Potomac River

The Potomac River in Washington, D.C., with Arlington Memorial Bridge in the foreground and Rosslyn, Arlington, Virginia in the background
Map showing the five geological provinces through which the Potomac River flows
The North Branch between Cumberland, Maryland, and Ridgeley, West Virginia, in 2007
Canoers at Hanging Rocks on the South Branch in the 1890s
Confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah at Harpers Ferry
View southwest across the tidal Potomac River from the south end of Cobb Island Road on Cobb Island, Charles County, Maryland
Captain John Smith's 1608 map
Tundra swans were the predominant species of swan on the Potomac River when the Algonquian tribes dwelled along its shores, and continue to be the most populous variety today.
View of the Potomac River from George Washington's birthplace in Westmoreland County, Virginia
Sunset over the Potomac near Mount Vernon
Map of the Potomac River and its environs circa 1862 by Robert Knox Sneden.
The Potomac River surges over the deck of Chain Bridge during the historic 1936 flood. The bridge was so severely damaged by the raging water, and the debris it carried, that its superstructure had to be re-built; the new bridge was opened to traffic in 1939. (This photograph was taken from a vantage point on Glebe Road in Arlington County, Virginia. The houses on the bluffs in the background are located on the Potomac Palisades of Washington, DC.)
Eutrophication in the Potomac River is evident from this bright green water in Washington, D.C., caused by a dense bloom of cyanobacteria, April 2012
This chart displays the Annual Mean Discharge of the Potomac River measured at Little Falls, Maryland for Water Years 1931–2017 (in cubic feet per second). Source of data: USGS
Map of land use in the watershed
After an absence lasting many decades, the American Shad has recently returned to the Potomac.
Several hundred bottle-nosed dolphins live six months of the year (from mid-April through mid-October) in the Potomac. Depicted here, a mother with her young.
Eastern Box Turtles are frequently spotted along the towpath of the C&O Canal.
Five-lined skink, juvenile
The South Branch near South Branch Depot, West Virginia
Confluence of the Cacapon River (barely visible) with the Potomac
Oblique air photo, facing southwest, of the Potomac River flowing through water gaps in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Virginia on the left, Maryland on the right, West Virginia in upper right, including Harpers Ferry (partially obscured by Maryland Heights of Elk Ridge Mountain) at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers.
Potomac River at Goose Creek
The Great Falls of the Potomac, viewed from the Virginia bank of the river (Engraving based on an aquatint drawn by George Jacob Beck in 1802)
View of the Potomac River, Analostan Island, Georgetown, and, in the distance, buildings of the nascent City of Washington. (Engraving based on an 1801 watercolor by George Jacob Beck)
Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C., viewed from across the Tidal Basin of the Potomac
The Pentagon, looking northeast with the Potomac in the distance
East Branch of the Potomac (now called the Anacostia River) near its confluence with the mainstem Potomac in Washington. (Watercolor drawn in 1839 by Augustus Kollner)
View of the Potomac from Mount Vernon
Potomac River seen while landing at Reagan National Airport
View northeast down the North Branch Potomac River from the Gorman-Gormania Bridge (U.S. Route 50) between Gormania, Grant County, West Virginia and Gorman, Garrett County, Maryland
The North Branch Potomac River near Piedmont, WV
The South Branch Potomac River near South Branch Depot, WV
The South Branch of the Potomac River at Millesons Mill, WV
Potomac River Watershed in West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland

The Potomac River drains the Mid-Atlantic United States, flowing from the Potomac Highlands into Chesapeake Bay.

- Potomac River

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General Information, The Wonders of WV, 2007 (1) Note, modern tourism regions do not necessarily match traditional geography regions.

Potomac Highlands

General Information, The Wonders of WV, 2007 (1) Note, modern tourism regions do not necessarily match traditional geography regions.

The Potomac Highlands of West Virginia (or just the Potomac Highlands) centers on five West Virginian counties (Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Mineral, and Pendleton) in the upper Potomac River watershed in the western portion of the state's Eastern Panhandle, bordering Maryland and Virginia.

Hampshire County, 1888

Hampshire County, West Virginia

County in the U.S. state of West Virginia.

County in the U.S. state of West Virginia.

Hampshire County, 1888
Mount Bethel Church at Three Churches, WV.
Caudy's Castle
South Branch Potomac River near South Branch Depot
Capon Springs
Edwards Run at Edwards Run Wildlife Management Area near Cold Stream.

He was told that they were from the South Branch Potomac River Valley (now Hampshire County).

Camp Cross, a Union Army camp at Point Lookout, Maryland from 1863–1864

Point Lookout State Park

Camp Cross, a Union Army camp at Point Lookout, Maryland from 1863–1864
Federal Confederate Cemetery Memorial plaque, over the site of a mass grave of 3,384 Confederate soldiers, Point Lookout Maryland.
2012-01-15

Point Lookout State Park is a public recreation area and historic preserve occupying Point Lookout, the southernmost tip of a peninsula formed by the confluence of Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River in St. Mary's County, Maryland.

