Maryland Outdoor Club
Sun, May 22 2005 - Mod.-Diff. Hike in Potomac, MD (Billy Goat Trail) (View Original Event Details)

Event Organizer(s): Amy Pickwick
Participants:Amy Pickwick, Stefan Kunkoski, Amy Chanlongbutra, Danielle Cayea, Wendy Denton, Patrick Pelletier, Denise Wyatt, Chris Whalen, Noelle Tracey, Kip Wyatt, Lee Anne Brutt

Write Up:
Unfortunately, the hike had to be postponed from its original date due to rainy conditions, but luckily a much better weather forecast was in store for the postponement date. We had temperatures in the mid-70’s, a few clouds scattered in the sky, and not one drop of rain.

We began the hike at 10 sharp, first on a small section of the C&O Canal Towpath, that took us from the parking lot at Old Anglers Inn to the trailhead for the Billy Goat Trail. For the next hour and a half, we rock scrambled, dodged small ponds in the rock crevices, saw snakes, frogs, tadpoles, and lots of river shells on the beaches. Additionally, one person reported a tick spotting. And, a helicopter zoomed right over our heads at one point.

The views from the Billy Goat Trail are so different than many other closeby trails – you are right up against the edge of the quickly-moving Potomac River, so you get to see all that nature has to offer on Bear Island, but also others out enjoying their favorite outdoor sports: biking on the towpath, kayaking on the river, or rock climbing in Great Falls National Park.

At noon, we broke for lunch near the end of the BGT, on the edge of the island…a little too close to the edge for my comfort, if you ask me. We enjoyed the views of the rock climbers across the river and the kayakers while talking about many different things during lunch.

When we were done the BGT, we hiked a little further upriver on the towpath to Great Falls. As usual, it was well worth the view. The water level was moderate to lower than I’ve seen it in the past. The cool breeze and mist from the falls felt good at the overlook.

After our 15 minute break at Great Falls, we headed back onto the towpath…taking a detour back to the cars the entire time. (The park is reconstructing part of the towpath parallel to the BGT). That part didn’t matter much, as the BGT was the main part of the event.

All in all, it was about a 3.5 hour hike, or about 4.5 miles…and was a ton of fun, with a great group of people. Hope to get back out on the BGT again soon!

--Amy Pickwick

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