36th Birthday Hike – Great Falls National Park

May 12, 2011 at 1:00 am 2 comments

After we finished our hike on The Billy Goat Trail, Ryan and I had lunch at The Old Angler’s Inn. A word to the wise– the cheeseburger is a much better investment than the smoked salmon. The smoked salmon portion is not in parity with its price. But be sure the check out the mustard in the plastic yellow bottles. It’s not what ClintJCL would refer to “Mus-turd”, it’s actually a very yummy and high quality horseradish mustard!

After lunch, Ryan and I still had some daylight left and were well aware our commute home would put us on the Beltway right during Friday rush hour. Sitting in traffic didn’t sound especially appealing. We decided to explore the nearby Great Falls National Park instead. Even though I grew up in the DC area, I was completely unaware of this National Park. It’s gorgeous! We enjoyed the views of the falls. In addition, we got to hike the River Trail which skirted the Virginia side of the Potomac and gave us views of Mather Gorge and the Maryland-side. That meant we got to see the trail we hiked earlier in the day from a very different perspective. : )

Great Falls National Park - Water and Rocks at Falls
Great Falls – Water and Rocks

Great Falls National Park - Mather Gorge From Virginia Side
Mather Gorge From the Virginia Side (River Trail)

Great Falls National Park - Falls and Vicky (By Ryan Somma)
Me at Great Falls (Photo by Ryan Somma)

Great Falls National Park - Falls View (by Ryan Somma)
Falls View (Photo by Ryan Somma)

Great Falls National Park - Hikers on Billy Goat Rock Wall (By Ryan Somma)
Hikers on Maryland’s Billy Goat Trail From Virginia’s River Trail (Photo by Ryan Somma)

In my last post, I talked about being humbled by seeing how high the water can get. I didn’t even know the half of it! At Great Falls National Park in a plaza that is WELL ABOVE the falls, there is a sign that shows you the high level mark of past years. It’s just dumbfounding to look down the cliffs and think about the water still coming up above your head. That’s a lot of water!

Great Falls National Park - Vicky with High Water Mark Sign (By Ryan Somma)
Me and the High Watermark Sign (Photo by Ryan Somma)

More pictures of our visit to Great Falls National Park can be found on my Flickr site.

Great Falls National Park

National Park Website
Trailmap

Entry filed under: Billy Goat Trail, Great Falls National Park, Hiking, Virginia. Tags: .

36th Birthday Hike 2011 – Billy Goat Trail Relay for Life Donations for the Neighborhood Kids

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. geekhiker  |  May 16, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Aw, man, now I just want to hit the road and do a National Park tour. 🙂

    Reply
  • 2. tgaw  |  May 17, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    oooh the National Park I’m coveting right now is Mount Rainier. Though I think all National Parks would be great. 🙂

    Reply

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