Frozen fun

Billy Goat Trail Section A

IMG_0903There’s just nothing like a cold morning to bring out the determined hikers, and this Monday was no exception: the temperature never got about 21o F (-6o C ), and the 10-20 mph WNW winds made it seem a lot colder! But apart from that, it was a beautiful sunny day, with free entry to the C&O Canal National Historical Park, so a better day to hike the Billy Goat Trail Section A couldn’t be had!

Our hike along Section A from the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center was not quite 4 miles of smiles: 1.7 difficult miles along the trail, with large boulders and a scramble up a seam in a 50-foot cliff face, and the rest just easy walking back along the canal towpath.

Despite the difficulty, Billy Goat Section A is a popular hike, so you really need a cold day to thin out the herd. I think we saw no more than a dozen other hikers. The typical planning time is about 3-4 hours, but we finished much sooner.

IMG_1029Of course, while we were there, we took some extra time to walk the extra half mile or so to the Great Falls Overlook on Olmsted Island!


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4 Responses to Frozen fun

  1. cindy knoke says:

    We did this hike in the fall, how incredible in the winter. Your photos are wonderful and you are intrepid to hike in those temps, although I think there is a typo with the temps. Olmstead is my hero! Cheers to you my friend~

  2. John M says:

    Thanks! It is beautiful in the fall, with all the leaves turning, but I bet you didn’t have the trail to yourself!
    There is no typo in the temps: 21 degrees Fahrenheit is -6.11111 degrees Celsius. Check it out for yourself:

  3. Jim Bovard says:

    Dang, if only my alarm clock had not malfunctioned, I could have caught this hike! Well, okay, I admit…

  4. John M says:

    Had I not been the person hosting the hike, the 15 degree temps when I left the house might have made me reconsider, too. 🙂

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