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 »
No Water in Visitor Center Courtyard
Due to plumbing problems, there are no bathrooms available in the Visitor Center (VC) courtyard. There are portajohns behind the Snackbar for public use. *Please note: Restrooms near the lower parking lot are fully operational.
Weekend and Holiday Delays for Entry
Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays when there is a good weather forecast, expect delays of up to an hour from Noon to 4pm when entering the park.
Nature & Science
National Park Service
The Potomac River and the unique geological features have shaped the land at Great Falls for millennia. Floods regularly occur along this stretch of the river, taking away soils and plants and depositing new silt and seeds to take their place. This is a dynamic environment, home to rare plant communities and a variety of wildlife.
Most of the park's 800 acres are forested. Throughout the year, over 150 different species of birds can be seen at Great Falls Park. Native animals, such as whitetail deer, fox, box turtles, squirrels, coyotes, bats, and chipmunks also call this place home. A wide variety of plants, including several rare species, thrives in this environment.
A walk along the Potomac or through the woods on one of the park's trails offers a glimpse into the natural scenery here. Remember, the animals here are wild. Do not attempt to feed or touch wildlife. You can help take care of the park by not disturbing plants or wildlife and staying on the trail.
Did You Know?
Water temperatures in the Potomac can drop to freezing and ice will form along the banks. However, the water is moving too quickly through the Great Falls to completely freeze over.