Hello and welcome to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park! You are currently on the Great Falls Entrance Road, in Potomac, Maryland
The Park is open from one half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset. There is a park entrance fee of $5 per private vehicle. Other rates may apply to commercial or non-private vehicles. There is also a $3 per person rate for those on foot or bicycle. Please be aware that on peak visitation days there may be a wait to enter the park. Please be assured that we are working as quickly as possible to help our visitors enter the park.
Here at Great Falls there is something for everyone including multiple historic buildings, locks, and endless opportunities for recreation including hiking, biking, kayaking and more.
Once you have finished at the Entrance Station please follow the road to the right. The road will take your into a parking lot. After you’ve parked your vehicle, you may follow the sidewalk to the left towards the restrooms and visitor center.
Please stop inside the Historic Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center, where you can explore museum exhibits and movies that will help you better understand the lives of lockkeepers and boat captains. Talk to a park ranger or park volunteer inside to discover useful information about the park and available activities for your trip. Be sure to grab a park brochure and trail map so that you can find the many trails available here including the Billy Goat Trail and the Gold Mine Loop.
In the spring through the fall, step back in time and take a ride on our replica canal boat which is pulled by mules and through a working lift lock. The walk to the Falls is a short walk from the visitor Center, make sure to view this magnificent feature. The towpath serves as a popular long distance trail, with many people each year hiking and camping the full length of the trail.
Do you come to Great Falls often? If so we have an annual pass for only $20! Seniors 62 and older can purchase a lifetime pass to ALL National Parks and other federal lands for just $10! Other passes are available- find the right one for you. Your entrance fees help to ensure we can continue to care for your national park. WE are so happy you’ve chosen to spend some time with us here at the C&O Canal. Please enjoy and come back soon!