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Hiker Comments for the Billy Goat Trail Hike - 1 to 29 of 29   
Average Rating:

By: Sonal Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 14, 2018
If you enjoy long walks/hikes in nature, and hate driving/don't have time for Shenandoah, then Billy Goat Trail is perfect for you. I've been here 4 times in 7 months. So far, every season has presented a different look of this trail, and I've loved it every time. Whether you're watching geese in the river, dogs strolling along, kids scampering all over, or are just one of the several people navigating the 50 ft cliff, this place gives ample opportunities to connect with nature despite the crowds. My favorite thing about it is that it is short enough to squeeze it into a workday, strenuous enough to break a sweat, countless spots to take a break, and beautiful views to keep you going!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 16, 2017
Flat out... my favorite hike. With over 1700 legs of the "A" Trail in 16 years, I may know Bear Island better than the deer or foxes. There is NO better hike within 70 miles of Washington, DC in any direction. This is where you come to sweat, get scraped up and commune with nature. Here I would like to ask that all the potential hikers who check in here, please observe a certain amount of courtesy for the trail and other hikers. Also, RESPECT the trail. It is DANGEROUS! Over a dozen lives a year are lost out here by those who are either ill equipped, out of condition or inattentive to the terrain. Please use adequate footware. Cabin John VFD River Rescue respond to over 100 calls per year for orthopedic injuries or exhaustion. I've seen them have 3 separate calls in one day during the spring and summer on weekends. This is NOT the place to bring mom for beautiful stroll into nature. Take her to a restaurant. Now for those who wish to hike the trail. Please don't show up with more than 4 or 5 to your party. Much of the trail is single passage. Traffic runs both ways. Be considerate to the other hikers who arrive in 1s and 2s. Also parties of 4 or more typically travel much slower and make a lot of noise. There are foxes out here that may be visible to the quiet. Hognose snakes can be heard to "hiss" when near if you are quiet. Snappers can hear people 40 yards away and just disappear until the quiet returns. You also want to hear the Piliated Woodpecker which sounds like "Jungle Monkeys" out here.

Please stay out of the water, as it is a CFR VIOLATION and fine. It's also a major cause for the loss of life out here. And no one wants to see this place closed off to the public. I would also recommend that headphones/ear buds be put away. Stay off of phones unless stopped. You need all of your senses in gear as there are not two flat areas next to each other out here. Its too easy to roll an ankle out here when talking, looking behind or just not paying attention to exactly where one is stepping. One small piece of advice, upon approach to Purple Horse Beach, note that the rocks here are more weathered and rounded. They are the slippery even when dry. Also note these same rocks are darker than anywhere else around here. They have been in the sun all day and radiate heat. It is a giant sauna bath. Many approach heat exhaustion in this area. This is "Ground Zero" for Cabin John River Rescue on emergency calls. It is also typically the place where bodies will wash up of those who were stupid enough to jump off the cliffs.

Please, enjoy the BGT "A". Respect it and the other hikers who have come to love this small area of paradise. All of Bear Island is one big rock, so please be careful as any slip has the potential to be critical. Getting off my soap box now. I love this place. Hope to see you out here.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 24, 2017
First time doing the Billy Goat A trail from beginning to end. The 50 foot wall is a challenge but doable. If you like rock hopping you will love this hike. Stunning views! I went on a Saturday afternoon and while there were many people on my he trail I was hadn't call for t crowded. Very little waiting time. Next time I'll wear my gloves.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 10, 2017
This was an amazing hike! You get a great workout in and the views are spectacular. I arrived at the parking lot at 8 am and the lot across from the Old Anglers Inn was full, I got lucky that someone was leaving as I was pulling in, so definitely get there early. When I started the trail there was already 3 groups ahead of me and about 5 groups behind me. I expected that due to hiking on the weekend, but if you want a quiet trail you have to get there earlier.

The trail itself was tons of fun, I am in shape, but in no means a hiker so I was nervous doing this trail but it wasnt bad! Plus, there were other people who were also doing the trail that helped other hikers out. There were already people sitting on the overlooks when I got there but I was still able to find some spots to sit.

