Little Falls Creek at the First Pedestrian Bridge

Bethesda, Maryland

Little Falls Creek at the First Pedestrian Bridge is located in the beautiful 160-acre Little Falls Stream Valley Park at the heart of the Little Falls Watershed downstream from the Massachusetts Avenue entrance. The park has no facilities but is home to the lovely 3.5 mile Little Falls Valley trail along the creek. It starts in Bethesda, MD, near Norwood Park and runs along the Little Falls Parkway, then parallel with the Capital Crescent trail all the way to MacArthur Boulevard in Washington, DC. The trail is wonderful for kids, walking dogs, jogging, biking, or simply taking a stroll. Lots of wildlife has been spotted here, including owls, foxes, and various songbirds and ducks.

There is parking at the gravel parking lot at the intersection of Massachusetts Ave and Little Falls Parkway in Bethesda, MD. The site is about 1/2 mile downstream from the Massachusetts entrance. The creek has a small beach in this spot as well as several pools. This area is also accessible by foot at the end of Brookeway Drive in the Sumner neighborhood.

photo by Cameron Conway. Thanks for letting us use it.

COVID-19

Keep your distance from other people.

Practicing social distancing is still essential. Only go to the beach if you are able to keep 6 feet or 2 meters away from others. Follow the instructions provided by your local health authorities. If your community has asked that you remain indoors and away from others, do so. Spending a day in any crowded place is the worst thing we can do for our most vulnerable right now and will counter our efforts to curb the virus’s spread.

Water Quality
  • Failed to meet water quality standards

  • Current Status
  • This status is based on the latest sample, taken on June 30th, 2022. Little Falls Watershed Alliance updates the status of this beach as soon as test results become available. These results were posted to Swim Guide on June 30th, 2022 at 12:51 PM.
For water quality icon legend, click:  
Monitoring Frequency

Little Falls Creek at the First Pedestrian Bridge is sampled weekly from June 1st to September 15th.

Source Information

Little Falls Watershed Alliance has trained volunteers monitor water quality at several locations in the Little Falls Watershed, a sub-watershed of the Potomac. Monitoring occurs every other week from July through mid-September. Parameters to be monitored include levels of E.Coli, pH, and temperature. The samples are processed by the Anacostia Riverkeeper water quality lab.


The primary parameter of concern is E. coli, a fecal coliform. E. coli is measured in terms of the Most Probable Number /100 ml water and high levels are an indicator of fecal contamination by warm-blooded animals like birds and mammals.


The MD Primary Contact Water Quality Standards are as follows:
• E. coli single sample value = 410 MPN/100mL
• E. coli geometric mean = 126 MPN/100mL


The Little Falls and Willett Branch are rated against these values. PASS indicates the E. coli single sample value is less than or equal to 410 MPN/100mL. FAIL indicates bacteria counts of over 410 MPN/100mL.

Read more
Water Quality Graph

Little Falls Creek at the First Pedestrian Bridge

Bethesda, Maryland

COVID-19

Keep your distance from other people.

Practicing social distancing is still essential. Only go to the beach if you are able to keep 6 feet or 2 meters away from others. Follow the instructions provided by your local health authorities. If your community has asked that you remain indoors and away from others, do so. Spending a day in any crowded place is the worst thing we can do for our most vulnerable right now and will counter our efforts to curb the virus’s spread.

Water Quality
  • Failed to meet water quality standards
  • Current Status
  • This status is based on the latest sample, taken on June 30th, 2022. Little Falls Watershed Alliance updates the status of this beach as soon as test results become available. These results were posted to Swim Guide on June 30th, 2022 at 12:51 PM.
For water quality icon legend, click:  

Little Falls Creek at the First Pedestrian Bridge is located in the beautiful 160-acre Little Falls Stream Valley Park at the heart of the Little Falls Watershed downstream from the Massachusetts Avenue entrance. The park has no facilities but is home to the lovely 3.5 mile Little Falls Valley trail along the creek. It starts in Bethesda, MD, near Norwood Park and runs along the Little Falls Parkway, then parallel with the Capital Crescent trail all the way to MacArthur Boulevard in Washington, DC. The trail is wonderful for kids, walking dogs, jogging, biking, or simply taking a stroll. Lots of wildlife has been spotted here, including owls, foxes, and various songbirds and ducks.

There is parking at the gravel parking lot at the intersection of Massachusetts Ave and Little Falls Parkway in Bethesda, MD. The site is about 1/2 mile downstream from the Massachusetts entrance. The creek has a small beach in this spot as well as several pools. This area is also accessible by foot at the end of Brookeway Drive in the Sumner neighborhood.

photo by Cameron Conway. Thanks for letting us use it.

Monitoring Frequency

Little Falls Creek at the First Pedestrian Bridge is sampled weekly from June 1st to September 15th.

Source Information

Little Falls Watershed Alliance has trained volunteers monitor water quality at several locations in the Little Falls Watershed, a sub-watershed of the Potomac. Monitoring occurs every other week from July through mid-September. Parameters to be monitored include levels of E.Coli, pH, and temperature. The samples are processed by the Anacostia Riverkeeper water quality lab.


The primary parameter of concern is E. coli, a fecal coliform. E. coli is measured in terms of the Most Probable Number /100 ml water and high levels are an indicator of fecal contamination by warm-blooded animals like birds and mammals.


The MD Primary Contact Water Quality Standards are as follows:
• E. coli single sample value = 410 MPN/100mL
• E. coli geometric mean = 126 MPN/100mL


The Little Falls and Willett Branch are rated against these values. PASS indicates the E. coli single sample value is less than or equal to 410 MPN/100mL. FAIL indicates bacteria counts of over 410 MPN/100mL.

Read more
Water Quality Graph

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