Just a few short miles off of the Capital Beltway, nestled along a winding wooded road, Great Falls National Park is a nearby haven for nature-seeking Washingtonians.
Here, the Potomac River floods into the Mather Gorge, creating breathtaking waterfalls and sloping terrain on the site of one of the nation's first canal projects.
On weekend afternoons when the weather is fair, the park is teeming with families who take full advantage of the ample picnic tables and grills. If you're interested in exploring the fifteen miles of hiking trails, or signing up for a rock-climbing excursion, get here early to avoid the midday crowds. The park opens every day at 7am, and closes at sunset.