Overall this was an awesome hike, arrive early and have fun!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 15, 2017
Re Section A: Wonderful trail, but follow these simple rules for maximum enjoyment for yourself and others.

Arrive early, especially on nice weekends. The trail gets very crowded and by 10 am, there can be long waits at certain spots on the trail.

Leave your pet at home. Pets are not allowed on Section A of the Billy Goat Trail.

Stay on trail by following the blue blazes. BGT-A is on Bear Island, full of rare and endangered plant species. You'll also avoid the ticks, chiggers, copperheads, and northern water snakes.

Do not enter the river. The Potomac is very dangerous and entering the water is illegal. Even wading can be deadly.

Bring plenty of water and wear appropriate clothing. Injuries are frequent, rescue is difficult, and caution is appropriate.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, January 22, 2017
Started the trail on a foggy Sunday morning at 8:30 and empty car park.

Took a leisurely walk round the trail, one technical bit that is fine don't let it stop you if are nervous, take it slow and dont let ppl pressure you, there plenty of hand holds and the rocks arent slippy

Definitely go the rotation as described as one technical bit would be tricky going down.

-easy to get to
-well marked
-AWESOME VIEWS, needs stated twice to have a such a view so close is really lucky
-interesting trail with lots of technical like scrambles that are really enjoyable

-i can see this trail being packed very quickly a problem of its location and amazing views, but its to be shared with all
-Nothing else

I can't tell you how much i really enjoyed the hike, really beautiful.

By: Mark Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, November 26, 2016
We went the Saturday after Thanksgiving around 10 AM and parking lot wasn't too full at that point, but started to get busy quickly. The trail is one of our favorite ones in the area and is quite a workout if you do it quickly. Starting at the Great Falls Parking area and doing the full Billy Goat Trail A and coming back along the tow path takes about 2.5 hours if you go at a good speed and it's not overly crowded. Once you get onto the trail just past the Falls you will find a nice easy trail into the woods which seems like it will be a piece of cake, but then the rock hopping begins. Quite a variety of rock hopping which added to the fun of it (especially for kids) over the 1.75 mile section A. Some of it is fairly easy hopping from one rock to the the other while other sections require both hands as well. Some pretty good climbing sections especially the 50 foot traverse about midway through (that can become a bottleneck). Great views along with the whole hike of the river and the people doing a similar hike on the Virginia side. Water levels were really, really low this trip. Have always done the hike starting from the Great Falls Park end (and not the Anglers Inn side), but it's about the same number of people doing it each way. You certainly will have no solitude at all on the weekends as it can be very, very crowded so definitely try and go early. Have never been on a weekday, but hope to do that soon. Overall one of the best hikes in the area, a great workout and spectacular views.

By: Billygoathiker Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, November 2, 2016
I regularly hike the  Billy Goat A trail.  Round trip from the tavern is about 4.5 miles and normally takes 2.5 to 3 hours.  This is a challenging but short technical hike with a bit of rock scrambling and a climb up a 50 ft rock wall.  Billy Goat A is the only difficult trail within the C&O National park.  B is also the only one through a protected area of the park (Bear Island) - therefore no pets are allowed.  Billy Goat B trail is almost as pretty but is a fun walk, not a hike.  It's also usually much less crowded.  So if you are not an experienced hiker or if you bring a dog try Billy Goat B not A.  If you are hiking A wear hiking boots or tennis shoes with good rubber soles, bring water and a camera.

-  Gorgeous views of the Potomac River especially Mather gorge.  Take the time to also visit Olmstead overlook on your way.  Its a 15 minute side trip over a boardwalk area, handicap accessible (but no pets or bikes) and the best river views.  Billy Goat B views of the river are also wonderful.
- Billy Goat A is a very well marked trail, actually overblazed.  Follow the blue blazes.  Hiking off trail is prohibited as it damages the rare & fragile plant life. 
- Herons, turtles, woodpeckers, deer turkey vultures and lizards abound especially in the mornings.
- Billy Goat A is the only area of the park actively patrolled by "Billy Goat Trail Stewards"  They are likely the first people you will see when you need rescue or just help getting back on the trail.

