I’ve lived in the DC area for over a decade, and I love it. It’s just each year it feels like it gets busier and busier and more and more crowded. I’m a southern girl, and I gets ta yearnin’ for a little bit of space and a slower pace every now and then. It’s then that I thank the heavens for the park spaces and greenery that the DC area affords. Most of my favorite spots are in and around Rock Creek Park, but sometimes it’s hard to catch a little solitude even there. So if you’re longing for the foliage of trees, scenic trails, and a little alone time in nature, Great Falls Park in Mclean, VA might be the spot to check out. It’s a huge 800 acre-park that overlooks the Potomac River. While there is a fee to enter the park ($3.00 for individuals on foot or bicycle & $5.00 for vehicles), it’s minimal and good for three consecutive days.
Once there, one is privy to really gorgeous views of the river gorge, ample park and barbeque spaces, endless trails, and an abundance of awe-inspiring trees. For those of you who hoped for possible swimming holes in this spot, however, keep the swim gear at home. Yeah gazing down at the rushing river as it winds its way through the rocky gorge is beautiful to witness, but absolutely not meant for a quick dip. The currents are way too strong and dangerous. Anyway, there are too many other arboreal and natural attractions to get hung up on the inability to traverse the scary waters. This park is absolutely magical, especially in the autumn season. So if the daily grind of the city is wearing you down, I highly recommend a quiet stroll at Great Falls to help you recharge. It’s worth the drive.