Billy Goat C Trail Hiking Review

Billy Goat C Trail Hiking Review
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Billy Goat C Trail Hiking Review
  • Length
  • Elevation
  • Historical Value
  • Scenery
  • Terrain
  • Trail Markers


The Billy Goat C Trail is a really nice 3 1/2 mile trail that takes about an hour and a half to complete. There is good scenery, rock scrambles, a waterfall and some nice overlooks of the Potomac River. This is a trail great for anyone looking to get into shape for more challenging hikes.

Hike Details

Length: 3.46 Miles
Hours: 1:36.52
Average Speed: 2.1 MPH
Maximum Speed: 6.5 MPH
Maximum Positive Gradient: 5.4%
Maximum Negative Gradient: -2.2%
Total Ascent: 625 Feet
Total Descent: 621 Feet

User Rating: 5.0 (1 votes)

Park Information

Billy Goat C Trail Map
C&O Canal National Historical Park Home Page


C&O National Historical Park
11710 MacArthur Blvd.
Potomac, MD 20854


8am – Sunset

Entrance Fee

Free – Billy Goat C Trail

The Park headquarters is located at 11710 MacArthur Blvd. Potomac, MD 20854. There no entrance fee to the entrance of the Billy Goat C Trail (Entrance before entering the park) and it is managed by the National Park Service. To reach the Billy Goat C Trail, take the Carderock exit off the Clara Barton Parkway, make a left and wind into the park. At the stop sign, make a right and head to the back parking lot. You’ll find the trail West on the tow path not too far down from the parking lot.

This was my Christmas day hike as the weather was in the 50s and it was sunny. Couldn’t have imagined a better day for a hike. I’ve already hiked the Billy Goat A Trail and I’m going to post a review on the Billy Goat B Trail after Saturday. From what I’ve researched, they follow along the Potomac River and include rock scrambles. The C trail had a couple of really nice ones but nothing that would prevent a beginner from attempting.

It took me about 1 1/2 hours to hike the 3.46 mile loop that included the C&O tow path. Essentially, you start right on the trail that winds its way next to the Potomac River. The trail itself is only 1.7 miles but at the end, it curves North onto the tow path and from there you walk back to your car.

The Billy Goat C Trail included great views of the river, a few rock scrambles, an area with a small waterfall and hilly parts on the trail. I really liked the fact I could get that kind of exercise in such short time.

Along the trail, I came across a family that was helping a woman who had to be in her 80’s hike it. I couldn’t believe it. It was a great sight. I wanted to cheer her on as she was doing really well.

Billy Goat C Trail Hiking Suggestions

  • Bring a bottle or two of water (Seasonal)
  • Wear good hiking shoes, boots or tennis shoes
  • A camera (Great views of the river)

This is a really good hike that most people can do. There are some wonderful views of the river and some rock scrambling as well. The Billy Goat C Trail seemed to have a lot in a less than 4 mile hike.


Chris spends his time photographing and taking video of wildlife and nature. He spent 2 years in high school studying forestry (Gainesville, FL) and is currently studying to be an Advanced Master Naturalist at the University of Florida. His mission is to inspire others to get outside and learn.