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Chesapeake and Ohio Canal NHP: Billy Goat Trail-Towpath Loop

md

Star Star Star

Distance: 4.7 miles


Revisit the early shipping days of the Potomac Valley on a 5.6-mile circuit of this 155-year-old route. Along the way, marvel at the East's steepest, most spectacular fall-line rapid.
  • View up Potomac
  • Rock Scramble
  • The Great Falls Overlook
  • Mather Gorge
  • Canal and boat
  • Local Faunae
  • Fall from overhead
  • Bridge over stream
  • Unnamed bridge
  • Gravel towpath
  • Local Flora

TO TRAILHEAD: Take I-495 N from DC; W onto Clara Barton Pkwy. to Great Falls; L onto MacArthur Blvd. After 1 mi., park in dirt lot across from Angler's Inn.

Trail Reviews & Comments

READERS COMMENTS

Star Star Star Star Star
Anonymous
Sep 11, 2013

The Oct. 2013 issue of Backpacker says to bring the kids/tykes. This is possibly the best trail within an hour of DC, but it is NOT for small children. Extensive scrambling, including some 3rd-class sections, is required.

Star Star
L. Broadwell
Sep 05, 2013

This entry and the related summary in Sept 10 Backpacker really need to be fixed. The magazine says to bring "kids . . .tykes," and this route is not safe for tykes at all. In places, rock hopping is required, and both hands are needed to climb or descend in at least one area. Injuries, including fatalities, occur in this area every year. On the web page, the distance is 5.6 mi in one place, 4.7 in another. It's a good route but should be approached with care.

Star Star
L. Broadwell
Sep 05, 2013

This entry and the related summary in Sept 10 Backpacker really need to be fixed. The magazine says to bring "kids . . .tykes," and this route is not safe for tykes at all. In places, rock hopping is required, and both hands are needed to climb or descend in at least one area. Injuries, including fatalities, occur in this area every year. On the web page, the distance is 5.6 mi in one place, 4.7 in another. It's a good route but should be approached with care.

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