Great Falls Park | McLean, VA

Monday, August 10, 2015

Since we were already up north for the weekend we figured we'd take a quick hiking trip at Great Falls Park. Its about a 20 minute drive outside of the Washington, DC area. It was 25 minutes from where we were staying in Fairfax. We got a late start to our day because we were both so tired from the night before that we didn't get up til 8:30, then had breakfast before getting ready. We got to Great Falls around 11, and it was about a 40 minute wait just to get into the parking lot! So be prepared to wait! We saw a sign that it was a $10 per vehicle fee, then remembered that the Annual Pass for all National Parks were free for military, so of course I made John ask about it! ;] We got a pass 2 years ago when we hiked at Shenandoah National Park, and was only able to use it twice that year. We hope to be able to use this more than twice this time around, with baby boy in tow next Spring/Summer! We started our hike at 11:50, luckily it was a little cloudy and the trails were covered with trees so it wasn't so overwhelmingly hot for me. I forgot to bring my sunblock too! Woops!

There are several different trails to choose from and we chose an easier and shorter path so that I wouldn't have to over work myself. We did the Matildaville, where the ruins and history of the place were, and cut through the River Trail. What was cool about this trail was that there were a history behind them as well. Matildaville used to be a small little town back in the 1700's and now when you walk through the trails you'll see some of the ruins. It was a little history lesson for us along the way. The trails we took weren't so bad, a lot of straight, flat paths with little up and down. It got a little rocky when we crossed over to the River Trail, but it wasn't too bad for my pregnant self!

I think being pregnant shouldn't stop anyone from enjoying some time out. Although you are limited to what you can do, I think its still healthy for you to get outdoors as much as possible. You just have to have some common sense, obviously you wouldn't want to do any extreme activities like rock climbing and rafting whilst 21 weeks pregnant! Growing up I always thought that life pauses when you become pregnant, but it shouldnt. My advice for any first time pregnant mommas is that as long as your healthy and you consult your OB with your activities, and they give you the okay to do so, then don't be afraid. Just listen to your body because you know your body more than anyone. If you feel tired, dont be afraid to just take a breather and sit, drink plenty of water, always bring snacks like nuts and fruits. Take as many breaks as you want, I sure did. Dont over do it though. John's my constant reminder to slow down and he's always making sure I'm okay. As soon as I felt my body slowing down, I sat and just enjoyed the view and my surroundings. It was fun! 

This path I was walking on used to be a canal back in the 1700-1800! 

Baby boy was bouncing around in my tummy while we hiked! I think he enjoyed it too! I did get a few stares (& smiles) from older people we passed by and occasionally here whispers of "aww is she pregnant? how cute!" from younger girls as we pass them by. The trail we were on took us about 2 hours to finish because we'd stop and read the signs and I had to take breaks. It was neat because while we ate there were some paddle boarders and kayaker that was passing by in the river and you can see the trails from the Maryland side of the park. It was crazy to think the only thing that was separating the two states between us was the Potomac River! Pretty cool, to be at two places at once... almost! ;] 

I was a little scared while sitting on this rock. It was at the edge of the cliffs and as soon as I looked down (bad idea), I freaked a little! I'm not normally afraid of heights so I don't know why I was so freaked out! John had to grab my hand to help me off the edge! I didn't wanna show it, but I was terrified! Haha! There were several rock climbers on the cliffs not too far from us! I definitely want to try that next time! You can also go rafting at this park. There's an area where you water flow pretty heavily! Oh the adrenaline! On our way to the Overlook, we spotted a deer in the middle of the woods, and of course John busted out my 70-300mm lens and attached it to his camera to get a better close up of it! 

This deer was probably 10 ft away from us! My sister would have enjoyed this, she's a deer lover! lol

See the people on the right side of that last picture? Those are the people standing at the Overlook in the Maryland's side! Look how tiny they look! Anyway, these waterfalls is where the rafters would start! It was at this time that I started to feel light headed because we were no longer in the woods and the sun was beaming so hot and bright! There were three overlooks, by the third one, I had to sit it out and just sit in the shade while John snapped pictures. We grabbed a bite to eat at the Visitor Center because we were gonna stop by Ikea prior to heading home, so instead of buying food outside of the park, we decided to just eat a good meal once we got to Woodbridge. 

We ended our trip up north at Ikea! I hate how its two hours away from us so whenever we head up to DC or NoVa, we try and make a quick stop at Ikea! The dresser we wanted to for the nursery was sold out! So we just bought little stuff like hanging book shelf, lamp, and other household goodies! Now to clean up the nursery since we've gotten the closet make-over done, so I can finally visual everything I plan on putting in there! Stay tuned for that post! ;]


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