Potomac Gorge Field Guide
Potomac Gorge and Great Falls
It's tempting to think of wilderness only as remote places, far from where people live and work. The Potomac Gorge defies that notion. It is, by any measure, a special place.
The Potomac Gorge is affirmation that wilderness has more to do with healthy, functioning natural systems than location. More than 2 million people live in the jurisdictions which contain the Gorge--Fairfax County, VA; Montgomery County, MD; and the District of Columbia. So, the Gorge's special values come with special challenges and opportunities. As America's metropolitan areas expand further outward, we are challenged to do more than preserve some open space for recreation. The bigger challenge is to preserve the natural systems that support life. If we can successfully maintain and restore the Potomac Gorge's natural systems, we will know much more about how human and natural communities can share the same neighborhoods.
Did You Know?
The Civil War Defenses of Washington exist because of geology and topography. The strategic high ground where the fortifications are located stretches between two considerably different geologic terrains: the Piedmont Plateau to the north and west and the Atlantic Coastal Plain to the east.