COVID-19 Update: At REI, we encourage you to get outside responsibly. Stay local, avoid recreational travel,
practice social distancing and check ahead for area and facility closures. Learn More
Trail Run Project Logo

Berma Road to Billy Goat Trail Section A



3.5 mile 5.7 kilometer loop
100% Runnable


Ascent: 110' 34 m
Descent: -127' -39 m
High: 182' 55 m
Low: 90' 28 m


Avg Grade: 1% (1°)
Max Grade: 3% (2°)


No Dogs
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by JLDay Day

A nice morning run, the Billy Goat Trail Section A has a few tricky spots.

JLDay Day

Features River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife


The Billy Goat Trail Section A is one of the most well-known runs in the Metro D.C. area and for good reason. With nearly a mile of fun rock-hopping and spectacular views of the Potomac River along the way, this circuit is loads of fun with plenty to see.

Need to Know

Getting here early is a must because it can become crowded very quickly. Be sure to bring plenty of water and wear shoes with good ankle support and tread.

Runner Notes

The Billy Goat Trail Section A can be run in spots, but expect to do plenty of rock scrambling.


This is a moderate 4-mile run minutes from the hustle and bustle of our nation's capitol. For a place so close to a major metropolis, this place is truly magical. Wild power and natural beauty are on display here as you watch the Potomac force its way through the rocky crags of Great Falls and the narrows just above Mather Gorge.

As you run along, you can witness extreme sports like whitewater kayaking and rock climbing firsthand, while at the same time study the micro-ecosystems of the never-ending vernal pools scattered along Billy Goat Trail Section A.

While it's always stunning to experience, all of this power and beauty has its price: crowds. Since the C&O Canal runs straight through the middle of the park, any reasonably suitable day for being outdoors will bring throngs of people to the park. Needless to say, try to get there early to escape the crowds. Then at least, you'll only have to deal with the crowds as you follow Berma Road back to your car.

Run this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Flora & Fauna, History & Background

Is something wrong? Let us know. Have photos to share? Help fellow runners know what's here.


Rate This Run

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Run

Check In



Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 26 votes


  4.4 from 26 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Run Rankings


in Maryland


111 Views Last Month
4,433 Since Jun 6, 2015



Great Blue Heron closeup
Jul 9, 2015 near Potomac, MD
Potomac River MD side.
Jun 6, 2015 near unknown, unknown
Potomac River MD side.
Jun 6, 2015 near unknown, unknown
Notice that the trail goes diagonally up this rock face.
Jan 21, 2020 near Great F…, VA


Trail Run Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Running