The Great Falls of the Potomac

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Bill Walderman
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  • #3
Thank you, Mike. I actually took this image on June 6 with my recently acquired Z6, from one of the overlooks. I didn't need to climb out on the rocks, and in any event, I'm not physically capable of doing so, given my physical limitations due to bilateral knee replacement surgery. However, the fencing doesn't prevent people from climbing out on the rocks, and I've seen people do it, dangerous though it it is.
 
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Jeff
Great shot! I like the way the river leads you back into the scene. I like it in B/W too. Jeff
 
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Bill Walderman
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Thank you, Jeff, Bart and Rick. This is upstream from Washington DC, where the river runs through the falls and a relatively narrow gorge before widening out for the rest of its course down to the Chesapeake Bay. There is a national park on both sides of the river, though the two parts of the park are not connected by a bridge at that point.
 
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There is a national park on both sides of the river, though the two parts of the park are not connected by a bridge at that point.
To clarify that for others not familiar with the situation: On the Virginia side of Great Falls, which is where this great photo was captured, there is the Great Falls National Park. On the Maryland side of the falls, there is the Chesapeake & Ohio National Historical Park, which is named to honor the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, which has 185 miles of it in the park. That park is located partly in West Virginia, partly in Maryland and partly in Washington, D.C. I don't remember ever hearing of a bridge anywhere connecting the two parks. Both parks are administered by the National Park Service.
 
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Columbia, Maryland
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Walter Rowe
The only bridges over the Potomac River in Maryland are American Legion (I-495 .. DC Beltway), Point of Rocks (Route 15), Burkittsville Road (Rt 287), Harpers Ferry (Route 340), Shepherdstown Pike (Route 34), Interstate 81 and Route 11 in Williamsport, Route 522 in Hancock, MD, Route 51/Route 9 in Paw Paw, WV, Greenspring Rd in Oldtown, MD, and multiple bridges in Cumberland, MD and points west.

It is really fascinating that there are so few river crossing points.
 
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Bill Walderman
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There's perennial talk of a new bridge upstream from the American Legion Bridge (the Beltway) and a new outer beltway, but the wealthy neighborhoods that would be affected won't hear of it. The only way to get across the Potomac between the Beltway and Point of Rocks MD, probably 35-40 miles upstream, is a rickety old ferry, Whites Ferry, near Leesburg VA. The American Legion Bridge has become a perpetual traffic jam. I used to go over to Maryland to walk on the C&O towpath regularly; now it's a rare occasion.
 
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The only way to get across the Potomac between the Beltway and Point of Rocks MD, probably 35-40 miles upstream, is a rickety old ferry, Whites Ferry, near Leesburg VA.
That ferry runs from 0500 to 2300 except when the water is too high and running too fast to make a safe crossing. It's the last of the 100 ferries that used to cross the Potomac River that is still in operation.
 
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Mar 22, 2008
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Missouri
Nice shot. I also like the B/W conversion. I was there back in the 1980s and have a shot from near that vantage point. There was a kayaker out there at the time.
 

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