Scary Scenes on the Billy Goat Trail
By Bruce Weissgold
Regarding the Sept. 8 Metro article “Copter Aids Rescue of Bride-To-Be”:
I was hiking on the Billy Goat Trail at the C&O Canal National Historical Park with my two daughters, ages 8 and 11, just a couple of hours before this accident occurred. We saw many people hiking unsafely, including some with very young children. Some of these hikers pushed past others in tight spaces. Even my younger daughter was snickering at exhausted people who hadn’t brought any water along and those scaling rocks in sandals or other inappropriate footwear. The scariest sights we saw included men scrambling precariously over the rocks with babies in backpacks or front carriers.
As unfortunate as this accident was, it was also inevitable — maybe not for the victim, who I have no reason to think was acting irresponsibly, but certainly for one of the many unsafe hikers I saw. A volunteer ranger should be stationed at the trailhead to discourage those who are obviously ill-prepared before a more serious accident occurs.
Unfortunately, the Billy Goat Trail gets swarmed by such cavalier outdoors enthusiasts, and the National Park Service encourages it by taking so few steps to discourage them.
Posted by: reese22 | September 13, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse
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