Due to limited parking space in the other parking lot, we will meet at Carderock Recreation Area parking lot at 12:00 pm (noon) on Sunday. Please be on time or you will be left behind.
Follow the directions below closely to avoid getting lost:
From Capital Beltway (I-495), take exit 41 Clara Barton Parkway. Once on the Parkway, take the first exit on the right which is for both Carderock and the Naval Surface Warfare Center (white flat buildings). Turn left at the STOP sign at the top of the ramp to cross the parkway. (You'll see some 495 signs but ignore them.) After passing under the canal, you'll come to a STOP. Turn right and proceed to the LAST parking lot.
We will be hiking the Billy Goat Trail sections A, starting from the Carderock Recreational Area. This will be a circuit hike of approximately 6.5 miles, starting on the towpath first (nice view at this time of the year), then along the river side of A, then returning back to the parking lot via the C+O Canal Tow path.
The trail is challenging at some areas but mostly enjoyable. Some portions require you to use your hands to climb over boulders, and in one instance, up the face of a 40 ft. cliff, so be sure you’re up for that. I’m aiming for a moderate-paced hike of around 3 hours with a couple of breaks, but the goal is to keep a pace that works for everyone. Please be willing to stay with the group and enjoy the company.
Distance: around 6.5 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 200 ft
Hike Time: 3 hours
Bring: Sunscreen, lots of water, snack, friendly attitude
Wear shoes that have good traction, flexibility, a sturdy toe bed, and won’t slip off. Pants are better than shorts, as there is a little bouldering.
Dogs are prohibited on Section A. So leave Fido at home
Cost: Free, but if you hike with this group regularly, a $1.50 annual membership fee is appreciated. See Membership Dues.