Deer Run Trail

MODERATE 47 reviews

Deer Run Trail is a 4.4 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Columbia, Missouri that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

4.4 miles
249 feet

dogs on leash

kid friendly


mountain biking

trail running



Deer Run trail descends to the flat bottomlands and runs along the banks of Little Bonne Femme Creek where it merges briefly with Spring Brook Trail before looping back to its starting point. Deer are common in the area due to the secluded woods and grassy openings. The trail follows the hills along the parks northern and western boundaries and is suitable for mountain biking. It descends to the flat bottomlands and runs along the banks of Little Bonne Femme Creek where it merges briefly with Spring Brook Trail before looping back to its starting point. Deer are common in the area due to the secluded woods and grassy openings. Signs of beavers and muskrats are sometimes seen along the creek. White connector 7 is available to shorten the trail. Mountain biking is permitted only when the trail is dry. Paxton Passage, a half-mile trail owned and maintained by Columbia Public Schools, connects Deer Run Trail with Rock Bridge Elementary School.

21 days ago

This is a nice, easy-does-it kind of trail. It is by no means moderate and very easy, and would be good for kids. For grown-ups wanting a more challenging hike, not so... For example, the posted time at the trailhead is 2 hours and 45 minutes - I hiked it in 1 hour and 15 minutes.

The trail is well blazed (yellow), clear and well-kept. If you hike it counter-clockwise, most of the trail is downhill, save for the last ¼ mile or so back to the parking lot.

The one down(ish) side to this walk-in-the woods is the piles of doggy poo on the trial. Dog people, please, have fido do his business off-trail, for heaven’s sake!

28 days ago

Favorite trail at RBSP! Challenging enough to get a good workout, but still simple enough to enjoy my time in nature. I love how far from civilization I feel on this trail, very peaceful.

1 month ago

5 months ago

Moderate level was accurate. Saw a lot of different plants and trees. Different terrain though out the hike.

mountain biking
7 months ago

A good trail that gets some traffic due to the proximity to Columbia. We did the loop on Bikes, and it was a bit rough for an old timer with a non-shock Stumpjumper with on/off road tyres. However, it was a fun outing. Met about 4 people the entire length of the trail. Agree that the new markers might clear up some confusion about the trail, as it was pretty well blazed.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Yay for Park management! They replaced the faded trail markers with bright yellow ones and marked the trail more frequently. Being a novice I've been confused in the past. Trail does have a couple of creek crossings which are easy to navigate, especially in late summer through February. Inclines are moderate. Scenery more. Beautiful in spring and summer but rugged otherwise. I will return here more in the future as it is much more user friendly.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

theres way to many people any not really any cool scenary.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

no one there- and many spider webs to walk through

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Very nice trail!!!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Really well maintained. Well marked. We hiked it in a little under 2 hours. Lots of great creek crossings. Can't wait to come back in the fall.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Beautiful place and very lightly trafficked

Sunday, April 17, 2016

My wife and I hiked this trail the other day and really enjoyed it. The varied terrain was nice and there were plenty of spots just to stop and admire the beauty.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Best trail in the Columbia area for nonstop fun and challenging terrain. My favorite trail system thus far. Will be back...Goodtimes!

Sunday, February 07, 2016

This trail got better and better as my hike progressed. It did seem longer than the posted 3.75 and it took me just over 1.5 hrs to complete (including stops for pics and to marvel at the dozens of bluebirds and woodpeckers). I hiked it counter-clockwise, and I'm glad I did because more of the climbing took place in the first half of the trail, and the latter half had more scenic features like several creeks. The trail is quite rugged in places, with plenty of rocks and tree roots. There are a couple of stretches with heavy woods--which I enjoy--and even in January, it was lovely. I can only imagine how beautiful the park is when the trees are full.

Overall, I was delighted to find how large and varied the entire park complex is, considering that it's just adjacent to a college town (I had my doubts as I approached it, driving through the Mizzou athletic complexes and thinking "no way there's a great state park so close to a big small town.") It took me a while to figure out how to access other trails in this complex--I started at Deer Run Trail b/c it was the first TH I found from the road. I drove further down the road to discover Gans Creek, Grassland, Devil's Icebox, and other trails. Definitely make time to do more than one trail at Rock Bridge, if you can. The variety is great.

trail running
Sunday, July 05, 2015

This trail was beautiful and peaceful. Great for seeing wildlife. When wet there are some muddy spots. My gps tracking matched the 3.75 as the trail is marked.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

This is a really fun trail if you like heavily wooded scenery. According to my hiking app this trail was a little longer (4.25 miles) than advertised (3.7 miles). It took me 1.5 hours to leisurely walk this trail. The northern part of the trail winds side to side across several ridges and then runs south along a wooded hillside, through cedar woods, and then along the flat river bottom alongside the Bonne Femme Creek. The trail then meets up with the Spring Brook Trail after the latter crosses the creek at a shallow point. At this point the trails run northward back up to the starting point. The terrain is not difficult so long as it is relatively dry.

28 days ago

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