The Great Falls of the Potomac

Hi friends,

I usually blog about DIY and home decor, but once in a while I also like to share places, museums, neighborhoods, or even cities. You can find all those posts in my Travel section at the top of the blog.

Today is one of those days. :)

The place: The great falls of the Potomac, which is unbelievably close to my home.

I say unbelievably because really, we live about 10-15 min away -driving- and I've never visited this place before!

As stated on the National Park Service, The Great Falls of the Potomac are considered to be, by many people, the most spectacular natural landmark in the Washington D.C. area.

We decided to visit this park and go on a hike in one of the many trails it has.

Upon parking, the visitor center/museum is the first thing you'll see. From far away it looks like a really nice, old house.

This nice old house is the Great Falls Tavern, constructed soon after the canal's ground breaking in 1828. It was built in response to traveler's requests for shelter and a meal. The hotel opened for business in 1931.

The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal (C&O Canal), was a life line for communities along the Potomac river, goods were transported down the waterway to market.

Canal boat rides are still available today, sadly we went on a a day it was closed.

However, our main goal was to see the falls and to go on a hike.

We walked towards the Falls' overlook, through a very neat boardwalk.

From little bridges on the boardwalk this was one of the views.

My daughter posing a bit further.

Here again one more view from one of those little bridges.

Until we reached the overlook. My view to the right:

And to the left:

Kayaking is one of the many activities people enjoy here.

We went back the boardwalk to find the trail we wanted to take. On our way there, we got closer to the river.
I like this picture of my son and his uncle enjoying the view.

I'm here with my two musketeers at the same spot.

We kept walking until we reached the entrance of the trail, the Billy Goat Trail.

At first we had plain terrain.

Soon after, lots of tree roots and medium rocks kept blocking the way.

The rocks kept getting bigger.

And BIGGER. It was like we had to jump from rock to rock. :)

Until we reached this amazing point! These pictures don't make any justice to its beauty.

The view is breathtaking!

On the other side of the river, Virginia' side, a lady was rock climbing - another favorite at the park -
My oh my, I couldn't do that. :/

We had some company on the way. Well, this fawn was waiting for his mama.

Up ahead, we encountered one of the biggest challenges of this trail, a pretty steep climb along a cliff. I was the last one to take it, so while my daughter climbed it I took pictures to make the following time-lapse:

It sure tests your balance! :)

The way back to the visitor's center is along side the canal.

A beautiful walk.

There were lots of turtles swimming with this little fellow, but the glare didn't let me get a pic with all of them.

What a beautiful place this is. We had a blast and I'm sure I'll be back here to do the complete trail and to check the inside of the tavern. ;)

Have you been here before?

Here are some other places you might like:

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  1. Beautiful pictures. One of my favorite places to go when I was a kiddo. Can't wait to take ours when they get a little older. :)

    1. It sure is beautiful, Megan! I think Wynn can tackle it and pretty soon the twins too. ;) Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Cristina, haven't been there, but it looks like a place my husband and I would enjoy going. Love that time lapse photo! Can you imagine how slippery those rocks would be had it not been so dry?? Thanks for sharing your day trip!

    1. Yep, whenever you're in the area, that's one trip you're gonna love! The steep climb felt more like climbing steps without holding onto a handrail. I wouldn't go on this trail on a rainy day, nope, too many rocks, at least in this part of the trail.

  3. Gosh what a beautiful place! Thank you so much for sharing.

  4. Beautiful photos! My husband and I went there several times when we lived in Germantown. It was especially pretty in the winter with snow and ice. On our mantle here we have a print of a painting of the tavern/visitors center done by an artist (F. Mohn) who could not use his hands. He painted it by holding the brush between his teeth.
    From the Virginia side, the falls is just a few steps from the parking area. Thank you of the reminder of this beautiful place.
    Sue P.

    1. Well, I live in Germantown! hmm gotta go during winter but leaving out this trail. ;) You must have a gorgeous painting, the real tavern building is so pretty, I really want to tour the inside! Thanks for your kind comment Sue!

  5. Beautiful area...reminds me a bit of our part of the country! Isn't it amazing that we can live within driving distance of some of the most beautiful scenery and never even get out and enjoy it!

  6. This truly is a spectacular place to visit!! We were there for a very short time many years ago. Your gorgeous post is a good reminder to go back and hike some of those trails. It seems we so often forget to take advantage of places in our own backyard.
    Mary Alice

  7. Wow, what a gorgeous place! I absolutely love going for hikes this time of year :)


    The Southern Stylista

  8. What a wonderful hike I just! I have to say I think rock climbing would be pretty fun. Love the family pics.

  9. What a fun place to visit. Lovely porch too.

  10. I love your pictures! What a beautiful place. I bet you and your family had a great time. One of our best trips as a family was to DC and Virginia. It makes me want to go back!


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