- Go early in the day on weekends, holidays or free park days as the parking lots and this trail get crowded.
- Lots of people on this trail who are not hikers and or are ill prepared.  Helicopter rescues, river boat rescues and rescues by the Trail stewards & Rangers occur on many weekends.  I've seen several ankle injuries, concussions and broken arms in additions to lots of people being treated for dehydration during the summers.
- There is no swimming in the park - very hefty fine.
- Copperheads and northern water snakes, plus ticks.  Greater chance of finding these off trail, another good reason to stay on trail.
Also this is a trash free park so if you bring it in please bring it out with you. 
Great trail to hike, one of my favorites.

By: Mandy Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 29, 2016
My husband and I had a great time hiking Billy Goat Sections A and B! We started early and ended the hike around 1 PM--as we were leaving the parking lot was PACKED. We were so glad we listened and got there early.

The rock scrambling was a bit more strenuous than I had expected reading the instructions for the hike, but we were prepared. Next time, I plan to bring gloves for better gripping on the rocks. We did see a lot of people there, especially families with children, that had me concerned about their preparedness.

The ONLY negative thing we had to say is regarding the instructions on Hiking Upward. I would recommend clarifying that you will be parking at the Ohio and Chesapeake Canal NHP parking lot, which costs $10. If you use the directions function on the website, to Carroll Branch, we ended up in a housing development that did not have access to the park. There were other options for free parking farther away, but as we were leaving, we saw the police giving out TONS of parking tickets to people parked illegally.

By: Syed Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 10, 2016
This was my second hike and much more technical. I was with one other person so we can help and support one another in case of any emergencies. I do not prefer to hike on my own and I do not recommend it is possible. I am dealing with some major injuries to my ankle and knee so it was also a good gauge to let me know of my limitations. I left my trekking poles in the car but the smarter move would have been to bring them along. We chose to take the more difficult path. We started with Billy Goat A entrance on the right side which does not take long to get rocky. This was nice and just what I needed. The trail is well marked here (blue blazes). Great scenic views, high cliff that drop almost completely vertical. Nice place to get some eye candy sit and eat a snack. I printed out the directions for trail which were most easy to follow. We did the entire loop back to the parking lot at the top and I think the total was about 10/12 miles. One item that surprised me was the lack of carry on items other hikers had. Many did not even carry water! Everything I have read and even conversations with avid hikers the one constant is WATER. Perhaps we were the very few that were doing the largest loop and others were hiking shorter routes. I did not see anyone other than ourselves breaking a sweat. It seemed that most people were so underdressed and prepared. Anyways... I am working on developing my hiking legs so I can go bigger such as Old Rag and other interesting and technical hikes. This one is fun and has its technical parts and others that allow a good mixture to keeep the trail interesting.

By: Amanda & Eric Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, September 8, 2016
Very scenic and beautiful hike. We had planned to do the entire "billy goat trail" but ended up exiting at the "emergency exit" point. The mile of rocky terrain was strenuous but definitely doable if you are in decent shape. We definitely got a great workout in after having to climb rocks for an hour. However, I would suggest not wearing sandals as I saw a couple both wearing sandals having a difficult time crossing the rocks. Dogs aren't allowed on trails we were grateful to have left our pup at home this time, as it was a fairly far drive from Columbia, MD down 495 which is notorious for traffic. The falls are also very beautiful and easy to get to. I would definitely recommend this trail for those who like to hike, bike or even kayak down the Potomac! We plan to go back and complete the entire bill goat trail in the future! Don't forget to bring plenty of water (especially on hot days!), bug spray (the flies bite), and a first aid kit (definitely can easily twist an ankle if you aren't very careful on the slippery and jagged rocks)!

By: Michael B Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, July 13, 2016
I like to do Billy Goat A every week or two. It is close to town, has great views and and is a good workout if you move fast. I have done B and C and they are nice walks but much easier and flatter than A. If you just want views and an easy walk, this is not it. If you like rock scrambles and a little up and down, this is the hike for you. Occasionally, it gets crowded so if you are visiting on a nice weekend or holiday, try to get there early.

