Great Falls National Park

The weather has been absolutely gorgeous so we figured that a family hike would be the perfect way to kickoff the holiday weekend. This morning we drove about 15 minutes north to Great Falls Park in McLean, Virginia. At this National Park, the Potomac River ‘builds up speed and force as it falls over a series of steep, jagged rocks and flows through the narrow Mather Gorge.’ There are multiple trails with varying degrees of difficulty (but none are really all that difficult) with various look-out points along the way.


This picture does not do the falls justice – the power of the rapids is insane. Sadly, there have been multiple deaths in the area due to the underestimation of the sheer force. The actual falls total almost 80 feet over a series of cascades.


A fellow hiker offered to take our picture at the main overlook, so we now have an updated family picture that isn’t a selfie. As you can see, I wore Violet in the Ergo. While there were a couple of points during the hike that required me to use Clay as leverage for the safety of our daughter, I found climbing rocks do-able while wearing a baby.


The little guy had a blast exploring and using his Spiderman skills to navigate through jagged rocks and muddy streams. We tried our best to utilize parkour techniques but I’m sure we didn’t look the most graceful maneuvering from Point A to Point B.


My boys.


Violet was mesmerized by the sound of the rushing water.


 Further down from the main falls.


Great Falls National Park was the perfect place to spend a late spring Friday morning. Seriously, we couldn’t have asked for a better family outing at the start of the Memorial Day holiday. For our family and many others, Memorial Day isn’t just about backyard barbecues and pool parties. It is about so much more. I often have trouble putting into words what Memorial Day means to me so instead, I’ll just share some words I wrote years ago: 5 Years. Remembering. and …all gave some, some gave all….


9 thoughts on “Great Falls National Park

  1. Great post and photos. I had no idea about this place and it’s also just a short drive for us as well. Will definitely put it on our list of places to visit.

    1. You totally should. We were at the park for a couple of hours and then went to Tyson’s for lunch and the LEGO store (per the request of a certain 4 year old…). From my understanding, there are only about 600 parking spaces so on the weekends, there can be a wait due to the park being at capacity. It is probably best to go during an off day/time.

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