Great Falls National Park (Maryland Side)

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Tucked away in the bustling metropolis of Northern Virginia is Great Falls National Park. Just a 30 minute drive from DC gets you a great escape from the hustle and bustle of life in the city. Great Falls features both a Virginia and Maryland side. My personal favorite is the Maryland side.

The picture above was taken on my birthday back on May 5th at one of the overlooks. I couldn’t think of a better place to spend my birthday than being at one of the most popular National Parks around.

IMG_20160507_102327This picture is part of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal which is also known as the C & O Canal. This trail stretches from Washington D.C. all the way to Cumberland, Maryland at a whopping 184.5-miles (296.9 km).  It was a slightly gloomy day with not many people in sight.  Everything was very vibrant and green and made for a nice birthday stroll in the park.

IMG_20160427_214432This picture was taken during National Park week. I took advantage of free entrance fees into the park and did the famous Billy Goat Trail. This was at the beginning of the Billy Goat trail A and the lighting through the trees made for a picture perfect moment.

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I took this picture after finishing the trail as I was jogging back up to the parking lot. I only had time to do section A of the Billy Goat Trail which was 1.7 miles (2.7km). The Billy Goat Trail has three different sections with section B being 1.4 miles (2.3km) and section C at 1.6miles (2.6km). Section A is by far the most popular of the three and features a vigorous rock scramble. I love doing rock scrambles and climbing over huge boulders so be sure to use caution on this trail! I have not done section B and C yet, but I hear they are much less strenuous than section A. I am hoping to make my way back there to do the entire trail.

HOURS AND ADMISSION

Great Falls is open seven days a week at 7 am and closes 30 minutes after sunset. If you do not have a national park pass, the entrance fees can be expensive at $15, but Great Falls is worth checking out!

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

If you are coming from Virginia, hop on 495 and take exit 41 onto Clara Barton Parkway. Just 2 miles down Clara Barton will lead you to MacArthur Boulevard for about 3.5 miles until you reach the gate to the parking lot.

MAP OF THE FALLS

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