By: ARS Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, March 11, 2016
Like others mentioned, the Billy Goat A trail is not dog-friendly, so I decided to hike the B and C portions with my pooch. I parked at the "Carderock Recreation Center" as it is shown on Google Maps, which is right in the middle of the C-trail. Easy to get to, and plenty of parking on a weekday. From there, I took the tow path east, and then hopped on the actual C-trail, which follows along the river, then continued through to the B trail. I'd stick to the actual trails rather than the tow path if you're looking for serenity and scenery. It's not much to look at, and is just a flat gravel path.

Since I went on a Friday in the middle of the day, it was not very crowded, although I did see 20-30 people throughout the day. I hiked a total of ~7 miles, and took a nice little break to eat lunch and test out my new camping stove, to make a cup of instant coffee.

Along the B and C trails are some fun boulders/rocks you can hop off of the path and climb around on (some great ones near the designated climbing area). My dog is a 75lb mountain goat, so he was able to keep up no problem, but be careful if your dog is skiddish of cliffs/ledges/rocks.

The river itself is beautiful, and there are hills on the other side of the path to block out most of the DC noise pollution. I should also add that I saw a decent amount of wildlife - cardinals, blue jays, woodpeckers, a turtle, and some blue herrings! All in all, a great day. Not the most demanding of hikes - it's fairly flat... but with the rocky terrain, one must stay focused on where they are placing their feet, otherwise you risk a twisted ankle or two. Get outside!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, January 16, 2016
Dogs are not allowed on Billy Goat section A due to The Nature Conservancy's rules imposed on their preserve. Dogs are ok on sections B & C.

After this false start, NPS Ranger recommended taking Overlook Trail (different from the Great Falls Overlook) to the Overlook Spur to Berma Road to Anglers parking area then connect with Billy Goat B there. All are blazed with posts at junctions. Berma Road is a less traveled alternative to the busy C&O.

When Billy Goat B puts you back on the C&O towpath, make a right and the Billy Goat C entrance is less than half a mile further south. The C section puts you back on C&O Canal just below Mile 10. The hike back to Great Falls parking lot is 4 miles.

If you've got a dog, this route is all pooch friendly and totals just under 12 miles. Plenty of good overlooks into the gorge and some fun rock scrambling. But you'll have to leave the 4-legged friend home when you do Billy Goat A.

By: dlaxman31 Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 13, 2015
My wife and I did the Billy Goat Section B, since we figured A would be PACKED with people because of the recent cooler temps. We were lucky to be able to park at the Old Anglers Inn Parking lot, but it was a bit full even at 9am. Guess we need to get up earlier. The hike was very nice and we were able to get back to the car in about an hour. The C&O towpath was a bit more populated on the trail and we passed maybe 3-4 other hikers on the B trail.

We'll have to come back and check out the C section a bit further down.

By: harman Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 22, 2015
Went early and found only a few cars in the Great Falls Visitor Center parking lot. I reached just before 7am so there was no-one to pay the entry fee to. Can't complain of that! Loved all parts and the scrambling in part A but enjoyed part B the most since it has tranquil views of the Potomac. I started at 7 and was finished by 10. Made a couple of detours too, otherwise would have finished by 9.30. Met maybe 10-15 people on the way on the entire trail. If you are in reasonable shape and if the trails are dry, you can certainly do the entire A+B+C in less than 3 hours. I did not see any trash on the trails, and the weather was cooler than usual with clear skies. Had a great time!

By: Andy D. Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 15, 2015
Love this hike. Most people only do Section A. But, sections B&C are also nice. It would make a long day hike, but you could conceivably do A, B, and C in one day with an early start and in good physical shape.

I recommend doing this hike from the Old Anglers Inn parking area. Great Falls is about a 1.5 mile walk up the C&O Canal from there. The Old Anglers Inn parking is off McArthur Blvd. where there is a sharp turn in the road. Parking is free there versus the visitor center, but parking can fill up so get there early. The end of the Billy Goat Trail comes out near this parking area. So, I recommend walking up the C&O Canal to Great Falls from this parking area or taking the Berma Road route as suggested as a good warm-up. If you haven't seen it, then I would suggest taking the short detour to the Great Falls overlook, it is very close to the beginning of the Billy Goat Trail. I also recommend hiking from the Great Falls end of the Billy Goat Trail to the Old Anglers Inn end so you go up the 50' traverse rather than down.

