Matt’s Birthday: Billy Goat Trail, Great Falls, MD!

What a fun night last night!


For Matt’s birthday, I surprised him with an early evening hike at one of my favorite spots in the DC area — the Billy Goat Trail in Great Falls, MD!


I hiked this trail a few years ago with my dad, and Matt’s always talked about how he wanted to try it. Last night was the perfect time. :)


We had absolutely gorgeous weather for it!

First things first — I packed us some provisions! Homemade 5-Minute No Bake PB Granola Bars:


And oranges — pre-peeled so no sticky hand issues while hiking! :)


And then we were off!

To get to the Billy Goat Trail, you actually start out on the C&O Canal — yes, the same one that’s my favorite running trail! Just way farther north :)


The best thing about this trail is that a lot of it involves rock scrambling! I knew Matt would love this since he’s part mountain goat/Tigger ;)


Can you believe this is a mere 20 minutes away from the city?!


We hiked most of “Part A” of the Billy Goat Trail, which is the most strenuous and takes you scrambling along rocks above the beautiful Potomac River.


We had a blast — we want to come back another day when we have more daylight left and hike the whole thing :)


(Say hello to Virginia on the other side of the water!)


“Wait, how did you get over there?!”






The view was worth it :)



 We scrambled our way back just as the sun was starting to set. Beautiful :)043

After our hike, we enjoyed a late dinner — involving steak, of course, for the birthday boy!


To cook the steak, Matt seared it in the pan (it was rubbed with a little olive oil and salt and pepper) for a minute or two on each side, then popped it, pan and all, in the oven (at 350) to cook for about 5 to 7 minutes.


This method makes steak super juicy! Yum :)

My contribution to the meal was a Greek Quinoa Saladrecipe courtesy of Kath’s blog! I made it a few years ago and loved it so I decided it was time to bring it back :)


I followed the recipe but left out the shrimp (since we were topping it with steak) and capers (not a fan). Delish!


We also enjoyed some wine :)


LOVED this kind!

And dessert? Super Charge Me! Cookies, of course! Matt really liked them :)


And now — I’ve got another really fun day lined up — a Virginia wine tasting tour for my college friend Sarah’s bachelorette! Woohoo! I’ll be back tomorrow with a recap ;)

Have a lovely Saturday!


  1. 1

    I love Great Falls!! I have been there when visiting my sister in the Germantown area. Looks like a great time! Happy birthday to Matt!

  2. 2

    Beautiful photos… have you thought about blowing any of them up poster-sized to decorate your house? They look like photos which you’d pay a fortune for in an art shop. You planned and executed a wonderful birthday by the looks of it!

  3. 4

    Great Falls is gorgeous :) I’ve been kayaking in that area which another fantastic way to enjoy the view. Have fun at your bachelorette wine tasting!!

  4. 5

    This is going to make me sound bad, but when I was in high school, we used to skip school and go to the MD side of Great Falls.

  5. 7

    What an awesome day! Great trail, great evening, great chow!

  6. 8

    AHH!! I just did a wine tour in upstate NY (Seneca lake trail) for my bff’s bachelorette party a week or so ago, it was a blast!!! I know you will have tons of fun. There may or may not have been a chinese fire drill around the limo on the way back…

  7. 9

    I forgot about that salad!! And I LOVE St. Francis Chard!!

  8. 10

    great pictures!! i’ve been on the VA side of great falls and always wondered about the other side.

  9. 12

    Those views are amazing. Such beauty to explore and enjoy.

  10. 13

    Wow, SO beautiful!! That’s so awesome that it’s only 20 minutes away from the city. Nothing like an “escape” close by. Happy Birthday to Matt!!

  11. 14

    that is a gorgeous hike! what a sweet birthday present for the birthday boy :)

    happy birthday matt!

  12. 15
    Adventurer says

    You are a fun girl!

  13. 16

    Awesome! Ever since hiking Camel Back Mountain in AZ I’ve been on the lookout for some good rock scrambling locations. My husband and I will have to go take a look!

  14. 18

    ooooh that hike looks like the perfect way to spend the day! I cant believe how close to the city it is. It looks like hundreds of miles away!!!

  15. 19

    the views on the hike are awesome!

  16. 20

    Despite how many times I’ve run/walked that trail, it never ceases to amaze me. :) These pics are gorgy, miss you DC (and Anne P)!

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