Hiking the Billy Goat Trail

by - Monday, July 18, 2011

It's safe to say I'm not really an outdoorsy person. My idea of a fun time outside is curling up with a good book on the beach or next to the pool.

Chilling at the beach
My idea of outdoor fun

But when my friend Rachel was rounding up some people for a fun day of hiking at Great Falls, I was so in.

Great Falls is a park that spans both the Virginia and Maryland sides of the Potomac River with miles and miles of hiking and biking trails. I had been to the Virginia side back when I was in college, but had never hiked the extremely popular Billy Goat Trail on the Maryland side.

Our group met in the parking lot to head out for our hike. The park warns the Billy Goat trail is a little bit strenuous and cautions against hiking it if you aren't in good physical shape.

I wasn't sure what to expect, but we had a great time scrambling over rocks

Climbing at Great Falls

taking in the beautiful views from the look-out points

Taking in the views

Great falls

Potomac River

and climbing down this big rock face.

Crazy steep rocks
Yes I was scared

Steep rocks
But I made it in one piece

I saw lots of families out on the trail with little kids, but I would definitely say the trail was challenging and a great workout. 

I did slip and lose my balance once, but I fell right into a small patch of grass and wasn't hurt in the least. I wore a pair of old running sneakers that probably didn't have the best traction, and I did notice I slid a bit from time to time. Rookie mistake, I guess.

It was a hot and sweaty hike, but I had such a blast scrambling over rocks and hiking along the trail. I think it helped that there were several experienced hikers in our group who were more than willing to help me navigate some of the trickier parts of the trail.

Our hiking group
Thanks guys for not letting me plummet to an untimely death! 
(And thanks to Rachel for the picture!)

We celebrated our awesome hike by stuffing our faces with Chipotle and fro-yo.

It was pretty much the perfect ending to the perfect day. 

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