I've had a lot of fun in this area over the years, climbing from one island to another and exploring - much better than trudging along the towpath.
Broke a finger here. Doctor said I shouldn't scramble until it was fully healed, but that conflicted with plans for Colorado and Utah in a few weeks. The finger is still a little crooked and still doesn't bend in completely (but almost). Small price to pay for exploring the West.
I recall the many times that my dad brought me to the Patomac river to hike. We always enjoyed the Billy Goat trail especially exploring the rocky areas. It probably influenced my current love of exploring rocks and climbing in the Rocky Mountains.
Hiked and biked all over this area while I lived in
Gaithersburg. While I love living in Colorado, there is a part of me that will always miss the Potomac and Great Falls.
I took the Chain Bridge and biked the towpath. When I got there, the beachhead was flooded, so I took the long route along the rocks to get to the edge of the islands, where I found a cool waterfall. I took a back route to the 5th (and highest) summit, which I had never reached before! I saw a huge snake, snap its back end in white water as I was making a rock crossing! I had to climb a lot more rock than I wanted because of the flooding over of the crossing points back to the towpath. I ended up taking the normal beachhead (which was flooded over, but not too deep) back to the other side. Overall, a long bike, a nice day, and some SICK rock climbing!
I biked to Great Falls Park on the Maryland side to explore Rocky Island, and did 4 of the 5 summits.
I conquered class 4 free rock climbing, and saw a lot of waterfalls. The climb was moderately dangerous, but very fun. Next time, I should drive, because the long bike to get there is way too tiring.