Height: 76 feet
Trail Type: Asphalt and gravel
Hike Distance: As much as you want it to be
If you’re taking Interstate 95, through Washington, DC, stopping at Great Falls is a good little detour. In terms of height, although listed at almost 80 feet, the falls don’t look nearly that high because that height is dispersed over a long distance. It’s really just a glorified rapid. However, the Potomac River here is over 400 feet wide, and the river flows around a countless number of jagged rock pillars, so it’s still a neat site.
From Exit 44 on I-495 just outside of Washington, DC, take VA highway 193 west. Drive about 4.5 miles and turn right onto Old Dominion Drive (there will be signs for Great Falls Park). Park on the end of the lot closest to the visitor’s center.
There are three overlooks on the east end of the visitor’s center, but the first overlook gives you the best view of the most turbulent part of the falls. If you go the opposite way, you’ll have a short walk down a flat nature trail.