East Coast of the United States

Coastline along which the Eastern United States meets the North Atlantic Ocean.

Coastline along which the Eastern United States meets the North Atlantic Ocean.

South Mountain in Pennsylvania with Allentown in the foreground, December 2010
Fulton Chain Lakes in Adirondack Park in Upstate New York, August 2007
Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia, June 2007
The fast-paced streets of New York City, January 2020
Aerial view of exurban Monroe Township, Middlesex County, New Jersey housing tracts in 2010. Since then, significant new housing construction is rendering an increasingly affluent and suburban environment to Monroe Township, while maintaining the proximity to New York City sought by Indian Americans in this township with the fastest-growing Asian Indian population in the Western Hemisphere.

In addition, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia border tidal arms of the Atlantic (the Delaware River and the Potomac River, respectively).

Rolling countryside in southern Grant County

Grant County, West Virginia

County in the U.S. state of West Virginia.

County in the U.S. state of West Virginia.

Rolling countryside in southern Grant County
Grant County Bank, Petersburg
US 48 in Grant County

At Franklin, the Pendleton County seat, the South Branch of the Potomac River crested at 22.6 feet during the incident.

Cumberland, Maryland

U.S. city in and the county seat of Allegany County, Maryland.

U.S. city in and the county seat of Allegany County, Maryland.

Map of Braddock's Military Road
Terminus of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal in Cumberland. Highway bridge is Interstate 68. Canal Place Museum is the brick building behind bridge.
A graph showing the population in Cumberland and Allegany County
Downtown Cumberland, Maryland
C&O Canal at Swain's Lock
Wills Creek
Downtown Cumberland
I-68/US 40 at its southwestern junction with US 220 in Cumberland

Located on the Potomac River, Cumberland is a regional business and commercial center for Western Maryland and the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia.

Maryland

State in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

State in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

Cecil Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore, 1st Proprietor of the Maryland colony
1732 map of Maryland
The bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore inspired the song, "Star Spangled Banner".
The Battle of Antietam was the single bloodiest day of the Civil War with nearly 23,000 casualties.
Ruin left by the Great Baltimore Fire
Physical regions of Maryland
Western Maryland is known for its heavily forested mountains. A panoramic view of Deep Creek Lake and the surrounding Appalachian Mountains in Garrett County.
Great Falls on the Potomac River
Typical freshwater river above the tidal zone. The Patapsco River includes the famous Thomas Viaduct and is part of the Patapsco Valley State Park. Later, the river forms Baltimore's Inner Harbor as it empties into the Chesapeake Bay.
Typical brackish tidal river. Sunset over a marsh at Cardinal Cove on the Patuxent River
Tidal wetlands of the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the United States and the largest water feature in Maryland
Black-eyed susans, the state flower, grow throughout much of the state.
Mature Trachycarpus fortunei in Solomons, Maryland
On Maryland's Atlantic coastal islands: A feral Chincoteague Pony on Assateague
Köppen climate types of Maryland, using 1991–2020 climate normals.
Winter in Baltimore, Lancaster Street, Fells Point
Maryland's counties
Maryland population distribution map. Maryland's population is concentrated mostly in the Baltimore and Washington metropolitan areas.
The Baltimore Basilica was the first Catholic cathedral built in the U.S.
The Murugan Temple of North America (Hindu) in Lanham, Maryland
A map showing Maryland's median income by county. Data is sourced from the 2014 ACS 5-year Estimate report published by the US Census Bureau.
Agriculture is an important part of the state's economy
The beach resort town of Ocean City along the Atlantic Ocean is a popular tourist destination in Maryland.
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge connects Maryland's Eastern and Western Shores.
Ellicott City Station, on the original B&O Railroad line, is the oldest remaining passenger station in the United States. The rail line is still used by CSX Transportation for freight trains, and the station is now a museum.
The Maryland State House in Annapolis dates to 1772, and houses the Maryland General Assembly and offices of the governor.
The historical coat of arms of Maryland in 1876
Spiro Agnew, 39th Vice President of the United States, is the highest-ranking political leader from Maryland since the founding of the United States.
Memorial Chapel at the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland's flagship university
UMBC Commons and Quad
Oriole Park at Camden Yards, home of the Baltimore Orioles
M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens

The original capital of Maryland was St. Mary's City, on the north shore of the Potomac River, and the county surrounding it, the first erected/created in the province, was first called Augusta Carolina, after the King, and later named St. Mary's County.

Ridges and valleys near Norton, Virginia

Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians

The Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians, also called the Ridge and Valley Province or the Valley and Ridge Appalachians, are a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian division and are also a belt within the Appalachian Mountains extending from southeastern New York through northwestern New Jersey, westward into Pennsylvania and southward into Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama.

The Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians, also called the Ridge and Valley Province or the Valley and Ridge Appalachians, are a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian division and are also a belt within the Appalachian Mountains extending from southeastern New York through northwestern New Jersey, westward into Pennsylvania and southward into Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama.

