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We started in the East View parking lot and went up the orange trail to see the peak of sugar loaf (steep, but quick) from there we made our way to the blue trail to go out to White Rocks look out (somehow got sidetracked off the blue trail for awhile...). Then we continued on the blue (then white) trail to get back to the parking lot. Nice and steady up and down, so never felt too strenuous. Arrived around 9:30 and wasn’t too crowded; by the time we were leaving (1:30) it was quite crowded. If we go again we might start down at the entrance gate in order to have more of an elevation climb.

hiking
19 hours ago

Engaging trail with views when trees are not leafed out. Rocky with some steep climbs-glad I had a hiking stick.

Super crowded. Nice hike but way too many people there.

Was 100% worth my time. You’re going to be hiking up at a steep angle immediately, which I appreciate. It also gets moderately wet on the way up. Cat Rock is fun to climb and Bob’s Hill has two amazing views.

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.

hiking
7 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.

Great trip with the dog a little hairy in some spots so be careful.

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!!

This trail loop does not ease up at end so get ready for some serious hike. Initial climb onto top via orange trail is tough but its short so if you have some endurance its no problem. Rest of hike through the blue trail is fairly easy until the end of blue trail . Then you hit the green trail and start climbing to top again when your legs are starting to feel it..

Agree with others on view - its nice but not spectacular as Maryland Height Harper's Ferry hike. Also agree regarding trail markings.. its there but you at some junctions its confusing and could be better. Some part of blue trail uses dark blue paint markings while other part uses light blue markings.. it can be confusing but dark and light blue markings on trees denote the same blue trail.

Great work out and overall, i'd say its on strenuous side of moderate if you follow the trail map given here. Took 2 hr 40 minutes on nice partly sunny day.

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.

hiking
15 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

Enjoyable moderate hike with a few hills, water crossings, one little waterfall. This was a beautiful spring day. My hike was about six miles. G Ood training hike

Great views and historical hike. Good with a dog and children!!!

The A section is my favorite hike, bar none

Trail wasn't marked very well in some spots. Make sure to park in the west view lot as that is where the tail starts and ends. There are some areas that aren't marked very well and some how we ended up getting turned around some where in between marker B5 and B6 and double backed. We didn't realize it until we hit a cross section again. While we didn't get to see White Rock we will go back and try again on another day. All in all the kids (5 and 12) and the dog enjoyed it. Tough with kids in some parts, but they have been hiking for a long time so it wasn't too bad.

Several areas were blocked (I’m assuming because of recent storms) but this trail was fun for my girls! Not a trail for younger kids or strollers....some areas are quite close to rock cliffs. The trails were a little difficult to navigate in some areas but blue paint on the trees helped us to stay on track. The app was also a great guide tool.

hiking
27 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.

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.

The change in terrain and scenery was fun and challenging. The view was beautiful. The trail is definitely not marked as well as what I’m used to and we got a little turned around and confused, accidentally branching off onto a different trail at one point. It could have just been the day we went, but we did not encounter a ton of people on this trail, just occasionally. That made the hike more enjoyable.

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

I went on this trail as a brand-new-to-Great-Falls person and was expecting a walking trail. The River Trail is DEFINITELY a hiking trail that requires frequent use of your hands for navigating hills and over rocks, and includes very steep inclines that will leave inexperienced hikers (like myself) out of breath and physically strained. You will spend most of your time looking at the ground to watch your footing and very little time enjoying the beautiful scenery around you. Early March 2018, there were downed trees on the trail that were difficult to pass without being extremely nimble. A wet patch of mud on a slope caused me to tumble; I cut my palm on a rock trying to break my fall. I do not recommend this trail after any amount of rain. I cut this trail short and took a shortcut over to the Old Carriage Trail, which can be classified as a walking trail... very smooth and only slight inclines.

This park was listed as an Audubon Hotspot for birding year-round but we hardly saw any birds at all (early March). We saw the most birds near the parking lot (and just common birds). Disappointing.

Nice easy walk, great views at White Rocks. The scenery around the trail is really nice. There's a lot of parking available too.

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!

Juno the Golden Retriever loved the trail. Nice ups and downs, nothing too strenuous and for kids (and kids at heart) there is a Gold Mine to see from the outside. if you are hiking with little folk, turn left at the loop, the gold mine is closer that way.

we did the whole loop. Beautiful Forrest and ridges.

Nice trail and a good place for friendly dogs.

This was a much better hike than I expected it to be. I’ve been to Great Falls Park a number of times to look at the falls but wasn’t aware that there was a loop with some elevation and rocky parts and more challenge than I expected. It was also beautiful - a warm winter mid-week day with few people and great views through the bare trees. I highly recommend it for a good hike close to downtown DC.

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

hiking
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!

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