Must-Visit Waterfalls Within 100-Miles of Dulles

by Liz Jones | March 18, 2020 1:00 am


<< All-Things-Water[1]


It’s always a great time to chase a few waterfalls! Here’s a list, shown in order of distance from Dulles Airport, perfect for a day-trip!


Scott’s Run[2] | McLean, VA
About 14-miles from Dulles Airport

Just 1-mile from the beltway on Georgetown Pike, adjacent to Tysons Corner, lies a hidden natural oasis surrounded by urban sprawl. The Scott’s Run Nature Preserve has a few hiking trails, one of which runs along the Potomac River and ends in a 15-foot waterfall. Sightseeing and fishing are the main activities here, but any kind of swimming or wading is prohibited. Enjoy the rare wildflower species you can view as you hike along the creek. The preserve is a beautiful reminder of Mother Nature standing tall and proud amidst a concrete jungle.


Great Falls National Park[3] | McLean, VA
About 16-miles from Dulles Airport

Sometimes we get so used to the name of an area, we forget how it got its moniker. Great Falls is not simply a suburban neighborhood, but is the site of a steep drop in the Potomac River. Dead Run and Difficult Run Falls are also in this area and worth a visit. Sightseeing and fishing are the main activities here, but any kind of swimming or wading is prohibited as the current is just far too strong. Click here[4] for information on 3 prime spots to view the falls, including Overlooks 1, 2, and 3.


Cascade Falls[5]| Ellicott City, MD
About 58-miles from Dulles Airport

Cascade Falls at Patapsco Valley State Park in Maryland isn’t massive or loud. A quiet pool at the bottom and plenty of fallen trees or rocks to climb on make Cascades Falls the perfect place for exploring. It is mostly an easy hike, with a few steep areas, making it popular. To find this waterfall, use this map[6].


Falls Trail Waterfall[7] | Thurmont, MD
About 59-miles from Dulles Airport

If you are looking for a place with everything for a day adventure, Cunningham Falls State Park may be it. A gorgeous waterfall with a drop of 78-feet is the backdrop for a swimmable lake with a beach and camping area. Another section of the park contains an aviary and reptile house, as well as a historic iron furnace. The waterfall can be accessed via Falls Nature Trail[8], a round-trip hike of 2.8 miles with a 40-foot ascent.


Waterfalls at Shenandoah National Forest[9] | Luray, VA
About 83-miles from Dulles Airport

This wonderful national park has a wealth of things to do with a total of nine beautiful waterfalls to keep you busy. Dark Hollow Falls is a picturesque favorite that legend says intrigued Thomas Jefferson enough to visit multiple times. It is a quick 1.4-mile hike from Skyline Drive and closest to the restaurants and park amenities. Whiteoak Canyon Falls and Cedar Run Falls are both relatively easy hikes and are best for taking a dip.

South River Falls is the most versatile, with many different ways to hike the trail, you can make it a quick jaunt or a full work out. Lands Run Falls is a lesser-visited site, however, it is close to the road. It can dry up in summer, so make sure to check with park staff before making the trip.

Feel free to bring a snack or picnic lunch on your hikes to the falls, but no cooking facilities are on the trails. Please remember that most hikes are down towards the falls, which means you need to conserve enough energy to make it back up at the end of the day.


Falling Branch (Kilgore) Falls[10] | Pylesville, MD
About 99-miles from Dulles Airport

Hike out to Deer Creek in Harford County for a look at the serene Falling Branch Falls. This is an undeveloped trail that gets you back to nature.


Japanese Garden Falls[11] | Richmond, VA
About 122-miles from Dulles Airport

Falling just outside of our 100-mile radius and in a more developed setting, the Japanese Garden Falls are worth mentioning. Located in the historic Maymont Estate in Richmond, the falls playing a dramatic part in the traditionally designed Japanese garden. Rocks for climbing, lawns for relaxing, and traditional elements such as raked sand pools round out this landscape. If you are looking for a more exciting way to enjoy its beauty, the estate offers festival days and traditional Japanese concerts, as well as a more formal Italian garden.


Important Disclaimer: This opportunity is curated from a public source and subject to changes and/or cancelations that might not be reflected above. Always call to confirm before participating.

Endnotes:
  1. All-Things-Water: https://dullesmoms.com/all-things-water/
  2. Scott’s Run: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/scottsrun/
  3. Great Falls National Park: http://www.nps.gov/grfa/index.htm
  4. here: http://www.nps.gov/grfa/planyourvisit/falls-viewing.htm
  5. Cascade Falls: http://dnr2.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/central/patapsco.aspx
  6. this map: http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/pdfs/patapsco_avalonmap.pdf
  7. Falls Trail Waterfall: http://dnr2.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/western/cunningham.aspx
  8. Falls Nature Trail: http://www.nps.gov/cato/planyourvisit/upload/FallsT.pdf
  9. Waterfalls at Shenandoah National Forest: http://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/waterfalls.htm
  10. Falling Branch (Kilgore) Falls: http://www.mgs.md.gov/geology/geology_tour/falling_branch.html
  11. Japanese Garden Falls: https://www.maymont.org/japanese-garden

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