It's almost August which means I need to get moving on my summer to-do list. In my 5 years living in Maryland, I've discovered so many amazing places that are great for hiking, biking and adventure so I figured I'd share them here throughout the next few weeks. (See the first spot on my list here!)
My warm weather to-do list includes: fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, camping and of course lots of hiking! The all-in-one spot to hike, bike, fish and enjoy nature is Great Falls in Potomac, Maryland.
I've been to Great Falls several times and each time I go I just can't believe these majestic views exist in Maryland. Of course, there is no shortage of beautiful water falls that I could stare at (and take pictures of) all day. The park runs along the Potomac River covering nearly 185 miles - and it also has a Virginia side. Throughout the park you can see visitors across the water in Virginia!
Great Falls has 18 trails ranging in difficulty and distance. Every time I'm there I grab a map which lists each trail and details. You don't have to stay on the trails - there are so many areas you can hike to (pretty much at your own risk of course). There are also a couple trails that lead to walkways above the falls! If you don't want to get too deep into the woods, you can walk (or bike) along the canal on a dirt trail watching turtles and fish along the way.
Fun fact: There are several gold mines in the Great Falls area. The largest is the Maryland Mine located at the intersection of Falls Road and
MacArthur Boulevard near Potomac. Gold was first discovered
here by a Union soldier from Pennsylvania during the Civil War.
You can also hike the Gold Mine Spur trail - that's on my list next!
Last weekend, we made our own trail and found ourselves climbing down a rocky hillside, jumping across rocks to get to a big rock among the most calm water. It was so peaceful and a great resting spot to refuel and drink water before we headed back up the rocks to the actual trail.
The entrance fee is $10 per vehicle and your pass lasts for 3
consecutive days so you can come back for more exploring. And trust me, there is way more
to see than you can fit in a day! Let's not forget hiking is a great total body workout and before you realize it, you've gone several miles!
Have you ever been to Great Falls?