Turkey Run Trail

MODERATE 120 reviews
#1 of 3 trails in

Turkey Run Trail is a 3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near McLean, Virginia that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
3.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
377 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

kid friendly

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

bugs

rocky

scramble

Great river views plus stream, falls and woods The trail starts in the C1 parking area and heads down to the Potomac River. The markers are yellow until you reach the river where you follow blue markers of the Potomac Heritage trail to the northwest along the river. You cross over Turkey Run and continue to Dead Run. Cross over Dead Run and go up stream, following the yellow markers again. Just after passing under the GW parkway bridge, turn left, cross the run and follow the yellow markers southeast until you reach Turkey Run again. Turn left and at the bridge cross over the run and follow the yellow trail up the hill and back to the parking lot.

hiking
2 days ago

A lot trees blocking the trials.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail with lots of shade. I’d rate it on the tougher side of moderate but, by no means hard. There are several spots where you need to cross shallow streams but, nothing crazy. We did this trail with my three kids (15,13 and 9) and dog and was a thumbs up for all. Also, there was very little people traffic at the time. Sunday of Father’s Day which I thought would be busy. Definitely worth a try.

2 months ago

Nice trail but several down trees throughout. Was a bit challenging by the waterfall. Overall, good workout.

Um so the trail had some good views, but it was very easy to get lost. There were some steep areas that were kind of dangerous and it was very rocky. We also had some encounters with some snakes. It was scary. Definitely not kid friendly, but was worth the hike. Apart from the snakes, there was a really beautiful waterfall and it was sort of fun overall.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful spot, but pieces of the trail were washed out and there were several large downed trees blocking the trail.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful views but many downed trees. We couldn't make the full loop because we lost the trail at the waterfalls. It was impassable.

hiking
3 months ago

Nice and challenging short hike with great views of the Potomac. There are a number of trees down that provide tiny scrambles if the attitude is right as opposed to obstacles. It definitely isn’t a safety concern. There are about 6 or so streams to cross, so exercise some caution. About a mile in there are a couple steep downs and ups, but hikers have left behind rope tied to trees which make it safer and more fun if you can spot the rope.

My only complaint is that you follow under neath and nearby the GW parkway, so there is a little noise and graffiti to deal with. But for a nice nearby hike, I recommend it

4 months ago

Nice hike! Sure seemed like a lot more than 3.2 miles!

hiking
8 months ago

poorly marked in some areas, but was always able to find the trail. great hike on the first snow of the season!

hiking
8 months ago

trail running
8 months ago

Dangerous sections of trail that are eroded and very steep. Numerous large fallen trees blocking the trail as well.

9 months ago

Trail is poorly marked - which makes it a bit fun. Nothing else really challenging. Waterfall was almost non-existent but may be nice after some good rains. Views of Potomac are nice.

10 months ago

Too hard and dangerous for dogs to complete the loop. I had to turn around. Other than that very challenging.

hiking
10 months ago

Excellent hike with 3 kids 5 and under - NOT good for strollers, even off roading ones. Agree that it's more "moderate" than "easy". Thought we were lost a few times, could be marked better. Think it's a good trail for introducing scrambles and trail running.

11 months ago

Not maintained. Multiple large trees not cut or removed. Blaze marks not close enough. Very rigorous which is great but too much time looking. And oh btw-yellow jacket hive on the rocks halfway down Daed Run halfway through the hike. Stung 14 times. Almost gave up my clothes. If you allergic, avoid this hike until it is dealt with.

hiking
11 months ago

We should have paid closer attention to the previous reviewer who mentioned the wasps. My wife and I got attacked today by yellow jackets. She was stung 8 times and me once. The location was right next to the waterfall and it was tough to get away quickly because it was in a rock scramble. We later talked to another couple who had also been stung many times. So be on the lookout.

11 months ago

Lovely trail. But washed away in places so a couple of scrambles and not very clearly marked.

Also there is a wasps nest on the dead run section where the tributary hits the Potomac. There's a stream of discarded clothes where people have striped off to try and get rid of them.

In our mad dash away I lost my sunglasses so if anyone find them please let me know.