Yes, this trail has some crowds and it takes much longer than 1.8 miles normally takes due to being technical. But, the scenery and uniqueness of the trail is completely worth it plus the workout the trail gives you. But, you are going to be climbing rocks and have to scout the steps you make in many places.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, July 3, 2015
This trail is by far my Favorite and I have done them all. All my friends usually hit it with me though I like to take the lead as they all sweat and really stink, and I've blazed these trails myself so I know the way. When it's dry I like to book and really get my heart pumping so move aside or try to keep up. I have never tripped or fallen myself, but I often see others go down. It's funny actually, like they were raised in a barn or something. LOL. Anyway, do be careful and watch your step. Take plenty of water and snacks and leave no trash behind. I personally love to eat trash... cans are my favorite, but I prefer to eat plant material that Mother Nature produced, but you should not. You might just see Mother while trailing, but only if you have your eyes open. She is quite beautiful. I go here often and hope you will find your way out of the big city to join me. I personally never really cared for city life. All the hustle and bustle and people smoking... If you do smoke, you might try joining me to get some fresh air, but for my sake, leave the smokes in the car. If You are simply smokin, then by all means, bring it out here baby.

By: Ivan Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 16, 2015
Overall a really nice hike with a lot of beautiful scenery. Part "A" of the Billy Goat Trail is the most beautiful and challenging section of this hike. Part "B" was significantly less challenging.
The only negative thing that I can say is that this location, is that it gets infested with people. We showed up at 7:50 and immediately proceeded to do the hike, and there were already a good amount of people. We left at 11am after completing trail A and B and it was beyond crowded I probably won't come back to this place until the fall or early winter when there's not a lot of people outside.

By: fsull00 Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, January 2, 2015
I live nearby, so I hike various sections of this trail quite often. Best to get out on weekdays if possible to avoid the crowds. And when the people aren't there, the wildlife tends to come out. If you're interested, you can see a variety of shots from the trail over all four seasons at this link:

Happy hiking!

By: AuniMach Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, January 1, 2015
Just moved to DC and saw this hike had some scrambling (which I love!) and was hoping to get away from the city. I was dead wrong. While the trail itself is amazing, the amount of people and their lack of courtesy kind of ruined it for me. (I thought everyone would be lazing around on New Years Day) I would have rated it higher if there were less people.

Super sunny day, started around noon (I forgot to set an alarm), and it was around 40 degrees. The views and scrambles are amazing considering how close this is to DC. Most of it was pretty easy for me as I've done some good scrambling in the Rockies, but it was a great work out and I had tons of fun. The traverse was the only part I really slowed down on as it was a little wet and muddy, but it's easy if you just take the time to get good footing.

The people are just terrible though. Many are not wearing suitable shoes despite the warnings and I saw lots of trash on the trail (will bring a trash bag and gloves to take care of that next time). The traverse is like waiting for a ride at Disney World. People are stacked 2 feet away from each other going up while another group is trying to come down. After 20 minutes of waiting, a nice father trying to come down told his family to wait for me to climb up. He was the only courteous person I met and I greeted him with a smile and a thank you. I kept trying to space out on the trail, but it was just too crowded.

Despite all of this, I highly recommend this trail. It's a good place to get your legs before you try harder hikes that are a bit further out of the city and the views are awesome. Don't make my mistake, get out there early, and hopefully you'll beat most of the traffic.

By: Michelle Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, November 30, 2014
Well first off I have alot to say!!! the hike itself is nice but I absolutely hated the experience, with the rude people to the crowded-unpatient car drivers in the tight parking lot (across old anglers inn) . Let me start off this area is the most upscale affluent snobish people you can ever meet! I was given the middle finger from an older man, seriously? Grow up. we came out here to nature to unwind to have a good time, not to start b.s. Plus on the trail you have the most top notch athletes who think they're sooooooooooooooo much better than you, that aren't considerate of you whatsoever. I was given a pass to this one group( since the space was tight) NONE of them said thank you, at all! so rude and self centered. Plus they were soo much young kids running around who think climbing on rocks is a race, with no parents around for supervision that itself equals trouble. This whole experience was just a mediocre one honestly and just reminds me why i like to avoid going here. 

