Great Falls Park (9200 Old Dominion Drive, McLean, Va.) on the Potomac River is a small but serene 800-acre park, one that's often overshadowed due to its popular Maryland-side-of-the-river counterpart.
We love it because of all the fantastic photo ops it gives us of the cascades, especially early at sunrise. The fall foliage is spectacular, but visiting after a light snow is a special treat. The river churns up the ice for wonderful wintry views.
Thousands of people visit each year to view the falls or just to take in a family picnic. There are several viewing platforms that overlook the falls and are connected via walking trails along the river.
If you enjoy hiking, explore the roughly 15 miles of trails that are located in the park. Difficult Run Trail is a favorite for hikers because it follows the along the Potomac River at one of its most scenic spots.
We wonder if Naked Ned makes appearances at Great Falls? Let's hope not.
The visitor center (open 10 a.m.-4 p.m.) is now handicap accessible after a six-month long renovation. The park is open every day of the year, except Dec. 25, from 7 a.m. until dark.