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Definite Map

fun trail, easy enough for kids too.

On The Rocks (OTR) 50k & 33.3k:
Ran the OTR Trail Runs event using almost all of this trail. The OTR is a circuitous loop course. I wanted to do the 50k (three loops), but opted for the 33.3k (two loops). No waypoints or photos.

What a race! Did it in 90+ heat, which is take-down heat on a course like this — a super rocky, Grand-Canyon-style course guaranteed to roll your ankles 3 or more times.

Given the cutoff time for the 50k and the rocky harshness of the course, I’d say this is not for beginners, and is geared for skilled ultra runners. Even if you are skilled, there’s a high risk for falls, ankle rolls, sprains, and DNFs. It’s listed as having 4-1/2 climbs per loop — trust me, it has more climbs than that, and the elevation profile is my witness.

I plan to return to run this course on my own terms, for training and sport. It’s a toughy, but a great trail to train on for hard runs such as this one.

Completed: 07/14/2018

Great short, moderate hike. The first half of the trail is very well maintained and there are plenty of signs to keep you on the trail. The second half is a bit more rugged and has a few steep climbs. Even though the parking lot for the area was full, the trail was still lightly trafficked. There are plenty of paths from the trail that lead down to the water. The views, the moderate hills, and having the trail to ourselves the majority of the time earns this trail four stars.

Nice walk along the river, a couple decent hills.

Did The A & C trails (B was closed). Was around 10.5 miles start to finish. Trail A is the most popular because of the rock scrambling (which is fun!), but I also really enjoyed Trail C because of how close to the water the trail takes you. It’s also much quieter with fewer people.

I have done B & C several times with my dogs. Go early to avoid all the stupid people who think they know how to “hike”. I have had to render first aid on these trails because people hike in flip flops. Both of my dogs love these trails for rock and creek time. A trail is closed to dogs so I have not done that section. Trails are rocky and well traveled.

Came and did this trail on a week trip from Utah. Pretty easy for anyone in good health and marked very well.

Great view of the Susquehanna. Partly obstructed by fence.

19 days ago

Nice trail, moderate traffic ,easy hike

Got there at 7 this morning, only folks there. Great hike, love the rock scrambling. Couldn’t believe how much added debri there is from the flooding...
Saw a ton of deer, a beaver, turtles, salamanders and other fun stuff along the way.... always a good time.

Decent scrambling but very crowded.

Easy trail to hike with great views.

Shorts trails, great for kids. One trail was pretty steep and treacherous but easily avoidable(it was fun if you’re able!). Wish people wouldn’t graffiti.

~ Beautiful view of the Susquehanna river. Even though it’s highly discouraged, climbing over the railings onto the rocks gives you a better view. You can watch the trains go by while the sun sets in the background. We came across this trail that lead to the outlook but had to take a quick detour to run through the pretty trees that you encounter on this trail ~

Section A can be challenging since it’s mostly scrambling. I recommend starting at the end near the Visitor Center which will lead you to hiking UP the traverse rather than down.

very fun, slightly challenging. rock jumping and climbing and some slippery smooth rocks.

trail running
1 month ago

I've "run" this (part A) several times--the word "run" in quote marks because there are stretches of scrambling over rocks that you can't run. But then it's all good exercise, and great views.

2 months ago

What this AllTrails description does not note is that section A of Billy Goat Trail is listed as Difficult (sign says one of the most difficult on East Coast), and that there is a 40 foot free climb required to complete the trail. Section B was listed as Moderate, with little rock scrambling and enjoyable.

2 months ago

Always a nice hike when I don’t want to drive too far from dc on a weekend. Get there early.

2 months ago

Great hike, some spots to free climb on and off the trail!

2 months ago

Rocky and challenging but definitely do-able with parents if careful enough!

My first time running this trail and it’s very nice running trail!. Will run again and again!

Amazing trail and views.

Lovely trail! It’s fairly easy, with a couple rock scrambles and inclines to keep things interesting but easy stretches in between. Definitely doable for a beginner, there were all skill levels hiking when I was there. Gorgeous overlooks onto the river, and plenty of historial interest. Only drawback was that it was too populated for any of the wildlife to be out and about, but this trail is more about the scenery.

Nice, challenging trail with steep rocky parts that makes for a great workout. Also some nice hidden fishing spots that are quiet and usually free of other anglers. Make sure you have plenty of water and have good hiking or running shoes with good traction.

Went here to work off a big meal at Texas Road House in Lancaster. Of course we hike in the upper trail. A little breath catching on a full stomach but good exercise. Some beautiful views of the Susquehanna River up and down stream. And the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail below. Will have to bring my bike down and ride that. Wife and son took the low road back while I took the steep shortcut to the high trail.

3 months ago

The best nearby trail for quick workout and taking in views of the Potomac River. Billy Goat Trail A is only 1.7 miles but its designated at moderate level due to rock scrambles. For extra workout, try going back in trail rather than taking the tow path back. Hiking shoes are highly recommended due to rocks and roots. I run this trail almost every weekend and have seen several people injured here. As others mention, free parking across Old Angler's Inn gets filled up real quick so probably getting there before 9 is your best bet.

Very fun trail! The billy goat trails are on the Maryland side. Get there early - we started at 7:30 and by ten it was crowded with little parking. We parked across from Old Anglers Inn and finished up less than half a mile from the Great Falls Tavern visitor center. The most strenuous parts are between markers one and two, but are fine for any adult in good health. Afterwards we went to the great falls overlook and got free bikes from the great falls tavern. Awesome hike!!

Second time I did it. liked it better the 2nd time.

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