Washington, D.C. audio tour: Great Falls Park: A Circular Hike Along the Potomac River

Great Falls Park: A Circular Hike Along the Potomac River

Walking Tour

|
90 mins
|
2.3mi

About the Tour

Amble along the cliffs overlooking the Potomac River, taking in thundering waterfalls, exciting rock climbing excursions, and the region’s most perilous kayaking spots. On this walking tour, you’ll have an opportunity to explore a few hidden gems found on the Great Falls Park trails. I’ll also show you one of my favourite, wilder paths at the national park.

You’ll see that there’s much more to Great Falls than its viewing platforms. I’ll point you in the direction of the areas tourists don't know about, including views of hidden waterfalls, the region's best rock climbing and rappelling spots, and a route along the canal and through an abandoned colonial-era city. There are also several opportunities to go off-trail to get up-close with the rapids at the falls and, if you're lucky, you might even see a daredevil kayaker trying their luck.

This tour can take up to two hours and, while it’s not especially strenuous, it’s plenty exciting!

Tour Producer

avatar

Doug Zimmer

Born and raised near Washington D.C., Doug has lived just blocks away from the White House and right down the street from the most iconic places in the capital region.

Major Landmarks

  • Great Falls

  • River Trail

  • Sandy Landing

  • Mather Gorge

Directions to Starting Point

Great Falls Park, Virginia. Meet at the Visitor's Center to begin your hike.

Show Directions
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Tips

Places to stop along the way

Scott's Run Nature Preserve and Waterfall.

Best time of day

Incredible at any time. If it is raining, the falls will be especially impressive, but the trails may be a bit muddy.

Precautions

This trail has uneven rocky terrain, and is not suitable for anyone with mobility limitations or most elderly. The hike itself has relatively little elevation change and is not strenuous. Small children under 5 should be supervised, as there are several viewpoints that do not have barriers.

Comments

We had a wonderful day at Great Falls.
We saw extreme kayakers go down the falls, and also saw rock climbers later on! The guide said we might see these, but I was surprised when we actually did - very exciting!

The tour took about 2 hours (we stopped several times to take advantage of the views, and for a snack break). The audio tour and commentary was wonderful and perfectly timed, and pretty easy to use on my iPhone after I downloaded the app.

Posted by Dylan , about 1 month ago

The information and factoids throughout the hike made this most memorable! Best stops for breath taking views, and directions are easy to follow. Doug's narrative gives you the best invisible guide. Great Falls has so much hidden beauty, I HIGHLY recommend this tour for anyone!

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , 5 months ago
Preview mode limited to first 3 locations.
Great Falls Park: A Circular Hike Along the Potomac River