TRIP IDEA

Scenic Views Outside the City

Multiple Parks

Potomac River at Great Falls Park.
Duration Multiple Days
Topic(s) Scenic Views, Trails, Waterfalls, Animals, Birds, Fish, Tortoises and Turtles, Explorers and Expeditions, Forests and Woodlands, Natural Sounds, Night Sky, Presidents, River and Riparian, Water Trails, Geology, Floods, Transportation, Bridges, Roads, Routes and Highways, Trains and Railroads, Civil War
Activities Self-Guided Tours - Walking, Hiking
Type Active, Relaxed, Inspirational
Parks Catoctin Mountain Park, Piscataway Park, Great Falls Park, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, Appalachian National Scenic Trail

A bird soars below the falls at Great Falls Park.
A bird soars below the falls at Great Falls Park.

NPS/Terry Adams

Scenic vistas abound inside and outside the nation's capital! Explore and discover iconic views around Washington, DC by checking out the parks below.

Take the scenic route on the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, watch kayakers navigate the waters at Great Falls Park, or sit back and take in the view of George Washington's backyard from Piscataway Park.
Scenic Views
    • Activity Fee: Yes
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Hiking
    • Pets: Yes
    • Location: Great Falls Park
    • Duration: 1–2 Hours
    • Season: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Day
    Potomac River at Great Falls Park.

    Great Falls Park has many opportunities to explore history and nature, all in a beautiful 800-acre park only 15 miles from the Nation's Capital.

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  • Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

    Step Back in Time at Jefferson Rock

    • Activity Fee: Yes
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Hiking
    • Pets: Yes
    • Location: Jefferson Rock
    • Duration: 1–2 Hours
    • Season: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Day
    View of river from Jefferson Rock.

    Jefferson Rock is a popular destination in Harpers Ferry. It is situated along the Appalachian Trail between the Lower Town and Camp Hill areas of the park.

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    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Self-Guided Tours - Walking
    • Pets: Yes
    • Season: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Day, Dawn, Dusk
    vista where two rivers converge; visible gap in the Blue Ridge Mountain range

    Visit where the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers meet! From this location, known as The Point, you look upon three states - Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia - as well as the confluence of the two rivers. We invite you to visit in any season to gaze upon the magnificent sight of this water gap in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

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  • Catoctin Mountain Park

    Hike to Chimney Rock

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Self-Guided Tours - Walking
    • Pets: Yes
    • Location: Chimney Rock
    • Duration: 2–4 Hours
    • Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Day
    Fall foliage at Chimney Rock.

    Chimney Rock reaches a maximum elevation of 1419 ft and Wolf Rock has an elevation of 1401 ft. Great for a romantic hike for that offers opportunities to get back in touch with nature and time to reflect on natures peacefulness and beauty.

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    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Self-Guided Tours - Walking
    • Pets: Yes
    • Location: Piscataway Park
    • Duration: 1–2 Hours
    • Season: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Day, Dawn, Dusk
    View of Mount Vernon across the Potomac River from Piscataway Park.

    As a scenic easement meant to preserve the view from Mt. Vernon, Piscataway Park is a testament to the rich history of the Potomac River.

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  • Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail

    Take the Scenic Route on the Potomac Heritage Trail

    • Activity Fee: Yes
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Self-Guided Tours - Walking
    • Pets: Yes
    • Location: Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail
    • Duration: 1–8 Hours
    • Season: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Day
    Visitors walk on the Potomac Heritage Trail.

    There are many places to access the Potomac Heritage Trail, including many connector trails from county parks.

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Last updated: May 15, 2017