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

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Breathtaking beautiful. Next time I go back, I will be sure to wear hiking shoes. The trails are quite difficult, so be sure to be prepared for a challenge!

Where do I start. This hike is absolutely beautiful. Breathtaking views of many waterfalls! You can even climb a few rocks to get right up close to a few of the falls. Unfortunately we were not prepared for what was to come. The hike up was pretty tough. Once we got up to where you take the fire road to Cedar Run trail we took the wrong path (both have yellow blazes) we ended up hiking about a mile or so in the wrong direction and that’s when the fog rolled in. Temps dropped about 20 degrees and it began to POUR down rain. Needless to say once we started our decent down Cedar Run everything was soaked and muddy and it’s VERY steep. We were slipping and sliding all over the place and much of the trail down is nearly impassable by fallen trees and things. We hiked the trail counterclockwise which under normal weather conditions would’ve been much easier. This loop is definitely not for beginners. You will absolutely be sore the next day and your feet will most definitely get wet because there are several river crossings. Most of the way UP is well.....UP....steep and you will need to take breaks to catch your breath. This loop is a beast. Can’t wait to tackle it again in better weather.

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.

What an absolutely beautiful hike! I expected it to be hard but I had no idea how hard it was really going to be. I’m not sure about the mileage because my phone said 8.4 miles when all is said and done and my watch said 9.6 miles. This is not for a novice hiker! We took this hike counterclockwise. We had met some other people on the hike that said that clockwise disease year. But I believe there is no easy way to do this hike. I really had to keep pushing myself. We got down to the bottom of the canyon and I was starting to feel tired. The hike downhill was strenuous. But the hike up was a test! With an elevation gain of 2200 feet on the way up it really testing me. The fire road itself was difficult as we were exhausted by the time we got to the fire and the fire is completely uphill. But I’m happy to say that I finished it!

hiking
3 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.

This was my first hike and a solo one at that. It was awesome!!! The rock scramble did not disappoint this first timer. I’m short (4’11”) and was able to this. Some review said it might be difficult and they were but other hikers were there to help if needed. I did this counter clockwise. Went up the fire road first then hit the scramble. That helped I’m sure as I was able to slide down a lot of the boulders. So if you’re in decent shape and want an exciting solo hike.....THIS WAS GREAT.

This hike has beautiful views at the top with an amazing breeze to cool down after the uphill. The rock scrambles are very fun and can be easy for some or very difficult depending on your physical shape and comfortability with bouldering/climbing. At a certain point the distance of the hike can definitely be mentally taxing and a motivational killer if fatigued lol. Specially if doing the hike the opposite direction with the weakley hollow fire trail first. Very fun and enjoyable workout. Good luck everyone!

I drove 6 hours from Cleveland to hike this and some others in the area and this has become a new favorite of mine. I highly recommend hiking up the orange route which is hiking up the falls. From the parking lots, go down the steps to the first trail sign and make a right, go under the bridge and maybe 100 yards later you'll come to a split. GO LEFT which is hiking up the falls. It's more challenging than hiking the other route but FAR more rewarding. There are places to stop and relax/take photos the whole way up. Wear hiking shoes! If you don't take the orange route up, I feel horrible for you - going down the orange route has to be awful (slippery and much more steep). I'm not a waterfall enthusiast so I was a bit reluctant to "waste" my time on this one but it turned out to be really awesome. The only downside to this one is that it's got a ton of people on it, maybe the most of any "hard" trail I've done to date. WEAR HIKING BOOTS - you'll regret it if you don't. Enjoy!

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!!

Damn good hike

hiking
7 days ago

Gorgeous falls! Be sure to wear hiking shoes! I recommend hiking up next to the falls first as coming down on the wet rock would be more difficult.

Best swimming hole hike in Virginia. Lots of places to cool off in the water along this trail. Summer time favorite. I guess news has spread because its definitely become more crowded over the years.

Classic Shenandoah must do hike. Spectacular views at the top. Can’t believe this is in Virginia. Definitely more crowded than most others due to its reputation.

Great day trip from DC. The trail has a nice incline variety. It’s very rocky, so probably best to go on a dry day, when the rocks aren’t slippery from rain.

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
11 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

My very first hike and I chose this monster. Had a wonderful time and was not disappointed with the views.

My son and I loved this hike. Absolutely lived up to its “hard” rating, this hike has a lot to offer. Waterfalls and elevation change abound on this test, but the rugged terrain was the biggest consistent challenge. If you hike it counterclockwise as most recommend, be sure to stop and look back from time to time to avoid missing all of the amazing views this hike offers.

This is not the best way to do this hike. The best way is to do a loop hike from Skyline Drive. Start at the Hawksbill Gap Parking area (Milepost 45.6) and start down the Cedar Run Trail to the Whiteoak-Cedar Run Link Trail and up the Whiteoak Canyon Trail until you reach the Whiteoak Canyon Fire Road. Follow the fire trail back to your car. You will see 2 waterfalls on the Cedar Run Trail and 6 waterfalls on the Whiteoak Canyon Trail. This is a 7.3 strenuous loop with 2794' elevation change.

I’ve hiked this trail a couple of times and love it! It’s a long trail and starts out fairly easy. The fun stuff happens close to the top - lots of rock scrambles!

Great trail. Not a difficult hike to the falls since it’s downhill but the hike back up can be absolutely exhausting! I like the loop with Cedar Run for the full experience.

The A section is my favorite hike, bar none

Hiking across state lines is always fun and met with a beautiful view at the end of the trail.

Pretty easy hike. It only took me about 3.8 hours but it was worth the drive. views were cool and the waterfalls was a nice one.

Amazing hike up the Falls! We went to the left of the loop so hiked up next to Falls first....absolutely awesome views and great hiking! I will definitely hike this again!

Love the rock scrambles. That was extremely fun. The fire road is fairly easy. I ran down afterwards because it was kind of boring. Overall I would consider it as moderate and fun if u can climb on boulders and squeeze through small crevices. Love this hike.

What a great hike and the views were spectacular!

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