Explore planned trails - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

planned trails Map

Nice hike with a decent elevation gain. Parking at Old South Mountain Inn is free as long as you park in the designated area. There's also a small parking lot at the trail's intersection with Reno Monument Rd if you want to make the hike a little shorter or avoid the campground.

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.

5 days 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!!

very enjoyable for a first time hikr. very well marked.

A fun trail that can be both moderate and easy depending on the route you take. Nice little get away right outside of DC.

Very fun trail super close to DC. Lots of rock scrambling and great views of the river. If you add section C to this loop, you're looking at a total of 10.66 miles from the visitors center parking lot (assuming you do sections a through c and then return to the lot via the tow path).

No dogs allowed on section A, but sections B and C are ok for dogs.

Get there EARLY because this place gets unbearably crowded during the day.

13 days ago

Such a great hike!!!!!!! Will definitely not be the last time I hike this one. Wouldn’t recommend kids or dogs on section A

16 days ago

Nice . Access was easy from Kemp Mill subdivision.
Quite. Lot’s of birds. Deer.

The A section is my favorite hike, bar none

Happy Easter !! Today I got lucky because it didn't rain on me or any of the guys Trout Fishing. The trails have dried out quite well. Sure beats what I went through the other day in a rain storm. This hike is my favorite for the Baltimore County side of the Park. One key reason is because of the many options to this loop. There are many exit and entry trails on this side compared to the Howard County side. I generally take a break in the Hilton Area or just wait until I finished near the Swinging Bridge. You could also park in the Hilton area if you live near that section. Options are Great but you Hike Your Hike and Enjoy.

25 days ago

An easy hike that can get crowded but the close proximity to DC makes it a fun hike. There is a slight scramble at one point but ultimately this is a quick and easy hike. Decent birds to see in the C&O Canal. Better early in the day for photos as the views of the river are to your west and sun is to your back in the morning.

27 days ago

Good day hike, and with most of the views facing north around the mid-way point, you can start this clockwise or counterclockwise in the morning and your photos will still mainly have the sun to your back. I did not give this five stars as the firebreak road can get a bit boring and other than the outcropping on signal knob, there are not that many views and. because signal knob is so far north in the ridge line, most of the views are just a flat populated valley.

1 month ago

Started from the Carderock Recreation Area, combined Billy Goat Trail A, B, and C with the Overlook Trail, made a nice 10 mike hike. Carderock has a lot more parking spaces than Anglers.

just beautiful...watch your ankles...but.just beautiful

Went on a gorgeous early March day. Saw tons of birds and the river/canal/falls were all beautiful. Unfortunately section A was closed due to flooding, and sections B and C were fun but pretty easy. All in all a nice day!

1 month ago

A difficult trail due to the rocky terrain. However, the views of the valley offer a great reward. One of my local favs.

Very rocky trail... great workout.

2 months ago

Fun trail. Pretty easy. Thanks, Doug, for the tip about the HS.

2 months ago

When it comes to Hiking or Backpacking the Patapsco Valley State Park, the Avalon, Orange Grove, Hilton, Hilltop and Glen Artney areas are by far the best trail system in the whole Valley area. You can CAMP in the Hilton area at 1101 Hilton Ave. in Catonsville, Md. There are plenty of pavilions, restrooms and drink fountains in many of the sections. There are so many loops you can hike so the miles and terrain will indeed vary pending your planned trip. You can even take the kids hiking or just go to one of the two playgrounds. I have been backpacking this area since the late 60’s and have seen many changes. The biggest was in 1972, The Storm of Agnes. Can you picture the water as high as the railroad tracks? Many of the trails you see on All/Trails was created and recorded by me. I am still out here weekly. Simply view my recording for the many options to hiking this area. Email me for my custom map I created. baltoken @ yahoo.com

great trail but beware that from now until April, parts or the trail are closed for stream restoration. If you access the trail from the marked trailhead at the library headquarters bldg, you can only do a one mile loop. It's only possible to connect to the most scenic section of the trail, behind Annapolis high school, if you are willing to go off trail,

For now, I recommend parking at Annapolis high school. Look for the many paths into the woods behind the athletic fields. It's challenging hiking with beautiful views of Broad Creek. You will see blue herons and may get lucky and see a bald eagle.

very rocky, but worth the hike to the top. Great views, have done this hike 5 times and still look forward to doing it again.

It's a great trail with beautiful views. It is important to know to go to the Billy goat trail you must enter from the Maryland side of the park and not Virginia side

2 months ago

A great hike and friendly people to meet along the way. Did run into a few snakes, but nothing to worry about if you are aware of your surroundings!

Difficult for sure, but well worth it. Just be expecting to be sore for the next few days afterward if you aren’t in great shape.

2 months ago

The hike was vary fun and challenging, but not too hard when it came to the ups and downs.

2 months ago

Great trail. Loved scrambling on the rocks. Nice river views - especially beautiful with remnants of snow and ice.

2 months ago

we spent 3hours doing Section A plus one of the spurs and it was very beautiful. Heavy traffic buy everyone was respectful of one another.

3 months ago

One of the best hikes in the DMV area for sure.

Not overly challenging couple mile loop, only difficult part is the trail is mostly on rocks that can be somewhat difficult to navigate, beautiful views of the river. Super crowded trail so if you want a hike to get away this isn’t for you.

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