There are two other states that have a town called Great Falls – South Carolina and Montana. Great Falls, VA is found in Fairfax County. It is recognized as a census place by the US Census Bureau. It is covers an area of 25.66 square miles, with 0.24 square miles covered by water. It derives its name from the Great Falls of the Potomac River.
Great Falls is best known for its farm settlements in the early 1700s. It was previously known as Forestville, an unofficial name, and got its current name in 1955.
According to the census of 2010, Great Falls had a population of 15,427 people, which consisted of 4,977 households and 4,439 families. The population had grown by an amazing 80.5% since the previous census (in 2000). Data USA gives statistics from 2015, showing that the population had grown to 15,764 and had a median age of 46.7.
Great Falls is considered among the top ranking towns in the country in terms of economic performance. The median household income was found to be $234,091 in the year 2015, and the median property value was found to be at a stunning $1.1M. This could probably be the reason why CNNMoney ranked it #1 on its “Top Earning Towns” list back in 2011.
The main attraction in the area is the Great Falls Park, which overlooks the Great Falls of the Potomac River. The falls are also the source of the names given to the community and the park. It is not connected to the George Washington Memorial Parkway, but it is part of it.
Visitors can enjoy viewing the Great Falls or take a hike to the clifftops of the Mather Gorge. There are trail maps that are available at the visitor center as well as the entrance station. There is also a snack bar at the park where drinks and light snacks like hot dogs, pizza and French fries are available.
Another popular place to visit in Great Falls is known as the River Bend County Park. Many community celebrations are held here at different times of the year, such as the Egg Hunt that takes place during the Easter Spring Festival.
For art lovers, the Great Falls Art Center is one place you shouldn’t miss. In addition to promoting visual arts, weekly art classes are held here all year round; these include classes in drawing, sculpture, painting and pottery. These classes are open for everyone – from children to senior citizens.
Want to learn about other places of interest in Fairfax County? Click here to read about Fairfax Station.