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blueBlack Berma Road to Billy Goat Trail Section A

  4.3 ( 23 ) Favorite

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3.5 mile 5.7 kilometer loop


Ascent: 110' 34 m
Descent: -127' -39 m
High: 182' 55 m
Low: 90' 28 m


Avg Grade: 1% (1°)
Max Grade: 3% (2°)


No Dogs
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Trail shared by JLDay Day

A nice morning hike, the Billy Goat Trail Section A has a few tricky spots.

JLDay Day

Features River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife


The Billy Goat Trail Section A is one of the most well-known hikes in the Metro D.C. area and for good reason. With nearly a mile of fun rock-hopping and spectacular views of the Potomac River along the way, this circuit is loads of fun with plenty to see.

Need to Know

Getting here early is a must because it can become crowded very quickly. Be sure to bring plenty of water and wear shoes with good ankle support and tread.


This is a moderate 4-mile hike minutes from the hustle and bustle of our nation's capitol. For a place so close to a major metropolis, this place is truly magical. Wild power and natural beauty are on display here as you watch the Potomac force its way through the rocky crags of Great Falls and the narrows just above Mather Gorge.

As you hike along, you can witness extreme sports like whitewater kayaking and rock climbing firsthand, while at the same time study the micro-ecosystems of the never-ending vernal pools scattered along Billy Goat Trail Section A.

While it's always stunning to experience, all of this power and beauty has its price: crowds. Since the C&O Canal runs straight through the middle of the park, any reasonably suitable day for being outdoors will bring throngs of people to the park. Needless to say, try to get there early to escape the crowds. Then at least, you'll only have to deal with the crowds as you follow Berma Road back to your car.


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Mar 27, 2019
Anna Choe
Only did Berma Road
Dec 22, 2018
Matt Couse
Billy Goat Trail closed due to flooding as of 12/22/18 3.2mi — 1h 40m
Dec 2, 2018
Zach Archibald
Oct 21, 2018
Jennifer H
Went opposite direction. Starting on south end of BG trail let’s you scramble down the cliff and is an easy walk down Berma Rd trail.
Oct 13, 2018
Zachary Bendorf
- Great Falls MD O&C canal - With Sam 4mi
Oct 7, 2018
Marc Deux
Oct 1, 2018
Fred Boone
Sep 2, 2018
Arun Kumar Ganesan

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 23 votes


  4.3 from 23 votes
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in Maryland


87 Views Last Month
3,051 Since Jun 6, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

Be aware that dogs are not allowed on Billy Goat Trail Section A. Also, the trail is on a fragile exposed bedrock terrace and hiking is only permitted on the trail. Follow the blue blazes. The trail gets very, very crowded and it's no fun when it is. Mar 15, 2017
The virtual tour is really, really bad. One does not cross onto other islands. Mar 15, 2017

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