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Billy Goat Trail, Potomac
(4.8/5 based on 160+ reviews on the web)
The Billy Goat Trail is a 4.7mi hiking trail that follows a path between the C&O Canal and the Potomac River within the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park near Great Falls in Montgomery County, Maryland. The trail has three sections: Section A, the northernmost, is ; Section B is ; and Section C, the southernmost, isDescriptionBilly Goat Trail was laid out by the YMCA Triangle Club in 1919.Section A of the trail, by far the most popular, is on Bear Island and traverses rough and rocky terrain, including a steep climb along a cliff face along the Potomac River's Mather Gorge. At another point in the trail, hikers are required to scramble over and around huge boulders. Sections B and C are less strenuous; section B requires only one brief scramble, and section C has none. Most of the trail is well marked with light blue trail blazes.Section A is best accessed from the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center.Section B and Section C are best accessed from Carderock, Maryland. All sections of the trail are free, although an entrance fee ($10 per car - 2015) is charged when entering and parking near the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center. No fee is charged when parking near Carderock. Dogs are not allowed on Section A, nor on Olmsted Island (Great Falls Overlook), but are permitted on a leash at all times everywhere else in the park. It takes about 2 1/2 hours to do the Section A loop from the parking lot.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Walk carefully!!!!my niece fell 80' into the Potomac last week. She survived. Such a beautiful place but focus on more than the beauty. 
  • Plan on taking this detour deliberately. The views are terrific, and it's just enough off the beaten path to be pleasantly quiet. Signage keeps you where you headed where want to go, and there are ple...  more »
  • I regularly hike the Billy Goat A trail. Round trip from the Tavern parking lot is 4.5 miles and takes 2 1/2 hours usually. This is a challenging, but short, technical hike with a bit of rock scrambli...  more »