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Kayaker running Great Falls at about2.6 - 2.8 feet on the little falls gauge
While the rapids can be fun it is good to know as much as possible about them if you decide to risk your life….

Here is a link to a most excellent  interactive tool that shows the danger of the sometimes placid looking waters below Great Falls of the Potomac River. Kudos to Sohail Al-Jamea, Bonnie Berkowitz, Emily Chow, Laris Karklis and Todd Lindeman for the design and development of this excellent online tool.  Also see and read the related story In the Potomac’s grip: The deceptively placid waters at Great Falls by Steve Hendrix.

Sources

Brent O’Neill, National Park Service site manager at Great Falls Park; Steve Taylor, an engineer and investigator for a 1992 Maryland Department of Resources study of Potomac hydrology; USGS geologist Scott Southworth; USGS hydrologist Jonathan Dillow; Fairfax County Fire and Rescue’s swift-water team; Jason Beakes and Gil Rocha of the Potomac Paddlers Volunteer Corps; American Whitewater. Published Aug. 10, 2013

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