uncommon forest communities ( or plant groups ) are located beyond this. This grouping includes specific trees ( pine, cedar, oak, etc. ) and shrubs that are unique to West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia. Potomac River Bedrock Terrace Oak-Hickory Forest is the other. This clustering includes a few prevalent trees, such as oak, fringetree, and hop tress, as well as plants, grasses and sedges that are unique to this area of the world.
What the hell is a” grasses,” you ask? Let me tell you, right now I’m totally giddy about vegetation. Rushes, again, are round and had networks while being hollow from the bottom to the surface, whereas sedges are similar to grass in that they have edges. I’ve mistakenly thought of grasses and jumps as grass all my existence! The power of the internet, everyone!
The valley opened up at our next see as Andy and I drew nearer to the steep lender.
We found it to be more than easy to stitch on and off the blue blaze because the mountain sides are anywhere from 25 to 75 ft high and they are all very close to the path. While the river undeniably commands the majority of interest, the River Trail was also stunning. When the flowers were in complete rose, we went in July.
Although Andy and I intended to turn around before our road came to an end, our second river perch was the last one before we reached the Potomac River’s edge.
Strangely enough, Maryland’s Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park is located across the ocean in a different state and national park. Both gardens have a total of 15 miles of trails, some of which loop around the creek to get from one to the other.
Overall, this trek provided me with the perfect getaway from house with gratifying valley views, which was precisely what I needed. We intend to return in the future to walk a different trail, and I was impressed that the city may provide for remission.