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Hiker rescued after falling on Billy Goat Trail in Great Falls Park

A hiker at Great Falls Park in Montgomery County, Maryland, was injured Saturday while on the Billy Goat A trail — a notoriously difficult section in the park — and had to be rescued by Montgomery County Fire and EMS.

The man fell around 11:30 a.m. while walking close to the edge of the river, said Montgomery County Fire and EMS spokesman Pete Piringer.

Rescue workers arrived by boat and took the injured hiker down the Potomac to an area near the Old Angler’s Inn, where an ambulance was waiting to transport them to a nearby hospital, Piringer said. The hiker had injuries but is expected to be OK.

“We made pretty quick work of it — in fact, an off duty firefighter was in the park and he was able to locate the patient pretty quickly and direct the rescuers to the scene,” Piringer said.

Piringer said that this type of injury is not uncommon on this section of the trail. There are a number of difficult sections that can present hazards to hikers, such as sharp drops, jumps over open areas, trails that hug the edges of rocks, and a section that requires hikers to climb a 50-foot rock face to continue.

Piringer said the Billy Goat A trail was closed Saturday due to flooding, but people frequently go out on the trail anyway.

“People do tend to not see the sign, or disregard the sign,” Piringer said. “We will typically respond hundreds of times a year for injured people on the trail for one reason or another.”

Piringer advised that anyone going out onto Billy Goat A should bring a fully charged cellphone with them in case they find themselves in trouble.

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