Also picked up a pole. If it's yours let me know.

hiking
Thursday, August 10, 2017

I'm nursing an aggravated IT band, so chose to explore one of our more gentle trails in the DC area. This is a fun one, thanks to nature's obstacle course -- fallen trees, baby ravines, and stone paths over creeks. The foliage this time of year is very green and thick, making this trail the quintessential nature walk. Great path for trail running or to bring a four-legged sidekick, too! You feel secluded, but are reminded by noise pollution that the big city is only miles away (from cars on GW Parkway and National-bound planes landing along the Potomac). I wore running shoes, which are fine, but I might wear hiking boots next time. There are a couple areas where I would have felt more confident with traction. I chose counterclockwise, but didn't notice any significant difference to recommend either direction. Having the trail map with you is a good idea since it's easy to get off track to another path. I'll definitely return, especially since you can easily get to Turkey Run Park from both directions on the GW Parkway (although I imagine this trail runs muddy during the wetter months). Oh btw, plan on taking a shower right afterwards. I left draped in cobwebs! Ewe.

hiking
Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Nice hike. (FYI, the map for the trail named here as Turkey Run Trail is identical to the one for this trail, the Dead Run Loop. I'm not sure why.) I did the loop clockwise, and the first half is the more strenuous half until after the small waterfall and rocky terrain closer to the river. Blazes are infrequent and not always easy to find, but this did not pose too much a difficulty. There is one or two nice views of the river, and I suspect more views are available on the trail named on this website as Turkey Run Park Loop Trail.

hiking
Monday, July 03, 2017

Nice hike, but this trail should not have been rated as easy, and it is identical to Dead Run Loop (see below for links), which is rated here as moderate. The trail is enjoyable but not good for all skill levels, and I doubt horses can use this trail given the scrambles and the rockier parts of the trail. (See Michael Edmund's review below.) Blazes are relatively infrequent and not always easy to find, but this does not make the hike less enjoyable.

I also was expecting to see more than a couple of nice river views, but I am assuming that a larger number of views can be had on a different trail, named on this website as Turkey Park Run Loop Trail.

I did the Dead Run Loop clockwise, and was rewarded when seeing small waterfalls in the rockiest part of the trail, which a little more than halfway closer to the river.

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/virginia/dead-run-loop http://www.hikingupward.com/ovh/deadrun/

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Wasn't a bad hike;but the road and metro noise is loud at some parts, you aren't along the water too much and when you are along the Potomac, there's few views. I found myself checked the map on here to make sure we were still on the trail several times. It's a new setting compared to other hikes along the Potomac but this wouldn't be my first choice.

hiking
Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A lot of single men coming in and out of the parking lot at C-2, my friend and I thought it was pretty weird but decided to ignore it and go for the hike anyway. After a short distance on the trail we came up to a highway overpass which was very loud and had a lot of garbage around. Trail was VERY poorly marked and after getting too many weird vibes and were unsure of where to go we turned around. Definitely won't be going back.

hiking
Sunday, June 04, 2017

There's a part, about 1.2 miles in, where you have to kind of climb up an all dirt path. Since the ground is still pretty moist, having hiking shoes on really helps. Lots of rocks to scramble around all along the trail which makes it fun. Be ready to go over or under huge fallen trees. It's also pretty easy to get off the trail and on to another if you aren't checking the map. There's a lot of other trails and they aren't always marked.

hiking
Sunday, May 28, 2017

A very good trail. While most of the trail is packed dirt, parts are rocky. Very hikable even after 5 days of rain. The hike through Dead Run is a scramble and slight climb over rocks. There is also a portion that takes you into a small (five foot) ravine with no hand holds, so that can be a bit challenging. I don't see how horses could navigate this portion of the trail. There are also a few downed trees, so you're either climbing or doing a limbo. Take care, some of the turns are not well marked. Prominent game trails and other paths crisscross the trail and require a little attention.

hiking
Monday, May 01, 2017

I've seen past reviews of this loop on other sites that say it wasn't properly marked. I believe the park has listened and they've updated their marks along this trail. The scramble at Dead Run is quite fun and the wildflowers are beautiful. About halfway through I found the trail to not be as exciting. It was hill-y, but it made me wish turned around and scrambled some more. For beginner hikers, budget some energy for the very end. There is a steady and somewhat strenuous incline on the way back to parking.

hiking
Sunday, October 30, 2016

Nice hike on a dry sunny day. Avoid if wet or muddy as many stone steps are steep and guard fence is in disrepair.

hiking
Thursday, July 21, 2016

It was good until you hit dead run..hard to spot trail. Lots of rock jumping that would be slippery if it just rained. Once you hit the clearing after the highway under pass the trail is better. Watch out for a homeless mans hut! If you see pass that you went too far.

hiking
Tuesday, June 07, 2016

We had a lot of rain lately so it was muddy and a lot of the trail markers had been washed out or hard to spot once you hit dead run. The loop back was easy except for a few spots where trees fell over and we had to find where the trail picked up or there were blazes on both sides of where the trail split. Thanks to another friendly hiker who had been on it before we were able to find the general direction back. Beautiful scenery, lots of small falls, mild climbing, and cool covered trail.

hiking
Monday, May 23, 2016

A bit challenging especially with the wet rocks and muddy trail- nice views, trail markings are a little confusing- but if you're interested in a challenge this is a trail for you.

hiking
Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Easy hike along with the Potomac river. Mostly easy with just one climb at the beginning. Some parts moderate because one has to crawl over trees and rocks.

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