Hiking Great Falls

In continuing to complete all of the hikes in our little trail guide, Chris and I checked off Great Falls yesterday. We had been there before, but only to look at the falls from the overlooks. Yesterday we did the whole length of the River Trail, which was just a bit over three miles. A few images from the point-and-shoot:

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Obligatory photo in front of the falls. Hey, everyone else was doing it!

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And an obligatory picture in the “hole” created during the Ice Age.

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The first half of the trail didn’t feel like the kind of hiking I’ve grown to love. The trails are wide, well-worn, and easy (with lots of man-made elements like staircases), and there were tons of people everywhere. I couldn’t believe how many people were at the park when it was about 35 degrees with a wind chill of well below that! But once we reached the part of the trail that gains quite a bit of elevation over trickier terrain, the crowd completely thinned out. We only saw two other hikers doing that part of the trail. And I can see why – I thought that part of the River Trail was actually a little scary. There are plenty of spots where the trail climbs over huge boulders only one foot away from the cliff’s edge. My nerves are also a product of how clumsy I am. If I can fall down a flight of stairs with railing (and trust me, I can), surely I could take the 70 ft. plunge into the Potomac if I lost my footing. And speaking of losing my footing, I’ll end this post with a photo from Chris’s favorite part of the day where we had to cross the part of the path that was flooded.

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He went first on the ice around the left egde, and it was all creaky sounding in one spot. I followed shortly after, and that creaky spot cracked. I managed to make it out before I got wet though! Okay, this is after I was squealing, yelling and slipping all over, and Chris had to pull me along. I can’t believe I didn’t fall all over the ice. He said he wished he had a video of me crossing the ice. I hate to disappoint you, blog readers, but there’s no video of it.

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  • Sarah HodzicJanuary 26, 2009 - 3:14 pm

    Hey Susan,
    Good for you for getting out there and hiking in this chilly weather.
    Joe and I were just at Great Falls last week. I love the icy water.

    You look like quite the expert hiker in all your winter hiking gear!:D

  • MKJanuary 26, 2009 - 10:43 pm

    Look at you being all cute! I wish we went for hikes, but we are both too chicken to in the cold weather!

  • Eileen BroderickJanuary 28, 2009 - 4:14 pm

    You guys are my heroes. So gung-ho! Please be careful on those crazy cliff-edges! I don’t want anything to happen to my dear, sweet Susan!

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