Billy Goat Trail Loop is a 7.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Potomac, Maryland that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
7.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
278 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

no dogs

As of September 2018, users have reported that the B section of the trail is closed due to flooding. 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. There is a $10 entrance fee to access the trails and parking area. 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
2 days ago

Did this hike last year. It’s a decent hike for the area. Good views and some rock scrambling. Does get crowded and I prefer more quiet hikes.

Fun trail and beautiful views!

14 days ago

Gets a tad crowded during beautiful days

15 days ago

I love the difficulty and variety of the A loop- I think it’s one of the most challenging hikes in the DMV area. Pretty high trafficked route.

hiking
16 days ago

Fun Hike! Great for kids.

hiking
29 days ago

We parked up at the visitor center and walked the towpath to trail A. We did Trail A & C. Trail B is closed. Trail is A is a lot of climbing up and over rocks for 90% of the trail. I loved it. Ankles are a little sore but worth it. Follow the Blue blazes on trees/rocks. We began at 8:30 on a Saturday and it was very less people but it got much busier as day went on. Rocks can be slippery and sandy if it has rained. Be careful. Not a good trail for those who are timid or have knee issues.

Then we took the towpath to Trail C and that is a regular flat trail along the river. Easy to navigate.

River view is amazing and see it the whole way. Bring water and a snack if doing 2-3 trails.

hiking
1 month ago

Fun trail, many rocks to climb and great views.

2 months ago

great hike. Section B was closed due to flooding. be prepared with a good amount of water

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked trail A. Great view, great workout. Has some challenging areas so, appropriate shoes are suggested. Will definitely go again. Does get a bit congested in the later morning hours.

hiking
2 months ago

Moderate tough with beautiful river side scenery and the sound of gushing river water.

hiking
2 months ago

Because I was running out of time I only did part B and the view of the river and wall of rocks was fenomenal

2 months ago

This is a great hike, beautiful views and so close to the city.

2 months ago

section A is great workout with amazing scenery. get there early to beat the crowd. definitely recommend starting at the trailhead closest to the visitor center and bring plenty of water with you.

hiking
2 months ago

Trail A was a lot of fun. Watch your step on this one =]

hiking
2 months ago

I did Billy Goat Trails A and C (B was closed). I also hiked a good bit on the tow path for the return trip. Get there early. I was there and ready to start at 7 am. Hardly anyone around. By 930-10 am, there were lots of people. this trail is good for hiking or running. Follow the blue markers. Also, I rec getting the pro version of All Trails. My parents called me while I was hiking. I got distracted and got off trail (badly). When I got off track, it was easy to find my way back using the app. NI encountered no mosquitoes, which was a bonus. Trail is very shady. I definite repeat.

2 months ago

A is a great hike if no medical conditions. Saw lots of young children having a great time!

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail for a couple hour hike. Fun but also a challenge. Great work out. Some type of hiking shoes are best for section A. Does get congested that’s why it lost a star.

3 months ago

Best in Maryland!

hiking
3 months ago

Good trail some parts get a little backed up with traffic. Get ready to climb rocks, decent physical challenge not too bad or exhausting.

3 months ago

love the views and cliffs. much wild life

walking
3 months ago

As of today Trails A and B are closed but the trail to Great Falls overlook is great. It’s flat, smooth, small pebbles; easy for walking or biking. The overlook is incredible.

3 months ago

Challenging and fun!!! Definitely coming back. Beautiful scenery.

4 months ago

Did the A trail with 2 teens. challenging spots for a nice workout. Not too crowed. Going back again for sure!

4 months ago

fun trail, easy enough for kids too.

hiking
4 months ago

Did The A & C trails (B was closed). Was around 10.5 miles start to finish. Trail A is the most popular because of the rock scrambling (which is fun!), but I also really enjoyed Trail C because of how close to the water the trail takes you. It’s also much quieter with fewer people.

hiking
4 months ago

I have done B & C several times with my dogs. Go early to avoid all the stupid people who think they know how to “hike”. I have had to render first aid on these trails because people hike in flip flops. Both of my dogs love these trails for rock and creek time. A trail is closed to dogs so I have not done that section. Trails are rocky and well traveled.

hiking
4 months ago

Came and did this trail on a week trip from Utah. Pretty easy for anyone in good health and marked very well.

hiking
4 months ago

Got there at 7 this morning, only folks there. Great hike, love the rock scrambling. Couldn’t believe how much added debri there is from the flooding...
Saw a ton of deer, a beaver, turtles, salamanders and other fun stuff along the way.... always a good time.

5 months ago

Decent scrambling but very crowded.

5 months ago

Section A can be challenging since it’s mostly scrambling. I recommend starting at the end near the Visitor Center which will lead you to hiking UP the traverse rather than down.

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