Great Falls, Virginia

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Great Falls is a census-designated place (CDP) in Fairfax County, Virginia, United States. The population was 8,549 at the 2000 census.

Although primarily a bedroom community for Washington, D.C., one major attraction is Great Falls Park which overlooks the Great Falls of the Potomac River, for which the community and the park are named. George Washington was involved with building a canal around the falls on the southwest, or Virginia, side, called the Patowmack Canal, which did not become commercially viable. Remnants of the canal and of a village around the canal named Matildaville are still visible in the park. The Great Falls and Old Dominion Railroad extended along Old Dominion Drive to Great Falls Park in 1906.

River Bend County Park is another gathering area in Great Falls, as is the Village Green, which hosts community celebrations around Easter (Egg Hunt), Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas (Tree Lighting) and other holidays.



Great Falls is located at 38°59′53″N 077°17′18″W / 38.99806°N 77.28833°W / 38.99806; -77.28833 (38.9981653, -77.2883157).[3] The area is sparsely populated due to the vast tracts of land.[citation needed] The main roads serving Great Falls are Virginia State Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) and Virginia State Route 193 (Georgetown Pike).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 17.9 square miles (46.4 km²), of which, 17.9 square miles (46.3 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.22%) is water.

Early on, the village was known as Forestville (unofficially, since there was already a Forestville with a Post Office), but was named Great Falls in 1955.[4]


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 8,549 people, 2,785 households, and 2,464 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 478.5 people per square mile (184.7/km²). There were 2,852 housing units at an average density of 159.6/sq mi (61.6/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 92.83% White, 1.20% African American, 0.14% Native American, 4.40% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.43% from other races, and 1.95% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.56% of the population.

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