• Great Falls of the Potomac in summer

    Great Falls

    Park Virginia

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  • Trash Free Park

    Great Falls Park is now a trash free park. Trash cans have been removed. Please come prepared to carry your trash out with you. More »

  • River Safety

    Learn more about how to stay safe around the Potomac. The Potomac has dangerous currents and going into the river is not permitted. Swimming and wading could cost you your life. Stay safe. Stay out of the river. More »

Frequently Asked Questions


What are the park's hours?

Great Falls Park is open daily from 7 a.m. until dark. The Visitor Center is open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day, with extended hours during the spring, summer and fall months.


Is it possible to drive to see the Falls?

No. Vehicles are restricted to the paved road and the parking lots. The Falls are a short five to ten minute walk from the Visitor Center. Three overlooks offer different opportunities to view the Falls. Overlooks 2 and 3 are handicap accessible.


Can I bring my dog to the park?

Pets are permitted throughout the park, but must be on a six foot leash at all times and may not be left tied out or unattended. There are no off-leash areas in Great Falls Park. Do not leave pets in vehicles, as temperatures in a locked car can be fatal. Pets, with the exception of service animals, are not permitted in the Visitor Center or on Ranger led programs.


What picnic facilities are available? Do you take reservations?

Picnic tables and grills are available on a first come, first serve basis. No reservations are needed. There are no covered facilities in the park. Ground fires, wood fires, and collecting wood for fires are prohibited.


Is it possible to get married in the park?

Yes. Great Falls has been the site for many weddings over the years. Weddings do require a permit. For more information, visit our Weddings page, or contact the park at 703-285-2965.


Where can I find information about visiting the Maryland side of the Falls and hiking the Billy Goat Trail?

The Maryland side of Great Falls is part of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park. Visit their website for information and driving directions. To reach C&O's visitor center by phone, call 301-767-3714.

Did You Know?

A view of the Falls

Even though it may be a hot day, remember that swimming is not allowed in Great Falls Park. The Potomac River is fast, with dangerous currents, and is never safe for swimming. More...