I recently went on a hike on the Billy Goat Trail located near Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center in Potomac, MD. We started off parking at the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center and worked our way towards the trail. First we passed by a refreshment stand that sold food and beverages. Next we passed a Potomac River overlook bridge that went over the Potomac into Virginia. Along the left of the towpath we saw the locks of the canal that once controlled the flow of water which let ships pass by.
We finally made our way to the trail.
As we made our way down the path things started to get a little rocky but this is just a small sample of things to come.
Next the path brushed up along the Potomac River. Here is a picture looking west towards Virginia.
The trail continued to wind around with the Potomac before we hit this huge rock that we had to climb.
After climbing up that rock we saw this ‘Emergency Exit’ which I thought was funny. I see them in movie theaters but not so often on trails.
After making it over a few more rocks we hit a beach. This was a good spot for a water break.
Next the trail wrapped around what looked like a lake but was actually just part of the river
We had to cross this creek that led into the Potomac River. There was at one time a bridge that went over the creek but it was broken and looked to be broken for many years. There was an old large tree that fell over the creek to cross on or this somewhat built dam was another option.
After the creek and more rocks we made our way to this beautiful lookout area. Below is a panoramic picture I took. Click the picture for a larger view.
The rest of the trail was more of the same. A windy trail over rocks. We finally made our way back to the towpath.
Overall it was a great trail and one of the more advanced trails I’ve ever been on. From start to finish it took us about two and a half hours including getting to the trail from the parking lot. The things I enjoyed most about the Billy Goat Trail were:
- Although it’s a trail marked with blue spray paint markers every few feet, it’s still a trail that lets you choose which way you want to go due to the many different paths through the rocks and boulders
- The beautiful views along the trail. Thousands of years of the Potomac River traveling through these rocks have created the beautiful views that we see today.
- The amount of nature we saw on the trail. I saw a beautiful Newt, many deer, huge turtles that looked to be hundreds of years old and of course plenty of bugs if you’re into them.