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Great Falls Tavern, MD

Maryland Historic Site

Photo of Great Falls Tavern

On the Maryland side of the Falls, the Great Falls Tavern is one of the canal's most impressive structure. Great Falls Tavern has a canal visitor center, a book store, a model of the canal, and other information. The visitor center is one of seven visitor centers located along the C&O Canal. Trails leading from the Great Falls Tavern explore the hilly area around the falls as well as the gold fields. A special trail with a footbridge extends onto one of the islands in the falls, allowing spectacular views of the Potomac's plunge over the fall line. An historic marker commemorates Frederick Law Olmstead, one of the country's leading landscape architects who helped create Rock Creek Park in Washington and Central Park in New York City.

In 2006, after a two-year funding campaign, the Friends of the Histori Great Falls Tavern contributed the replica canal packet boat, the Charles F. Mercer, that is resident just below Lock 20, adjacent to the Tavern. During summer months, visitors can take mule-driven rides on the boat for a brief experience of life on the canal. The Friends continue to fund maintenance and improvements to the boat. Recently, the Friends collaborated with other organizations to restore the lockhouse at Swain's Lock to serve as an educational center.

Reviews of the Great Falls Visitor Center from Yelp are shown below. Read Lenore D.'s review of Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center on Yelp

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Contact Information
C&O Canal National Historical Park
11701 MacArthur Blvd.
Potomac MD 20854