Great Falls, McLean VA
Great Falls National Park- 9200 Old Dominion Drive, McLean, VA 22102
I grew up going to Great Falls. I remember scrambling across bare rocks with my dad and siblings while white Potomac River water crashed nearby, occasionally picturing the catastrophe that would occur should one of us fall in, though never bothering to shy from exploring the sunbathed rocks anyway.
There’s not much hiking involved at this park unless you’re determined for there to be. A lot of the paths are family–and even stroller–friendly. The outlook for the falls is well marked and easily accessible, and if you wander the paths you’ll find random treasures in nature’s nooks and crannies.
Because it is a National Park, there is a fee to enter (all the information can be found on the park’s website). It is well worth it, however. People boulder, kayak, hike, walk, run, play Frisbee, explore, climb, have picnics and cookouts, and more. This 800-acre park, only 15 miles from our Nation’s Capital, is lovely no matter the time of year (though I do suggest going when the waters are high, such as the spring–the bugs aren’t really out yet and the falls are roaring; photos feature an early November visit).