- Type: Hiking
NileGuide Expert Says:
A great spot for a hike, the best time to go is during the week, when locals are at work and you can have the trails to yourself.
- The Billygoat Trail is one of the area's most popular hikes. Scenic views that include the Potomac River and Mather Gorge draw weekend crowds. The difficulty of this trail does not deter the common explorer. As one of the most popular hikes in the Washington areas, the rocky trail carries you along the edges of Bear Island, just downstream of Great Falls. Once owned by the Potomac Electric Power Company, the 96-acre island was originally destined for a hydroelectric plant. Reoccurring floods led to the abandonment of the idea and a land contribution to the Nature Conservancy which passed along the administrative duties to the National Park Service. The trail is vividly marked with signs and blue trail markers. There is a reason why this trail is named Billygoat. The beginning of the trail requires crossing rocky hills, steep ravines, and scrambling a rock face while the return trip offers a level-walking surface.
Outside the City
- User Rating