If you and your partner enjoy the outdoors and are looking for a great location near DC, I recommend Great Falls Park. As a Washington DC engagement photographer, I find the location convenient and full of natural beauty.
Great Falls, a beautiful 800-acre park only 15 miles from DC, showcases the speed and force of the Potomac River as it falls over a series of steep and jagged rocks and flows through a narrow Mather Gorge. Three overlooks in the park give different views of the river as it flows; all are within a five to ten minute walk from the visitor center. There are actually two viewing sides to the park, one is in Virginia and the other is in Maryland.
I used the Virginia side for my engagement session with Brian and LA and started early to avoid the weekend crowds. It was a little steep to climb up and over some of the rocks leading up to the overlooks so I advise wearing athletic shoes and bringing another pair to wear in your photos. The views from the highest point were spectacular and in some parts, Brian and LA were able to sit along a cliff overlooking the falls. We also walked through the park and found that were many opportunities in the wooded areas where gorgeous sunlight was coming in through the trees.
This overlook is located to the left of the south end of the Visitor Center. It is the closest you can get to the Falls themselves. A short trail leads down to a dirt viewing platform. The rest of the overlook is rocky and will require some easy climbing. This overlook does not have an accessible trail like the others do.
This overlook is located further down the trail. Most of the waterfall can be seen from this overlook. It’s located on the left after the small wooden footbridge by the Patowmack Canal wayside. A staircase and ramp leads down to a large wooden viewing platform.
This overlook is on the trail that is past Overlook 2 across the second small wooden footbridge. There are markers to show the flood waters are on a High Water Marks pole. Two viewing platforms provide the best view of Great Falls. This overlook is the last place on the Virginia side that the Falls can be viewed.