Saturday, March 23, 2013

Great Falls Park

Today we went to visit Great Falls Park in McLean, VA after it was recommend to me by a friend who I work with.  It is part of the National Park Service which has twenty two parks located in the state of Virginia.

The falls are a result of the Potomac River flowing over the jagged rocks and through the narrow Mather Gorge.  One of its earliest uses was probably as a meeting place for the Native Americans who inhabited the area around 8000 BC.
Falls from the Potomac River at Great Falls Park.
In 1785 the Patowmack Canal Company build the Patowmack Canal to help navigate the Potomac River around the falls to the Ohio River.  Navigation of the Potomac River was very dear to George Washington who realized this was the way to the western waterways, which was the door to the western frontier.
Part of the Patowmack Canal at Great Falls Park.
The family and I enjoyed walking along the canal towards the Visitor's Center and the Great Falls overlooks.  All of the kids enjoyed skirting the canal walls and climbing on any rock outcrops they could find.
Chloe, Don, Misty, Ethan, Ian, Avery, Courtney, and Tia at the Patowmack Canal.
While at the Visitor's Center the kids had a chance to do some hands on discovery in the Children's Room at the please-touch table.
 Avery trying on a pair of deer antlers or his devil horns are showing, I'm not really sure.

Enjoying the Please-touch table in the Visitor's Center at Great Falls Park.
Below are some of the high water marks for flooding in the park by the Potomac River.  If you are interested in pictures of some of the flooding, please go to the Park's Photo Gallery page.
 Ian at the High Water Marks pole in Great Falls Park.

Avery, Ethan, Ian, Tia, and Courtney at the High Water Marks pole.
There are three overlook sites for the falls with Outlook 3 giving you the best view of the falls.
 The Potomac River at Great Falls Park.

Some of the jagged rocks at Great Falls Park on the Potomac River.

Great Falls at Great Falls Park.
So if you ever get a chance to visit the park, I would highly recommend it.  I'm glad I was made aware of its existence by a friend.  All of us had a good time walking down to the fall's overlooks and the kids climbing on anything they could.
Tia's ready to take flight while the others enjoy climbing.

Tia, Ethan, Chloe, Don, Avery, Courtney, and Ian at Overlook 3 on the falls.

Tia, Ethan, Chloe, Misty, Avery, Courtney, and Ian at Overlook 3 on the falls.
This was actually the first National Park that we have visited since we started our road trip last April 2012.  I guess it is really the second one since we did make it to the National Mall in January 2013, but will not be the last.

We hope your Saturday was as much fun as ours.  Tomorrow I think we are going to try another bike ride, but you just never know what we will get into.

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May God bless you all and your families and keep you safe.

Don, Misty, and Kids...


  1. What a beautiful family and a true adventure you are having.

    1. Yes we are. We love this lifestyle and would not switch back to a stick build home for anything. Thanks for the comment and complementing my family.