Great Falls Nature Walk and Happy Hour

  • December 09, 2021
  • 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
  • Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center, 11710 Macarthur Blvd, Potomac, MD 20854
  • 15


Registration is closed

Join MAREP on December 9th for a Nature Walk through beautiful Great Falls!  Late fall is a wonderful time to experience the park’s natural beauty, unique flora and fauna, and history.  The tour will be led by Peyton Doub, an ecologist with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) with over 30 years of professional experience and also current a member of the MAREP Board.

  • When:  Thursday, December 9, 3-5pm ET (rain date Friday, December 10, 3-5pm ET).  Meet promptly at 3pm!
  • Where:  We will meet in front of the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center, which is the large white building to the left as you enter the park.  Once inside, turn right to park your vehicle and then walk over to the Visitor Center.  The Visitor Center address is 11710 MacArthur Blvd, Potomac, MD 20854.
  • Cost:  $10.  In addition, please note there is a park entrance fee of $20 per vehicle, which attendees are responsible for paying.  Please consider carpooling (it's also good for the environment!).
  • Note:  Comfortable walking shoes recommended.  Trail level of difficulty considered Easy (flat/level).  Tour/hike less than 2 miles total.

Following the Walking Tour, join us at the nearby historic Old Angler’s Inn at 10801 MacArthur Blvd, Potomac, MD 20854 for a Happy Hour!

  • Light appetizers included with registration.
  • Cash bar and food/dinner available at attendee’s expense.

More About Great Falls: 

Great Falls, Maryland is located about 5 miles away from the Old Angler’s Inn at the western terminus of MacArthur Blvd.  The walk will follow a roughly quarter-mile level route on the C&O Canal towpath and over a series of bridges and boardwalks to an overlook with a commanding view of the falls.  Rushing water has carved a deep gorge with a series of waterfalls and steep rocky islands stretching from above Great Falls to the fall line in Georgetown (where the Piedmont meets the Coastal Plain).  The rocky islands at the Falls and in the gorge constitute unique floodplain habitat.  Unlike typical floodplains that accumulate deep alluvial soils, frequent intense high-velocity floods repeatedly scour the rocky surface.  Stunted deciduous forest clings to pockets of shallow soil amongst the rocks.  Narrow channels and isolated pockets of wetlands punctuate the rugged landscape.  The frequent intense scouring arrests normal successional progress, preventing development of mature forests.  Many rare plants are endemic to this unique habitat.  Wildlife is sparse at this time of year, but we may see great blue herons patiently waiting for fish, and bald eagles and turkey vultures soaring high over the rushing water.  The abandoned C&O Canal prism still retains water at Great Falls, and there are multiple restored lift locks there.
MAREP exists to provide opportunity for professional development and environmental awareness for environmental professionals, organizations and the community of Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Virginia.

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