Where does the Little Falls Branch go?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 11:02pm

To the Mouth of the Little Falls!

Ever wonder where the Little Falls Branch goes?  The creek is born near the Chevy Chase Club golf course.  It then travels underground through Chevy Chase Village until it daylights near Wisconsin and Dorset Avenues.  Then it meanders through the Town of Somerset, under River Road and through Green Acres before joining the Willet Branch along side the Little Falls Parkway.  From there, it runs through the Little Falls Stream Valley Park, past the Dalecarlia Reservoir to Brookmont.  

At Brookmont, it goes through a beautiful little valley, under the Clara Barton Parkway, under the C&O Canal and then to the Potomac where it comes out at Little Falls, the little brother of Great Falls located 10 miles upstream.  Lots of kayakers and other boaters know exactly where this is as Little Falls marks the end of a 10-mile stretch of rapids, falls, and swift water.  At this point, the Potomac begins the transition from a free-flowing stream to a tidal estuary and you can even see the tidal influence.  Little Falls is also the river's "head of navigation," meaning that ships cannot navigate the river any farther upstream.

Walk the Creek from the Canal to the Potomac

Click HERE to join us on a virtual walk from the C&O Canal down the Little Falls Branch to Little Falls on the Potomac River.  (If you click on "Show Info" at the top right of the slide show screen, you will see the titles.)

The photos are from a hike my family took last Saturday.  We followed the creek from the C&O Canal to its mouth on the Potomac.  It's a fun rocky scramble that takes about an hour and a half round trip.  You can park at Lock 5, walk south about a 1/4 mile where you'll find the path to the creek on your right.    

Looking at the Potomac from the mouth of the Little Falls Branch, LFWA

Looking across the Potomac from the mouth of the Little Falls Branch

Photo by David Kathan