Week in Great Falls

Week in Great Falls

Great Falls Author Will Discuss Early Potomac River Valley

The public is invited to hear local historian, Mike High, discuss the early era of the Potomac River, including the first European explorers, early colonial settlement, the migrations of the Shawnee, Tuscarora, and Piscataway Indians, and the building of canals for commerce and transportation along its banks.

High, a technical researcher and editor by profession, became enamored with the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal in 1990 when he visited Cumberland, Md., 186 miles northwest of its start in Georgetown, and saw the stone locks of the old canal basin. During subsequent bike trips along the trail, he became intrigued by its many historical and cultural assets, resulting in his research and writing of “The C&O Canal Companion: A Journey through Potomac History” (published by The Johns Hopkins University Press).

In his lecture, High will explore the early development of the Great Falls area in the context of regional and national history, including the challenges of the early American frontier, George Washington’s investment in Potomac navigation, and the construction of the C&O Canal beginning in the 1820s. For anyone who has taken a stroll through Seneca Regional Park or visited the Great Falls National Park, this is a program not to be missed.

This free event will be held on Saturday, Oct. 28 at Smith Chapel — the oldest church building in Great Falls — at 11321 Beach Mill Road, starting at 10:30 a.m. with registration and refreshments. High will speak and take questions from 11 a.m. until noon. Pre-registration is recommended as seating is limited. To register, go to www.smithchapelumc.com.

Comment Sought on Proposed Fee Increases at Great Falls Park

The National Park Service proposes increasing entrance fees at both Great Falls Park, Va. and Great Falls, Md. This proposal also reinstates a reciprocal agreement, which would allow entry to parks on both sides of the Potomac River by presenting a valid pass or receipt purchased at either park.

Proposed fees, which would be effective Jan. 1, 2018, are as follows:

Per Vehicle:

  • Current: $10/vehicle for 3 days. Valid only at park where fee was paid.
  • Proposed: $15/vehicle for 3 days. Valid at both parks.

Per Person (hikers/walkers, bicyclists):

  • Current: $5/person for 3 days. Valid only at park where pass was purchased.
  • Proposed: $7/person for 3 days. Valid at both parks.

Per Motorcycle:

  • Current: $10/motorcycle for 3 days. Valid only at park where pass was purchased.
  • Proposed: $10/motorcycle for 3 days. Valid at both parks.

Park Annual Pass:

  • Current: $30. Valid at both parks.
  • Proposed: No change.

While supporting park projects and programs, entrance fees provide visitors full access to services including park and trail maps, visitor center exhibits and information, ranger programs and restrooms, with an annual pass option for frequent visitors. There are also options that provide access to national parks across the country; more information at www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/passes.htm.

To comment on the proposal, visit the following websites:

C&O Canal, Great Falls, Md., parkplanning.nps.gov/cocanalfees2018

George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP), Great Falls, VA., parkplanning.nps.gov/greatfallsfees

The public comment period will remain open until Nov. 6, 2017.