Billy Goat Trail Loop

MODERATE 714 reviews

Billy Goat Trail Loop is a 7.3 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
7.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
213 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

rocky

scramble

no dogs

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.

1 day ago

Great trail. Loved scrambling on the rocks. Nice river views - especially beautiful with remnants of snow and ice.

hiking
1 day ago

we spent 3hours doing Section A plus one of the spurs and it was very beautiful. Heavy traffic buy everyone was respectful of one another.

hiking
5 days ago

One of the best hikes in the DMV area for sure.

hiking
14 days ago

Not overly challenging couple mile loop, only difficult part is the trail is mostly on rocks that can be somewhat difficult to navigate, beautiful views of the river. Super crowded trail so if you want a hike to get away this isn’t for you.

21 days ago

section A offers some challenge and sections B&C are good for fun easy hikes.

hiking
23 days ago

So much biodiversity on this trail, and a bit of a challenge! The rock scramble is kind of intimidating and once you get to the high area with big rocks at the top of the trail, it can get tricky. I wouldn’t recommend this trail for dogs or children. Amazing views, so many opportunities to sit and take it all in with a lunch break. A short day hike, and worth the work! I would strongly recommend against doing this trail in slippery conditions.

hiking
24 days ago

This was an awesome loop. We had to park outside of the park because snow had the road closed...just added 1.4 miles each way. The rocks were slick and icy. The 50 foot wall was interesting but a lot of fun!

26 days ago

fun, nice views. towpath..not so much

27 days ago

Great trail

hiking
1 month ago

This trail was so fun to do and I felt so accomplished after. I wasn’t expecting a 50 ft rock climbing wall in trail A which really intimidated me but I was really proud I was able to go up with ease. Pack lots of water. Wear appropriate shoes. You’ll want to bring a camera for the amazing views. The trail is marked really well with blue markers and the trail was really clean and quiet on the weekday afternoon I went. Got some really gorgeous pictures with my boyfriend.

nature trips
1 month ago

a beautiful array of Flora and fauna. the bird life was beautiful. so many colors to gaze upon. it was an amazing hike!!!

eh
there were a lot of new flowers and they were very pretty. the trail is very Rocky so br prepared if you go on this trail

hiking
1 month ago

Nice trail not far from the city. The scrambling was fun, followed by a casual walk through a wooded area next to the river and an easy walk back on the tow path. The trails were well-marked and surprisingly devoid of litter given the traffic the park sees. I saw two different species of woodpeckers, a Great Blue Heron, Mallard Ducks, grey and black squirrels and many other birds.

1 month ago

Awesome trail!

1 month ago

Awesome hike!!!!!

hiking
2 months ago

As good as it gets!

hiking
2 months ago

This was my first hike. Great views, perfect for beginner hikers, we did trail B.

2 months ago

One of our favorite hikes. Difficult in areas especially where rock climbing is required on trail A.

Amazing trail along Potomac river,

hiking
3 months ago

Loved the views. Issues were the large crowds. You have people either trying to jog/run or those going very slowly.

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