Great Falls National Park (Maryland Side)
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.
This 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.
This 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.
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!
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.