Great Falls State Park, Virginia and Maryland Border

Virginia (Fairfax County) and Maryland Border (Montgomery County)
The Potomac River flows into the Atlantic Ocean

I had visited Great Falls as a part of a vacation to trip with my grandchildren, and to meet up with a Marine Grandmother. I had done not extensive research regarding Great Falls whitewater routes. I actually did not realize the greatness of the area. I had only visited the one location at the visitor center on the Virginia side. This was a very easy walk to three observation decks. I have split up my photos taken in each of the observation deck locations. The entire walk to the three observation decks is approximately a .5 round trip.

The following information should not be relied upon as completely accurate. I compiled my resources to the best of my ability. The links provided below is what was used. I only included information in regards to the section of Great Falls seen from the observation decks. The map I have included shows ALL the points that I could figure out.

I plan to revisit this location in the future. It will take more than a day to hike the Great Falls area from both sides of the state line.

Great Falls (Center Lines) (Streamers)

Great Falls (Virginia Lines) (The Spout)

Great Falls (Maryland Lines)

Great Falls Mather Gorge to Lock 10

Guide to Mystery Move Spots of the Potomac River, Mather Gorge By Stephen Strothers, Greg Steiger, Mr E, & now with updates and comments from Steve Graybill

Overlook 1
Fairfax County
N38.99651 W77.25367
Overlook 2
Fairfax County
N38.99591 W77.25343
Overlook 3
Fairfax County
N38.99512 W77.25291

Great Falls (Virginia Lines)

U-Hole (Class 5.0, Mile 0.4) N38.99728 W77.25380 Norman’s Leap (Right) Small Ledges, Slide
S-Turn (Class II-IV) 0.3 N38.99677 W77.25353 A short pool separates S-Turn from the Spout Angled Ledge
The Spout (Class 5.0, Mile 0.5) N38.99648 W77.25339 The Curtain (Big Toe) ???? 18-22 ft, 4 ft Drop, Slope
The Crack (Class 5.2) Alternate line to the Spout

Great Falls (Center Lines)

Grace Under Pressure (Class 5.1, Mile 0.4) N38.99740 W77.25334 12 ft
The Sliding Board (Class 5.2) N38.99722 W77.25321 Bottom of Grace
The Ledges (Class IV+, Mile 0.5) N38.99700 W77.25304 3-5 ft Ledges

The Pool above the Fingers. To the right Angel Slot, Left, Next to Charlie’s Hole (MD side) is Hollywood Boulevard that goes toward the Twist n’ Shout, and the Subway

Hollywood Boulevard Funnels toward Twist n’ Shout, and the Subway
The Fingers (Class 5.0, Mile 0.5) aka The Streamers N38.99653 W77.25274
Twist and Shout (Class 5.2) aka The Thumb A Narrow Twisty Flume
Subway (Class 5.3) Cave at the bottom Double Drop
The Middle Finger (Class 5.0) 20 ft, 4 ft, 8 ft, 12 ft Drop, Slot. Slide, Boof
The Ring Finger (Class 5.1) aka Flatliner
The Pinky Finger (Class 5.1) aka Angel Hair Entrance Angel Slot

Great Falls (Maryland Lines)

Pummel (Class 5.0, Mile 0.5) aka Sunburst N38.99742 W77.25260 Small Chutes

To the left of the Notch, Below Pummel (from left to right): Pencil Sharpener, Z-Turn, and Charlie’s Hole

Pencil Sharpener (Class 5.0, Mile 0.5) N38.99726 W77.25245 Slide
Charlie’s Hole (Class 5.2, Mile 0.5) N38.99697 W77.25260 10 ft, 3-5 ft Sluice, Ledges
Z-Turn (Class 5.0, Mile 0.5) N38.99716 W77.25246 Twisting Drop
SOS Wave Just above the Horseshoe
Horseshoe (Class 5.1, Mile 0.6) N38.99681 W77.25245 Horseshoe Wave aka Snodgrass ???

Portion of Mather Gorge

FishBowl aka The Shoe N38.99634 W77.25257 Formed by the Horseshoe slab and Streamers slab, Located below the Streamers, Fishladder waves in Portage “The Shoe”
Fisherman’s Eddy N38.99549 W77.25226 Directly below the Observation Deck 2 & 3
O-Deck Wave (Class III) Adjacent to Fisherman’s Eddy
Dunkin’ Stronut’s aka Running Errands N38.99524 W77.25163 Above Portage/Fishladder, Below the wall at O-Deck
Portage Hole aka Simon Says (Portage Rapids, Portage Waves aka Fishladder Rapid Waves ???) N38.99488 W77.25081 Upstream of the Fishladder
S-Turn (Class 5.0, Mile 0.5) N38.99429 W77.24983 Above Simple Pleasures
Simple Pleasures Downstream corner on the Maryland side of S-Turn
Watkin’s Wedge Above Sandy Beach put in on Maryland side, Just below the Fishladder
Fifth Slide (Class 5.0, Mile 0.5) N38.99511 W77.24934 Overlooking S-Turn, Skirtless Boof on the left Slide
Bermuda Triangle N38.99528 W77.24825 Formed by the Fishladder slab and Potomac’s main slab, at the mouth of the Fishladder.
Triple Pleasures Above Bermuda Triangle and Simple Pleasures


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