Billy Goat Trail and Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Trail Loop

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Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park

Billy Goat Trail and Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Trail Loop is a 7.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Potomac, Maryland that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round.

Length7.2 miElevation gain249 ftRoute typeLoop
HikingForestRiverViewsWaterfallRockyScrambleFeeNo dogs
Description
Waypoints (6)
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Getting There

Note: As of February 2021, users have reported that the Billy Goat trail B is closed due to trail damage. Please consult the park's website before visiting: https://www.nps.gov/choh/planyourvisit/conditions.htm 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. Pets are not allowed on the Billy Goat Trail section A, or on the boardwalk to Great Falls.

$3.00 Individual Pass. Good for three consecutive days for individuals coming into the park on foot, horseback, or bicycle. $5.00 Vehicle Pass. Good for three consecutive days for one vehicle, including motorcycles. $20.00 Annual Pass. Good for one year from the date of purchase in Great Falls Park and C&O Canal National Historical Park in Maryland.

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park Headquarters Office 1850 Dual Highway, Suite 100 Hagerstown, MD 21740-6620 Park Headquarters 301-739-4200 Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center 301-767-3714

Start this hike early to avoid the crowds as this trail gets very busy.

Section "A" is accessible via the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center on MacArthur Blvd (ample parking). Access Section "B" via the towpath at Old Anglers Inn on MacArthur Blvd or Carderock off of Clara Barton Pkwy. Access Section C via Carderock off of Clara Barton Pkwy.

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Reviews (1,098)
Photos (2,525)
Recordings (728)
Completed (4,125)
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Alfredo Funtes
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HikingFeeGreat!Rocky

it was definitely a good work out and the scenery was great

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Rachel Clark
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HikingMuddyRockyScramble

We decided to do billy goat A, B, and C instead of going to great falls, since we've been there several times before. It was more fun to climb around on the rocks on the A trail. B and C are about the same level of difficulty-- pretty easy. A is also pretty easy, if you're a reasonably in-shape person who can walk more than 4 miles non-stop. You're walking alongside the water for a good portion of this trail, so that's nice... but it's essentially the same view over and over again, so if you've done one trail, you've kind of done them all. The billy goat trails are one of the most popular trails in all of Maryland, so if you come on a summer weekend, prepare to be walking with MANY other people and to be standing in line to continue along certain portions of the trail. For people not from Maryland... this trail is "okay." Definitely nothing to write home about, but for Marylanders, this trail is one of the best they've got.

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Giovanna Huaman
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HikingFeeGreat!Icy

Beautiful views! Relaxing! In some areas dogs are not allowed.

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Lee Robinson
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mar kees
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Great!

Great trail & amazing view

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Raju Ali
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Olivia Valone
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HikingFeeGreat!

Enjoyed this over the Virginia side for sure! Not strenuous but can be if you want to take a more adventurous route over various rocky areas. Had a great time!

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Ericka La madrid
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Great!
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david tieche
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Frank Dee
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HikingMuddyRockyScramble

Great hike, but I'd definitely go with a difficult rating over the moderate one on here.. The best views are at the Great Falls Overlook.. The Billy Goat trail is really cool too, but it's extremely rocky and muddy, so be prepared.. Got lost a few times because it's not the best marked trail I've seen

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Julia Zaki
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Hiking

One of my favorite hikes of all time! There’s not much elevation change but there’s a lot of fun rock scrambles and endless scenery to admire. I do this trail monthly and it never gets boring, would definitely recommend it if you’re in the DC area!

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cash Castillo
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Harry Hood
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Hiking

There’s a 40 foot rock climb on Section A - so know what you’re getting into! But the views are gorgeous. B was closed today and, A was enough for me. Little crowded on a warmer December Saturday

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Dan Wells
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Jef Lineberry
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Jennifer Mcentire
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Hiking

Not for most seniors or toddlers or anyone out of shape. Quite strenuous. It’s rock climbing not hiking. Great views.

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Meagan Cahill
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Hiking

Gets a bit crowded in the places where you have to scramble over rocks and it’s single file, but you’re rewarded with beautiful river views.

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Erika Brown
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Hiking

Awesome!

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Subhamoy Pal
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Jef Lineberry
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amy callner
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Did Loop A yesterday, when it was absolutely beautiful out. Be mindful that this section is technical and strenuous with some rock scrambling. Wear good shoes, bring enough water, assess your mobility before you go. I have done this loop in the past with an elementary school kid, so take that for what it's worth. I'm older and creakier now, but I did it.

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