Monday, April 25, 2011

Trail Discovery for Kids

April Highlighted Hike
Billy Goat Trail, Part C
Potomac, MD
Hike Information
ü  2.5 mile circuit hike.
ü  Take the Caderock exit off the Clara Barton Parkway. Follow the signs to the Park. Drive to the last parking lot where the trail head kiosk is located.
ü  The Billy Goat Trail follows the Potomac River up and down the steep river bank. The trail tread is both rocky and smooth. Hikers will climb rocks and cross streams. The last third of the hike is on the wide and flat C&O tow path.
ü  Follow the blue blazers, even when the trail strays in different directions, particularly at a large bridge crossing half way and at the end of the Billy Goat Trail when it makes a sharp turn to the left.
ü  This trail is NOT jogging stroller passable.
ü  There is one creek crossing without a bridge.
ü  Link to the trail map, look at the trail in the lower right corner labeled Caderock.
Age Appropriateness
ü  This hike is best for kids five years and older due to the hills and rocky terrain.
What is fun for kids?
ü  Seeing wildlife – snakes, fish, blue heron, ducks, geese, turtles in the canal, skinks (look in dead tree trunks), toads, box turtles, and deer along the trail.
ü  Vernal pools and frogs.
ü  Many varieties of wild flowers in April (e.g. Virginia blue bells, phlox, may apples and many more).
ü  Lots of rocks to climb. This is an area known for rock climbing.
ü  After the stream crossing, there is a big, flat rock on the river’s edge for a rest, snack or picnic lunch. This is also a great spot for playing in or next to the water.
ü  Watching kayakers on the river.
ü  Seeing a waterfall.
ü  This area of Great Falls and the Canal is very busy on the weekends. There is some difficulty finding a parking spot.
ü  Many different user paths off the trail. Follow the blue blazes.
ü  Trash free park – pack your garbage out.

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