Billy Goat and Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Trail Loop

moderate 940 reviews

Billy Goat Trail and Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Trail Loop is a 7.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Great Falls, Virginia that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is best used from March until October.

Distance: 7.1 miles Elevation Gain: 278 feet Route Type: Loop

hiking

nature trips

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

fee

no dogs

Note: As of April 2019, Towpath is closed due to construction, please use the marked towpath detour at Great Falls upstream of Lock 20 One of the best hikes in the Washington DC area and a short drive from Virginia and Maryland, the Billy Goat Trail consists of three main trails - A, B and C - in the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park. The trail, marked by blue blazes, features fun rock-scrambles and spectacular views between the C&O Canal and the Potomac River. All three sections can be accessed off the canal towpath between Great Falls Tavern and Carderock. The Billy Goat Trail is accessible year-round and protected by the National Park Service and The Nature Conservancy. The park was established in 1961 as a National Monument by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to preserve the neglected remains of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and many of its original structures. $15 vehicle permit or $10 individual permit (foot, bike, equestrian). The Great Falls Tavern visitor center (Wednesday through Sunday) has more information about hiking trails and the history of the area. Dogs are NOT allowed on the trail.

hiking
rocky
1 hour ago

hiking
muddy
rocky
6 days ago

Great trail! Fun to climb the steep rocks! Amazing views.

hiking
rocky
scramble
14 days ago

Chouette randonnée où on peut choisir en fonction de l’état des chemins ou de sa forme physique. Beaucoup de monde le week-end.

hiking
1 month ago

Very fun and technical hike if you attempt the climbing portion of the trail. Gets crowded with many people trying to crawl up and down the steepest sections. Recommend bringing good footwear and be prepared for a lot of up and downs over the various rocks on the path.

hiking
1 month ago

NO DOGS!! Didn’t realize there were no dogs allowed on the trail until we drove 2 hours with two dogs and saw the signs everywhere. Beautiful hike though

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

Definitely my favorite hike. Just outside of DC and back home in the wood. It’s fun, steep, rocky and overall great workout. Keep those quads in shape for this one!

1 month ago

This is one of the most fun and diverse hikes I've done. There's some decent rock climbing to be had but it is well worth it and you are rewarded with breath taking views of the river. Definitely plan to spend most of the day here as you won't want to stop exploring.

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

Absolute great hike! My first time doing any rock scrambling and it was a blast. Went in December so it was chilly but no ice. A little muddy in some spots but not to bad and easily navigated around. Can’t wait to go back!

hiking
scramble
2 months ago

Nice trail. Not crowded early. Easy to moderate scrambling. Beautiful day.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

It was very fun to hike this trail! It was very rocky, but sneakers will do. Went the day after thanksgiving and it was very very crowded. Other than that, I would definitely come here again.

Beautiful views and great variety of scenery. Some rock scrambling.

Great trail! The first part A has a lot of climbing which is fun but make sure you wear good shoes if you plan to climb. Part B was closed and part C was a nice scenic walk. The only con I have if that is was a heavily trafficked area. Other than that it was great!

Good lord! Way too many people. Ridiculous, go elsewhere.

hiking
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

My favorite trail in the NOVA area. I do it every year around Thanksgiving when the weather is nice. Crowded as hell during the summer which makes the scrambling and hiking part quite hard.

Awesome first time with Kathy

hiking
scramble
3 months ago

I really enjoyed the Billy Goat trail hike. I was fortunate to be able to hike this with my good friend, Jenna, who lives close by. It’s such a beautiful area. The A Trail with the rocks and boulders, Purplehorse Beach and the Great Falls were super cool! It was a perfect day to soak up the fall autumn colors along the Potomac. This a peaceful and tranquil place! I look forward to exploring the B and C sections and more rocks and scrambling! This is the kind of hike that you come back to over and over again!!

hiking
4 months ago

Nice area, nice trails. Definitely 5-star for scenery - but was extremely crowded. Not the place to go if you are looking to get away from people.

hiking
rocky
scramble
4 months ago

Very nice trail. This is trail easy. But you need to put on good sneakers for the hike. On the trail opened a beautiful view. Very interesting time with kids.

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