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 »
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 »
While At The Park
The following information will help you make your visit to Great Falls a safe and enjoyable one. If you have questions or need additional information, contact the park at 703-285-2965.
Programs will be cancelled in the event of dangerous weather events, such as thunderstorms. Participants are reminded to dress for the weather and wear appropriate footwear.
Chaperones: There should be at least one (1) adult for every ten (10) children.
Arrival: The group should be in the park 15 minutes ahead of the scheduled program time.
Bathrooms: Located outside in the courtyard area of the Visitor Center. Water fountains are located in the courtyard from April- October, and inside the Visitor Center year round.
Bus Parking: After dropping off the group, drivers should park toward the far end of the parking lot away from the Visitor Center.
Food: There is a snack bar (closed mid Nov. – mid March.) at the Visitor Center. If you are bringing lunches, they can be stored in the ranger office as needed. Picnic tables and grills are available year round on a first come, first serve basis. Great Falls is a trash free park and there are no trash cans within the park. All trash will need to be taken out with your group.
Accessibility: Some trails are not accessible for strollers and wheelchairs. Please inform us ahead of time if there are any special requirements for your group.
Cell Phones: Need to be left on vibrate or turned off during the program. If it is an emergency, please leave the group to answer the phone.
Pets: Pets are not permitted on ranger-led programs, including school and group programs, with the exception of guide dogs and other service animals.
Please go over these safety tips and rules with your group prior to your visit.
* Swimming and wading are strictly prohibited. Stay away from the water's edge.
* There is one type of venomous snake, the copperhead, found in the park.
* Poison ivy is common in the park. This plant has a characteristic hairy vine, and leaves that grow in clusters of three.
* Ground fires are prohibited.
* Picking wildflowers, touching and feeding wildlife, and/or removing rocks, plants, or historic ruins is not allowed.
* Climbing rocks can be dangerous and should not be attempted without experience and the proper equipment.
* Use caution around the cliffs, and stay away from the edge.
* Stay on designated trails.
* Report any accidents/incidents to the rangers. The rangers will be on the trails, in the Visitor Center or in the Entrance Station.
* First aid is available in the Visitor Center and ranger office.
Remember that safety is everyone’s responsibility.
Did You Know?
People used to ride a trolley to visit Great Falls Park. Dancing, a dinner at the inn, a walk down a lover's lane, and viewing the falls at night were all favorite activities.