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Great Falls National Park is a natural jewel situated just 14 miles northwest of our nation’s capitol. The park is part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway and covers some 900 acres on the Virginia side of the falls. On the Maryland side is the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Parkland, which stretches for 184 miles from D.C. to West Virginia. Both sides offer excellent vantage points with easy access, including wheelchair, to the falls by way of level paths and overlooks. The falls have a total vertical drop of some 76 feet in less than a mile and are comprised of several major cascades, the largest of which is 33 feet. The Potomac here is rated as a class 5 whitewater, which is considered a serious risk, and an average of seven people die every year in its powerful grip.