Get out and enjoy hiking, biking and running in Montgomery County! Home to many parks and trails it’s perfect for a day outdoors. You can experience nature all around you as you take in the beauty of Montgomery County.
The Billy Goat Trail at Great Falls offers spectacular scenery and is one of the most challenging hiking trails in the Washington DC area. The 4.7 mile trail runs along the Potomac River in Montgomery County from the Great Falls Overlook (near the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center) south beyond Carderock, Maryland. Some of the Billy Goat Trail has rough and rocky terrain which requires hikers to scramble over and around huge boulders. Billy Goat Trail A is the most strenuous. Hikers can often see kayakers paddling along this challenging section of the Potomac River. See a trail map.
Another great place for hiking is Sugarloaf Mountain in Dickerson, MD. The mountain is open every day of the year from sunrise to sunset. The Blue Trail Loop is a 5.5 mile hike which starts at West View parking it offers scenic views and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, rock climbing & walking and is accessible year-round. See trail map.
The 184.5 mile long Chesapeake & Ohio Canal is located along the north bank of the Potomac River, starting in Washington, DC and ending in Cumberland, MD. The major point of interest in this section is Great Falls, located at mile 14. During nice weather, this area is crawling with folks out to enjoy hiking on the challenging Billy Goat Trail, rock climbing in Mather Gorge, kayaking in the Potomac rapids below Great Falls, or just enjoying a stroll along the towpath. Use caution and be courteous around the pedestrians. Once you pass Great Falls, the towpath quickly becomes less crowded. Swain’s Lock is a nice place to stop for a break. At mile 22.8 are the remains of the Seneca Creek Aqueduct. This three arch aqueduct is the first of eleven such structures along the canal.
You can also check out the Capital Crescent Trail – This 11-mile pathway follows a former route of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad from the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C., to Silver Spring in Montgomery County. Bikers pass over four historic bridges and through two tunnels along the Potomac River. It connects with the C&O Canal Towpath and the Rock Creek Trail.
RUNNING & WALKING
The South Germantown Recreation Park hosts some or our most popular facilities in the Upcounty area. Besides trails, the many facilities offered by this Park include; playground equipment, ball fields, picnic shelters, miniature golf, splash & adventure playgrounds, King Farm Dairy Mooseum and tot lot, Soccerplex and the Germantown Golf Park Driving Range. The park offers a Heart Smart Trail program, it is intended to encourage people to take the first step toward a healthier lifestyle. Heart Smart Trails are generally 1-mile in length or less and follow a hard surface, level path. Bronze medallions are embedded in the path every 1/10 of a mile so walkers can keep track of the distance they have traveled. The trail, 0.8 mile in length, starts near the King Dairy Mooseum and continues past a championship miniature golf course, a tot lot, Splash Playground and Central Park Pond where there is shoreline access to fishing and a model boat launch. If you are interested in longer walks, there are two other trails in the park that are over a mile. View the HeartSmart Trail map.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Heart Smart Trail is a 0.8 mile hard surface path around the park. It starts at the kiosk by the path next to the parking lot just past the Swim Center. If you are interested in other walks, there are two other trails laid out in the park you can follow. Click here to view the HeartSmart Trail Map.
Take your first step toward a healthier life!