Thursday, September 14, 2017

Great Falls of the Potomac

Todd, Lindsey, and Colin at the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center

On a recent trip to visit my son and daughter-in-law in Washington, DC, we went to the Great Falls of the Potomac. I never would have thought that, just a short distance upstream, the river would be so completely wild and natural. As you'll see, it obviously isn't navigable, so a series of canals was contructed to allow goods and people to travel the 184.5 miles along the Potomac from Georgetown to Cumberland, Maryland.

The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park

One of the boats used on the canal.

"The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park preserves remains of America's colorful canal era. For nearly a century, the C&O Canal was the lifeline for communities and businesses along the Potomac, as coal, lumber, grain, and other agricultural products gently floated down the canal to market.... The C & O Canal runs right along the Potomac River and the two couldn't be more contrasting.... The canal is flanked by wide sandy paths (called towpaths) for biking, walking, and jogging, and its water is still and green." 

"The canal was completed on October 10, 1850 at a cost of about $14 million. It was 184.5 miles long, 6 feet deep and 60-80 feet wide. There were 74 lift locks built on the canal, 7 dams and 11 aqueducts....The canal was in operation from 1850 to 1924."   
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Looking up the canal. The Potomac is to the left of the tow path.

Ladybird examines the grooves made by the ropes as mules pulled boats up the canal.

 A beautiful canal-dweller.

Looking down at the Potomac from the tow path, I see this. Apparently, great birds think alike.

Unfortunately, the skies became more overcast as the day went on, but I think the photos still capture the overwhelming beauty of this place.

Everywhere you look, waterfalls.

 Bird needed to get a better view.

I hope you enjoyed the photos! If you're ever in the DC area, the Great Falls of the Potomac is a great place to see!


  1. spectacular, scenery, how beautiful, loved your shots of the birds, stunning.. thanks for taking me away from thoughts of Irma!! xox

  2. Thanks, Cat, I'm glad you enjoyed it, and that it distracted you from Irma!

  3. Your blog was absolutely fantastic!
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