Monday, September 10, 2007

Billy Goat Trail (DCA)

A trail description that promises “extremely difficult and dangerous terrain” is a clarion call that I cannot refuse. Section A of the Billy Goat Trail is located on Bear Island in Maryland’s Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park.

Billy Goat Trail (source wikipedia)

Unlike most popular hiking trails, Billy Goat Trail Section A offers up lots of scrambles around or over boulders, plenty of rocky terrain, a short but steep scramble up a cliff face, and heaps of breathtaking views of the Potomac River. My favorite times of the year for hiking here are in the winter when the views are unparalleled, and in the fall when the colors are on full show.

Short Climb Up (source wikipedia)

A popular option is to hike the trail in one direction, and return via the towpath. You can link up with Sections B and C of the Billy Goat Trail for a longer hike. A good place to park is in the parking area opposite Old Angler’s Inn on MacArthur Blvd. Show up early, as this parking area tends to fill up quickly. Download this map from the National Park Service for more information.

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