Carderock: Billy Goat Trail sections B & C

Say, let's give the Maryland side of the Potomac some lovin' with a return visit to the Billy Goat Trail sections B & C, at Carderock Recreation Area!

The route: From the westernmost Carderock parking lot, we’ll walk out to the C&O Canal towpath, turn left, and go down to enter Billy Goat Trail section B. After hiking the section upstream, from east to west, we’ll return to our start point via the canal towpath, a total of 3.2 miles. After a short break, we’ll enter Billy Goat Trail section C and hike downstream, from west to east, and return to our start point via the canal towpath, a total of 2.8 miles.

The walk is two loops, one for each section, for a total of 6 miles of smiles. It should take around 2.5 hours at a moderate pace, given the broken ground and time for breaks here and there. The surface is rocky paths along the Billy Goat sections and smooth gravel along the towpath sections. Might be some mud here and there, but with luck and lots of sun the two previous days, it shouldn't be too bad.

NB: Billy Goat trail section A is currently closed due to rising river levels. Sections B & C are open, but we'll keep an eye on the trail advisories.

A Google map of our route is here: http://tinyurl.com/oxdr8ue

How to get there:  From the I-495 Capital Beltway (either direction), take exit 41 onto Clara Barton Parkway and follow signs for Carderock. On Clara Barton Parkway, take the first exit right at the brown sign marked "Carderock Carderock Div. NavSurfWarCen." After exiting, turn left to cross over Clara Barton Parkway, then continue straight, going around a curve and through a tunnel under the C&O Canal. At the T-junction, turn right and drive to the furthest parking lot to the west.

What to bring: Water, comfy shoes and your furry friend if desired (leashes are required). It's supposed to be cloudy and 42 degrees, so consider the layered look. There are some rocks and broken ground, so consider bringing a walking stick/poles if that's your thing. A camera is always a handy accessory.

Cost: None.

Administrative stuff: There are public restrooms (sorry, they’re porta-johns) at the parking area. As a reminder, this is a kids-free zone, no one under 18 years of age is permitted.

Notes:

NPS website (for park alerts): http://tinyurl.com/kasdbdd

NPS Great Falls trail map (pdf): http://tinyurl.com/nzfhxgr 

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  • Sheri R

    Thanks for getting us moving, John. I enjoyed the challenge of staying upright in the mud while admiring the views.

    2 · March 2

  • Gail T

    I enjoyed the BGT Section B. Hope to do the C soon!
    Good weather - friendly people. Thank you John!

    2 · March 2

  • John M

    Nice trail, fun folks! Thanks!!

    1 · March 2

  • Aaron G.

    Fun

    2 · March 2

  • Skysusan

    So glad I came and so glad for the support and assistance from all :) Thank you John, for another excellent hike. See you tomorrow! hugs, sky

    1 · March 1

  • Gregg

    Good, we only lost one person to the river.

    2 · March 1

  • Cindy

    John, Thanks for a great walk along the river. A little muddy, but a beautiful day.

    2 · March 1

    • Gregg

      Let me know how the Eagles are.

      1 · March 1

  • Gregg

    John, I had a great time and it was good to see everyone. As always you did a great job.

    2 · March 1

  • Jim

    John, thanks for leading another excellent hike. The jaunt was superbly timed for the brief interlude when Mother Nature was not boarhawging the DC area.

    2 · March 1

  • Michelle E.

    Caught a really bad cold. Won't be able to make it after all.

    February 28

  • Jim

    I hope it wasn't the joke that I tried to post here that caused the Meetup.com website to crash.

    February 28

  • raaj

    I rsvped yes,site seems to be having problem

    February 28

  • ron s

    If anyone is passing by the Bethesda Metro, i would love a ride, otherwise, i will either bike or take zipcar.

    thanks!
    -Ron

    February 28

  • John M

    Hey folks,

    Whew, glad to see the website is back up -- just in time to post an update on tomorrow's hike! Tomorrow's high is forecasted to be in the mid-40s, with a slight chance of rain/snow. There are no park alerts/advisories in effect for sections B & C, so we should be fine. My cell number is[masked], please give me a call (no texts) if you need anything.

    See you at Carderock!

    February 28

  • Clara

    is it still icy there? I only have regular hiking shoes/boots, let me know thanks :)
    It'll be my first meetup with this group, I'm looking forward to hike and enjoy nature :)

    February 28

  • Alan

    Is this hike dog friendly ?

    February 26

  • ML M.

    Sorry - working this weekend :-(

    February 26

  • ron s

    Would love to go, but... need a lift from metro.

    February 25

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