Billy Goat Trail

HARD
#1 of 9 trails in Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park
true
Billy Goat Trail is a 7.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Potomac, MD that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

7.3 miles 213 feet Loop
kid friendly birding hiking nature trips trail running walking forest river views wild flowers rocky scramble no dogs
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Billy Goat Trail is comprised of three sections of trail locatednear Potomac, MD featuring beautiful wild flowers and scenic river views. The trail is used for hiking, mountain biking, trail running and walking. It is demarcated by blue blazes and is accessible year-round. Protected by NPS and TNC. Section "A" (1.7mi; 3.7mi loop via Towpath) is the most popular and arduous section requiring scrambling over angled rocks, boulders, and climbing. Section "B" (1.4mi) is rated as moderate. Minimal rock scrambling is required. Section "C" (1.6 mi) is also rated as moderate.

Samantha Thompson
6 days ago

4 Completed0 Reviews

Amazing!!!

Megan Milligan
8 days ago

2 Completed0 Reviews

Ali T
9 days ago

1 Completed0 Reviews

We did Billy Goat Trail A. It was a lot of fun. It has more rock scrambling than I thought it would, but it was pretty doable. My only complaint would be that it was a little crowded and caused some of the rock scrambling to take longer than it should have. But overall, it was a lot of fun!

Kasey Eyring
12 days ago

1 Completed0 Reviews

By far my favorite place to go hiking, rock climbing. So many trails to pick from. It's so beautiful, the scenery is breathe taking. I cannot get enough of this place. There is so much to explore here. I recommend to check this place out.

Kenneth Jennifer
13 days ago

4 Completed0 Reviews

We completed A, B, and C in one day. Yes, we were very exhausted but it was well worth it. Now, we hike every week and this trail was still slightly difficult and strenuous. I recommend this trail highly, however, it is heavily trafficked. With the difficult climbing and cascades, it is a little frustrating with children not really paying attention to where they are walking but it did not stray us away from the beautiful views and rewarding physical activity.

-K&J

Pamela Thompson
15 days ago

1 Completed0 Reviews

I have done A and B trails. I love the challenge with amazing views. Always happy I'm still alive when I finish.

Joyce Richards
16 days ago

3 Completed0 Reviews

Robert King
16 days ago

3 Completed0 Reviews

Great trail, but don't go there on a nice weekend day. Way overcrowded. To protect Bear Island, you have to stay on trail but the crowds make movement painfully slow.

Yongchil L.
23 days ago

It was a great family hike, even the part where the boys had to scramble. Not a hike with young children. The view of the Potomac is great. We'll come back for sure to finish the entire loop.

Mikaylah Sayles
1 month ago

2 Completed0 Reviews

amazing trails. you can choose to go easy, moderate , or strenuous !!! super fun with friends and great water to even swim in!

Amy Duvall
1 month ago

11 Completed0 Reviews

KaTrina Sykes
1 month ago

2 Completed0 Reviews

Kelly Bitz
1 month ago

2 Completed0 Reviews

Shanda Collier
1 month ago

3 Completed0 Reviews

This trail was definitely physically demanding and challenging. Being physically fit and well equipped is a must. There are many beautiful views of the raging Potomac River and plenty of rock formations. There's am observation deck/bridge if you're not interested in rock climbing/hiking. You will have to do a great deal of rock climbing if you plan to do the hike. We took the Billy Goat Trail A which took us approximately 3 hours to complete. Make sure that you have plenty of water, snacks and definitely a 1st aid kit for safe measures. Can't wait to explore the other nearby trails.

Matt Baer
1 month ago

14 Completed0 Reviews

The best trail I have found in the DC area. The downside is this trail has become so popular that it gets really crowded on weekends.

Amy Duvall
1 month ago

11 Completed0 Reviews

Christina Stanhope
2 months ago

8 Completed1 Reviews

Loved it here! Only got to do B and C because there was flooding on A but enjoyed it so much. Beautiful views, not too crowded when I went, well marked, and challenging enough to have to work a little harder than normal to maneuver the trail!

Kelly Baker
3 months ago

15 Completed1 Reviews

There are three sections to the Billy Goat trail. Section A is NO dogs allowed because it is a wildlife conservation area, not because of the rock scrambles. Do NOT take your dog unless you are willing to pay a fine from the NPS. I wish I had known before hand that no dogs were not allowed. I choose to respect the NO Dog rule despite driving over an hour just so I could see what all the hype was about this trail. I continued on the C&O canal towpath until section B. Overall very moderate hike not a lot of effort involved in these rock "scrambles." If you prefer less crowds this is definitely not the place for you. It was 20 degrees and windy and the park was still very crowded today.

Niki French
3 months ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

This was a great hike! We parked at the visitors center ($10 to enter the park) and made our way to the trail. It was 4.75 round trip. There was one very hard rock scramble but it was fantastic. We took our dog because we know she's extremely agile, but I wouldn't recommend it unless you've done rock scrambles with them before. There are actually signs that say no dogs due to the trail conditions. We plan to do this again!

Tom Reed
4 months ago

56 Completed47 Reviews

I hiked section A and B and returned to the visitor center (where I started) via the Valley and Gold Mine Loop Trail making a 8 mile hike. The trail was challenging and see why they named it the Bill Goat trail. The Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center is part of the C&O Trail. There is a fee to enter the park but there is plenty of parking and bathrooms at the park entrance. You can get a map of the local trails at the visitor center.