• Great Falls of the Potomac in summer

    Great Falls

    Park Virginia

There are park alerts in effect.
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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 »

  • 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.


Leashed dogs are welcome on all park trails.

Pets must be on a 6 foot leash at all times.

National Park Service

Leashed pets are welcome on all park trails, parking lots, falls overlooks, and picnic areas. There are no off-leash areas in Great Falls Park. Owners must have physical control of the animal, using a six foot leash, at all times. Electronic or 'shock' collars do not count as a leash. With the exception of service dogs, pets are not permitted in the visitor center, or on ranger-led programs.

The leash law is in effect to protect pets and people. Be aware of dangerous currents in the Potomac, cliffs, venomous snakes, and the safety and comfort of other visitors and keep your pet on a leash at all times. Loose dogs can become prey for the coyotes that live in the park.

An off leash dog park is available in Reston, about fifteen minutes from Great Falls Park. Other off leash parks are located in Herndon, Arlington, Alexandria city, and Vienna.

Fairfax County parks, including Riverbend Park and the Cross County Trail, require all pets to be on a six foot leash at all times.

During the warmer months, remember not to leave your pet unattended in a car. Temperatures in closed vehicles can be fatal to pets.

Did You Know?

Upper portion of the Patowmack Canal

George Washington started the Patowmack Canal Company at Great Falls. The canal took seventeen years to build, and was one of the first canals built in the United States. More...