Perform a Google search on "America's Wildest Urban River" and you'll likely find a string of articles on the Potomac River--specifically the fifteen mile stretch of river known as the Potomac Gorge that roars and bounces from Great Falls, its steepest point at one-hundred and forty feet above sea level, to its termination and lowest point in Georgetown at a mere ten feet above sea level. This area along the three-hundred and eighty three mile Potomac River is the result of one of the steepest fall zones in the East--a transitional area where the rocky bedrock of the piedmont region gives way to the sandy deposits of the coastal plain. Only fifteen miles or so downstream, the Potomac River passes through our Nation's Capital providing the backdrop and reflective areas around many of the monuments on the National Mall.
For those interested in environmental and natural history, the Potomac River at Great Falls has a rich history dating back to our first president, George Washington, and his desire to make this river a major navigational artery east to west from the newly formed Nation's Capital. This heritage is reflected in the inclusion of Great Falls Park as a disjointed feature of the nearby George Washington Memorial Parkway. Today, the Potomac River provides 76% percent of the drinking water for the bloated 4.3 million residents in the Washington D.C. metro area and acts as a natural oasis for over two-million estimated annual visitors (Nature Conservancy) who come to hike, climb, kayak, and otherwise enjoy the banks of this scenic, wild, urban river.
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