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“Great Views, Great Exercise”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Billy Goat Trail

Billy Goat Trail
Ranked #1 of 12 things to do in Potomac
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Sagle, Idaho
Level Contributor
103 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Great Views, Great Exercise”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 4, 2012

A great way to get exercise while looking at beautiful scenery. The trail may be too challenging for those with physical challenges though. Follow the recommendations on the trail guide.

Visited February 2012
Thank zich6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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181 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Silver Spring, Maryland
Level Contributor
43 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Great exercise”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 3, 2012

My daughter and I enjoy trying to conquer Billy Goat. We have yet to do so and will continue until we complete the trail. Great time for mother daughter bonding and i enjoy our time together even if I am winded :)

Visited September 2011
Thank ballersmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Virginia
Level Contributor
342 reviews
169 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 345 helpful votes
“Great hike even during a thunderstorm”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2012

I've hiked all three sections of the Billy Goat Trail numerous times, with groups of friends and with my teenage nephews.

Paid parking is available at the Visitor's Center. Free parking is available on the side of the road, by Old Angler's Inn. Park at your own (towing) risk at Old Angler's Inn.

If hiking section A, be prepared for a bit of rock scrambling, especially up a cliff face along Mather Gorge. During peak season, this section of the trail can get backlogged with people going up and coming down.

Hike section B or C if you want a less strenous activity.

I've hiked section C during a thunderstorm. The only thing I wish I had with me was a plastic cover for my backpack, where my camera was. Otherwise, there was something peaceful and zen about hiking in the pouring rain.

Wildlife seen in the area include turtles, Canadian geese, and a garden snake sunning on the rocks.

I highly recommend the Billy Goat Trail.

Visited October 2011
1 Thank CCC_wanderlust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
35 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Best Hike on the East Coast.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 16, 2012

The Billy Goat Trail is along the Maryland side of the Potomac River in the Cand O National Park, Great Falls MD, just outside the beltway. We usually park in the park (take MacArthur Blvd to the very end), pay the $5 and then you get bathrooms, easy parking and if you are lucky the grill is open.

There are 3 sections of the Billy Goat trail, all are well marked and begin and end on the canal trail. Section A is the best and hardest. It is a HIT with kids & cub scouts as young as 5 years old, scrambling over huge rocks, walking along cliffs, beaches, mud - it great entertainment. The kids I take have thought it looks like Middle Earth or New Zealand. They always want to come back. Dogs are not allowed on section A. It takes 2 1/2 hours to do the Section A loop from the parking lot and back. Bring a bottle of water and a small snack, you'll want to rest along the way at least twice. In the summer, when it is hot, bring lots of water! I always leave a cooler of sandwiches and water at the car for a treat when we finally make it back to the car. If I don't have food, you can purchase food and water at the grill, but it seems more closed than open.

This is a great Monday afternoon activity when the schools get out early, or when you just need to keep the kids occupied for an afternoon. Easy access to DC and suburbs. You are a hit with the kids (or your date) when you do this. Two hours of hard exercise followed bt easy walking and water and food. Back home in time for dinner or a nap.

There are usually hundreds of other hikers on the trail. I once saw a Vietnamses dad in flip flops carry his young sleeping infant, and he was still smiling when we passed him going the other way on the canal trail 2 hours later - and the kid was still asleep. I have done it in Tevas a few times, sneakers are good, hiking boots are probably safer. If the dads or kids get worn out or cranky, there is an trail marked "emergency exit" that takes an hour off the time.

Section B and C are much more tame. The National Park Service has the maps and literature on line, Wikipedia has a small blurb also. Just go and have a great time!

Visited January 2012
5 Thank VA_Junkman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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