Explore the most popular wild flowers trails near Potomac with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

fun trail, easy enough for kids too.

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.

Great trial and easy to add to others! Dogs ARE allowed here and there are a lot of them! People are stupid in letting them off leash because it’s gonna ruin it for the rest of us good dog people. This is also a fun trail run location.

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.

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

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.

Decent scrambling but very crowded.

hiking
1 month ago

fantastic hike. well marked. lots of side trail options. the fam and I tromped around for about 5 hours. while there were other hikers on the way, most of the day hikers hike along over to the falls then along the C&O Canal towpath. I've never seen so many old oak trees in one area before. really had a great hike.

Beautiful hike. One area where you are on the cliff is barely your foot’s width and is terrifying if you’re going against the flow of traffic for hiking. But overall the views are breathtaking.

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.

very fun, slightly challenging. rock jumping and climbing and some slippery smooth rocks.

trail running
1 month ago

I've "run" this (part A) several times--the word "run" in quote marks because there are stretches of scrambling over rocks that you can't run. But then it's all good exercise, and great views.

hiking
2 months ago

What this AllTrails description does not note is that section A of Billy Goat Trail is listed as Difficult (sign says one of the most difficult on East Coast), and that there is a 40 foot free climb required to complete the trail. Section B was listed as Moderate, with little rock scrambling and enjoyable.

Wonderful forest walk. Very zen. Beautiful green forest carpet, not a lot of bushes. Terrain is on the easy side but it’s a totally enjoyable walk. Agree with another reviewer that it would be great for trail running. Easy to add additional loops for more distance (such as overlook trail).

hiking
2 months ago

Always a nice hike when I don’t want to drive too far from dc on a weekend. Get there early.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike, some spots to free climb on and off the trail!

See reviews below to locate a trail map. You need a trail map, it is very confusing to attempt to stay on the trail. There are some pretty spaces along the route and a lot of horse manure to avoid. This loop seems to include some other trails. Blockhouse trail has a dead end at some point where there is a cliff, it is an old military site.

hiking
2 months ago

Rocky and challenging but definitely do-able with parents if careful enough!

Billy Goat A trail loop was closed due to flooding, so we walked to the Great Falls Overlook on Olmstead Island, then followed the canal to the bridge across the canal (just past the Billy Goat trail entrance). After crossing over we picked up the Overlook Trail heading back towards the parking lot and eventually ended up canalside. While the views on the Overlook Trail are not as impressive as being right next to the falls, the trails were dry and it wasn’t crowded. It was a nice walk, with a few decent views looking down at the river if you take the two down-and-back spurs off the main trail. Combine all this with sunshine and 70s and you have the ingredients to a perfect hike!

2 months ago

Absolutely fantastic especially if you go after a big rain to see Mother Nature at her best

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.

hiking
3 months 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.

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!!

A fun trail that can be both moderate and easy depending on the route you take. Nice little get away right outside of DC.

hiking
3 months ago

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
3 months 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

The A section is my favorite hike, bar none

hiking
3 months ago

An easy hike that can get crowded but the close proximity to DC makes it a fun hike. There is a slight scramble at one point but ultimately this is a quick and easy hike. Decent birds to see in the C&O Canal. Better early in the day for photos as the views of the river are to your west and sun is to your back in the morning.

4 months ago

Started from the Carderock Recreation Area, combined Billy Goat Trail A, B, and C with the Overlook Trail, made a nice 10 mike hike. Carderock has a lot more parking spaces than Anglers.

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