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Best Trails

Billy Goat Trail

Potomac, MD

Hiking
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More Activities

Walking
Trail Running

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.

  • Best Hiking

  • Best Mountain Biking

  • Best Trail Running

Recent Reviews

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Eastern Regional Park Trail
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1 Completed 2 Reviews

Nice back school yard trail ,marked. Water and facilities

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Eastern Regional Park Trail
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1 Completed 2 Reviews

Nice back school yard trail ,marked. Water and facilities

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Gambrill State Park- Green Ash Trail
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6 Completed 5 Reviews

Gnats, gnat and more gnats, I guess the hotter it is the more gnats. Nice well marked trail. 1/2 of trail is moderate level, half is just plain cardio easy.....little stream near top coming out of the ground.....

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Red Trail Out of Campground (Gambrill)
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6 Completed 5 Reviews

Short trails starts off easy, good cardio in the middle and ends easy

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Cunningham Falls Nature Trail
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6 Completed 5 Reviews

great trail, have done this many times in the past

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Gold Mine Loop
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4 Completed 4 Reviews

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Patuxent Branch Trail
by

10 Completed 1 Reviews

The trail head on the map is off by a half block. It drops you off in a residential area where there is no place to park. If using GPS, do a search for "Savage Park", there is a public parking lot right at the trail head. There is a need to go on Vollmerhaussen Rd. for about a quarter mile (steep hill) because the short section shown on the map is actually private property with "No Trespassing" signs. It's supposed to be a loop, but the return on the other side of the river is overgrown and not very visible/manageable. Aside from that, it's a great trail that takes you out to Elkhorn Lake. Go the extra mile and go around the lake, it's worth it. Bring plenty of water, one twenty oz. bottle was a stretch for 11 miles and I didn't see any water fountains, even around the lake.

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Gold Mine Loop Trail
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4 Completed 4 Reviews

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Billy Goat Trail
by

12 Completed 11 Reviews

This review is for the 1.7 mi Section A only.
This hike is a BLAST if you like jumping rock to rock to rock to rock like the namesake Billy Goat. Because the elevation change is minimal at most, it's not as strenuous as it otherwise might be. Also there are breaks here and there on flat ground, which give your feet, legs and mid a rest before jumping back on the rocks....
For adolescents with energy and a good sense of balance, this is a great hike. Plenty of places to break for picnics, either in the shade or with great views of the river and falls.
Keep a CLOSE look out for the blazes! Very easy to get off trail- - keep your group together. But it's hard to get far because the whole trail is on a long, skinny island....
A great trip -- and if they like history, there plenty of signs along the way, and the visitor center/lockhouse/tavern for them to stop in and learn something too!
Clean restrooms, water, gift shop and canteen too.

BUT-- the towpath, Billy Goat and Great Falls in general are CROWDED.
Go early, avoid peak times, and bring your teenagers. A great trip -- and if they like history, plenty of signs and the visitor center/lockhouse/tavern for them to stop in and learn something too!
Clean restrooms, water, gift shop and canteen too.

Notes on nearby trails from the same hike:
I tried to pick up Gold Mine Loop from the Anglers Parking area for my return to the Great Falls visitor center parking lot; but I couldn't find the trailhead.
If this happens, Berma Road (on opposite side of Canal from the towpath) is great option to get back to the parking lot in the shade and away from the crowds.

Goldmine Loop side and related trails can be tricky at trail intersections. Get & use the park map; look for the blazes and stay on the trails! I had to help out one mother/son who were a bit turned around & nervous- glad I could do so.

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Azalea Trail
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12 Completed 11 Reviews

Great for a quick in/out with young kids...Park at Sweetgum Picnic area, you can't miss the Azalea trailhead sign as you enter the parking area. The first part of Azalea loop is a fitness trail, so the kids have fun on the equipment; while I grunt to do the exercises they breeze through them.
After about 2/10 mile the fitness path goes uphill (leaving the Azalea Loop) and ends at a swingset and small playground. Across the parking lot (your car is here) there are fountains, restrooms, and a larger playground with multiple picnic tables.
If you stay on Azalea after the Fitness Trail, it continues along the stream, then hooks to the left and meanders along through the park - still a nice, doable 1 Mile hike which ends at a point across the field from the Sweetgumparking area.

For adult hikers I recommend the 5.2 mile perimeter trail, which you can also pick up near the Dogwood parking entrance.

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