Across Virginia
Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Tips

The Blue Ridge Parkway provides natural beauty, history and the opportunity for adventure for tens of thousands of visitors every year.

The parkway is a must-see for all ages. It is a slow-paced drive that enables visitors to see amazing vistas, rugged mountains, pastoral landscapes and unimaginable natural beauty that can only be found in the highlands of Appalachia. (more…)

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Deep Run Park

Deep Run Park in Henrico

When cars form a long line to pull into a county park on a cool day in February, it says something about the park’s popularity and amenities.

Deep Run Park is one of the bigger and more well-developed county parks in Virginia. It shows that cities and counties can produce some of the same attractiveness that state and national parks provide. (more…)

Casecade Falls

Cascade Falls Hike in Giles County: What to See

Cascade Falls in Giles County is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Virginia.

About 150,000 people visit the falls each year, according to the Giles County government. It is easy to see why. (more…)

Great Falls State Park

Great Falls, National Park Service

Located only 15 miles from the nation’s Capital, Great Falls Park is an 800 acre escape into nature for dwellers of Washington, D.C.

The falls are an overflow of the Potomac River, which flows into the Mather Gorge.

For centuries, the Great Falls have been a gathering place for people to fish, hike, and discover nature.

In 1784, George Washington’s plan was to make the Potomac River as navigable as the Ohio River, thus drawing people west. George Washington’s work on the river required the cooperation of multiple states, thus preparing him for the job of President a few years later.

Constructors worked to make a canal of the river, with locks to bypass the Great Falls. Getting around the falls involved a system with a series of five locks that lowered or raised boats around the sharp drop.

Thousands of boats used the Patowmack Canal upon its completion. The canal was abandoned in 1830, when workers aimed to build a waterway stretching from Georgetown to Maryland.

Today, Great Falls and the Patowmack Canal are protected by the National Park Service.


Great Falls National Park is located in Northern Virginia, in the town of McLean.

The address of the park is 9200 Old Dominion Drive, McLean, Virginia, 22102.

Great Falls is a 30 minute drive from Washington, D.C., and a two hour drive from Richmond.

From Roanoke and from Virginia Beach, the park is a three and a half hour drive away.

Hours and Admission

The park is open daily from 7 a.m. until dusk.

The Visitor Center is open daily from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The snack bar is open seasonally.

The Visitor Center contains brochures, trail maps, and a museum. Throughout the year, events are held in the auditorium of the Visitor Center.

A children’s room is also located in the Visitor Center. This room contains puzzles, games, and educational activities for children.

Admission to the park is $3 per individual or $5 per vehicle. These passes last for three consecutive days.

Annual passes to the park are $20.

Things to Do

From the Visitor Center, the three Falls overlooks are can be reached by walking within two to ten minutes.

The park has fifteen miles of hiking, biking, and bridle trails, including the River Trail, which offers one of the best views of the Falls.

Fishing is permitted with a valid Virginia or Maryland license. Swimming and wading are not permitted.

Picnic tables and grills are available for use. They cannot be reserved and are filled on a first come, first serve basis.

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