Great Falls National Park is one of my favorite places to visit.
There are many photographic reasons to visit, the Falls, weather changes, seasonal changes and foliage, various types of light where both sunrise and sunset can make for excellent photographic chances.
I live and work about a half hours drive from both the Maryland and the Virginia sides. I first went to the Maryland side around 60 times before making my first visit to the Virginia side.
The Maryland side has the C&O canal and tow path. The main falls is about a 15 minute walk from the parking lot. There's just one overlook platform, but the path to it has a number of bridges and photo spots.
The Virginia side has 3 overlooks and all are closer to the parking lots.
Now that I've had a chance to visit both sides for various times of the day I prefer the MD side for morning or mid day visits. For sunset I prefer the VA side. I've also done the reverse and had good luck, so it is best to try both and see what works for you.
I mix things up, and in February shot sunrise from the VA side, and sunset from the MD side:
Here's a flickr slideshow of all images (not just mine) on flickr tagged with "great falls national park" sorted by interestingness...
Nikographer.com / Jon
Thursday, April 1, 2010