By: jim c. Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 28, 2014
10am start at Section A was very crowded - bumper-to-bumper with a backup at the rock face scale.  But the great thing about the BGT is you can forge your own path.  Once off the beaten path, we literally felt as though we had the place to ourselves.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 7, 2014
Great hike lots and lots of people. We only did part A of the hike and loved the bouldering and rock walls to climb. We will be back again to finish the rest of it another time.

By: Berto Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, January 9, 2014
The Billy Goat Trail, particularly section A, is a must-see and must-do hike for anyone who lives in or is visiting the greater Washington D.C. metropolitan area. The Great Falls Overlook on Olmsted Island (just north of the trailhead for section A) affords a spectacular view of Great Falls but to see the Potomac River flow through Mather Gorge--quite dramatic scenery--you must take the time to hike section A! The segment of the trail that runs along the Potomac is not easy but it is manageable for people with even minimal levels of athleticism. There are several areas where scrambling up or down boulders is necessary to advance along the trail, and for those folks who are keen to break a sweat by doing PT there are really limitless scrambling, jumping, and climbing opportunities all along the Potomac section of trail hence the billy goat reference! The eastern side of the trail is a towpath that runs along the C&O Canal and is very easy to traverse because it is entirely flat. This section is not as dramatic geologically but is beautiful nonetheless. There are a number of trails in the park but section A of the Billy Goat Trail is the most scenic and therefore the most satisfying of them all. You won't be disappointed.

By: Sam Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 21, 2013
We went with two 6 year old boys starting at 9:00 AM on a beautiful partly clouded day.  We were a little time bound so we stayed on the trail for the most part.  Although the water was low, but the views were still very good.  There were quite a few people as expected, but were kind and sharing the trail well.  My 6 yr olds were able to do the rock hopping with minimal guidance and basic safety protocols.  For small kids, it will be nice to have gloves on because the rock surfaces do get rough for their palms.  Important to keep close eye on the kids to ensure they do not get distracted and wander close to the edges.  We completed the south-bound portion of section A in a reasonable timeframe.  There was one rock wall which seemed a bit challenging but it was the most fun to climb, especially for the kids.  We started the return via the towpath, a short while after marker 3.  The towpath is a straight gravel road with many cyclists, so watch out and also be respectful about sharing.  Nothing much interesting in the towpath from a kids point of view.  Some good views of the canal for the most part.  NOTE: Close proximity to city/urban areas has led to significant littering on the trail but more so on the river side (empty bottles, tissues, plastic bags, candy wrappers etc.).  Please be considerate and leave no marks.

By: Paul Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, September 18, 2013
This is a "must-do" hike for all in the DC Metro area! You cannot call yourself a "Washingtonian" until you visit this park... Wonderful stroll on such a wonderful day...many people out which is clearly understandable... there early so the Billy Goat Trail was fairly quiet...I must say that its rock scrambling at its finest on the 'A" trail...good stuff... The rest of the circuit is really easy...plenty to see...always near the river or the canal... Do not skip the Olmsted Island Overlook boardwalk right at the beginning...adds less than a mile to the hike and its the only view of the Falls...and a great one...the Overlook Trail at the end does not provide a good view...especially with full tree growth...but a good climb none-the-less... The C&O Canal and Billy Goat Trails combine to make this a certain favorite! What a special place so close to DC!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Took my three boys on first two miles of the Billy Goat Trail and then back on the tow path to the parking area at Great Falls for a 5 mile hike. The boys loved all the rock scrambling. They are 6,7, and 14. This is definitely one their favorites.

By: Margaret Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, July 9, 2013
I've done the Billy Goat many times over the years, with various companions.  It was one of my first favorite hikes.  An easy rock scramble and a wander back along the tow path - great for kids, casual hikers, and inexperienced climbers.  I do recommend hiking poles if you're at all inclined to use them normally, and do expect to use your hands!  Highly recommended!  There are a few other trails on this side of Great Falls, and they are all nice gentle rambles through the woods, so if you want to add on just grab a park map.  However, be aware that this is one of the most popular trails in the area, so Billy Goat is often VERY crowded, particularly on summer weekends.

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