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.Plan to visit Billy Goat Trail during your Potomac vacation using our convenient Potomac trip itinerary maker.
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Great hike. Trail A requires you to climb over and around rocks most of the time so it may be difficult for those with knee or feet problems. Take plenty of water. Great views of the river all along t... more »
Begin your hike from Anglers Inn (free, limited parking)south of the trail or from north of the trail (near the park entrance) This is a fairly strenuous hike and you'll work up a sweat. Suggested for... more »
A hike that involves climbing over large boulders and up and down hills. I enjoyed the challenge of it all and the pride in finishing the adventure. It is NOT for those of us who are physically challe... more »
My kids love this trail. My younger go until it gets very rough and older explore the hard part. Lots of rocks to climb though. Beautiful views of the river. Can be a little crowded. Make sure you understand fitness requirements. The hard part is strenuous.
Nice place for a hike. Beautiful views of river from the cliffs. Pretty easy hike.
Fun hike, make it as long as you want. Be careful as about a third of it is a rock scramble and your dog will have trouble with it. Listen to the signs and don't take your dog.
Really great trail for beginning to intermediate hikers/trail lovers. Just under 8 miles. Features a rock hop section which means that you jump from rock to rock or walk from rock to rock by going up and down. Section A is the hardest and the other sections B, and C, are much easier. Overall a great trail for fun day hikes.
There are three Billy Goat Trails (A, B, C). A is the longest and most difficult. B is relatively easy, but a bit longer than C. C has portions in it for climbing only (ways to get around it). Very robust and extensive trails. Great views. And there's water access at each one to freshen up. Most of the trails are shaded. Definitely the best hiking trails in the DC area!
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