Ridges and valleys near Norton, Virginia
Appalachian zones in the US – USGS
Shaded relief map of Cumberland Plateau and Ridge and Valley Appalachians on the Virginia/West Virginia border
Pennsylvania's ridge country from Clarks Knob
Oblique air photo of Massanutten Mountain, looking southwest. The south fork of the Shenandoah River is visible to the left, as well as a part of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Oblique air photo facing north of central Bedford County, Pennsylvania, in December 2006, showing Wills, Evitts, and Tussey Mountains from center to right.

But a few major rivers, such as the Delaware River, the Susquehanna River, the New River, and the Potomac River, are evidently older than the present mountains, having cut water gaps that are perpendicular to hard strata ridges.

West Virginia

State in the Appalachian, Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions of the United States.

State in the Appalachian, Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions of the United States.

Thomas Lee, the first manager of the Ohio Company of Virginia
A slave wedding in Virginia, 1838
Map of Virginia dated June 13, 1861, featuring the percentage of slave population within each county at the 1860 census and the proposed state of Kanawha
Francis H. Pierpont, a leader during the Second Wheeling Convention.
Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight, a statue on the grounds of the West Virginia State Capitol
Harpers Ferry alternated between Confederate and Union rule eight times during the American Civil War, and was finally annexed by West Virginia.
Votes by county in the October 1861 statehood vote
Child labor in the coal mines of West Virginia, 1908.
Family of a coal miner, circa 1935
Saturday afternoon street scene, Welch, McDowell County, 1946
Map of West Virginia counties
Shaded relief map of the Cumberland Plateau and Ridge-and-valley Appalachians
The summit of Spruce Knob is often covered in clouds.
Köppen climate types of West Virginia, using 1991-2020 climate normals
West Virginia population density map
Seneca Rocks, Pendleton County
Bituminous coal seam in southwestern West Virginia
Bluefield, a major center for coal mining, in 2014
The West Virginia State Capitol in Charleston is home to the West Virginia Legislature.
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A toll plaza on the West Virginia Turnpike
The iconic New River Gorge Bridge near Fayetteville
The Veterans Memorial Bridge carries US 22 from Steubenville into Ohio.

Trading posts were established by European traders along the Potomac and James rivers.

Washington, D.C.

Capital city and only federal district of the United States.

Capital city and only federal district of the United States.

Looking West at the Capitol & the Mall, Washington DC
Historical coat of arms, as recorded in 1876
Following their victory at the Battle of Bladensburg (1814), the British entered Washington, D.C., burning down buildings, including the White House.
President Abraham Lincoln insisted that construction of the United States Capitol dome continue during the American Civil War (1861).
Crowds surrounding the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool during the March on Washington, 1963
Satellite photo of Washington, D.C. by ESA
The Washington Monument, seen across the Tidal Basin during 2007's National Cherry Blossom Festival
The L'Enfant Plan for Washington, D.C., as revised by Andrew Ellicott in 1792
Looking Northwest at the Mall, Washington DC
Looking West from RFK Stadium, Washington DC
Construction of the 12-story Cairo Apartment Building (1894) in the Dupont Circle neighborhood spurred building height restrictions.
The Georgetown neighborhood is known for its historic Federal-style rowhouses. In the foreground is the 19th century Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.
Meridian Hill Park, in Columbia Heights
Map of racial distribution in Washington, D.C., according to the 2010 U.S. Census. Each dot is 25 people:
D.C. police on Harley-Davidson motorcycles escort a protest in 2018.
Federal Triangle, between Constitution Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue. The U.S. federal government accounts for about 29% of D.C. jobs.
The Lincoln Memorial receives about six million visits annually.
The Smithsonian Institution is the world's largest research and museum complex. Like its administration building, known as The Castle, many of its museums are on the National Mall.
The National Gallery of Art
The Kennedy Center for Performing Arts is home to the Washington National Opera and National Symphony Orchestra.
Nationals Park in the Navy Yard area on the Anacostia River
is the home of the Washington Nationals baseball team.
The hometown Washington Capitals NHL hockey team plays in Penn Quarter's Capital One Arena; the arena is also home to the Washington Wizards NBA basketball team.
One Franklin Square: The Washington Post Building on Franklin Square
The Watergate complex was the site of the Watergate Scandal, which led to President Nixon's resignation.
The John A. Wilson Building houses the offices of the mayor of Washington and the Council of the District of Columbia.
The Eisenhower Executive Office Building, once the world's largest office building, houses the Executive Office of the President of the United States.
The Library of Congress is one of the world's largest libraries, with more than 167 million cataloged items.
Georgetown Day at Georgetown University
A Blue Line train at Farragut West, an underground station on the Washington Metro
Washington Union Station is one of the busiest rail stations in the United States.
I-66 in Washington, D.C.
The Capitol Power Plant, built to supply energy for the U.S. Capitol Complex, is under the jurisdiction of the Architect of the Capitol.

It is located on the east bank of the Potomac River, which forms its southwestern and southern border with the U.S. state of Virginia, and it shares a land border with the U.S. state of Maryland on its remaining sides.