Potomac River, Great Falls National Park
The Potomac Gorge is one of the most biologically diverse and ecologically significant landmarks in the nation, supporting a wide range of habitats, plants, and animals, including many rare species. It has held an important place in human history since the Ice Age. Although many people are aware of sections of this treasured landscape, few know and appreciate the Potomac Gorge as a whole.
Naturalist and popular study leader Melanie Choukas-Bradley has spent the past year exploring the gorge on foot, by bicycle, and by kayak. She leads a virtual journey into what’s perhaps the most dramatic section of the 405-mile-long river: the 15-mile stretch in the backyard of the nation’s capital where the Potomac drops 130 feet from the hard bedrock of the Piedmont to the flat Atlantic Coastal Plain.
She traces the Potomac Gorge from its origin at the scenic wonder of Great Falls in Maryland and Virginia and follows it as it flows, often through dramatic cliffs and bluffs, to Theodore Roosevelt Island in the District. She spotlights aspects of the spectacular parkland on both sides of the river, including the C&O Canal, Billy Goat Trail, Carderock, Cabin John Creek in Maryland, Difficult Run, Turkey Run, Scott’s Run, and the Potomac Heritage Trail in Virginia. The program offers the perfect way to plan your outdoor adventures for the coming seasons.
Choukas-Bradley is the author of City of Trees: A Year in Rock Creek Park; and Finding Solace at Theodore Roosevelt Island.
May We Suggest
If you are interested in this program, check out our Springtime on the Potomac Heritage Trail: A Wildflower Hike at Turkey Run Park in-person tours on April 11, April 12, or April 13.