Turkey Run Trail

MODERATE 90 reviews
#1 of 4 trails in

Turkey Run Trail is a 3 mile 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

river

waterfall

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.

24 days ago

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

hiking
4 months ago

trail running
5 months ago

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

hiking
6 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.

hiking
8 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.

8 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
8 months ago

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
9 months ago

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/

hiking
10 months ago

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
10 months ago

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
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.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

beautiful hike but poorly marked when you hit dead run. might as well call it dead end. I had to turn around and go back the way I came. didn't finish the loop.

hiking
Sunday, February 08, 2015

This is a really gorgeous hike! You travel up & down some hefty hills, cross Turkey Run over rocks, enjoy waterfalls & glorious views of the Potomac River. There was a good bit of ice in the waterfalls, making them look enchanted. It was very muddy on the trails & we slipped from time to time, but our good hiking boots helped get us through the entire trail. Parts of the trail were poorly marked but since we had the AllTrails app running, we were able to find our way back on the trail. It's a fun hike & we can't wait to go back. This would be a great trail in all seasons.

hiking
Monday, January 26, 2015

Overall nice, easy hike with dogs. Really muddy and few spots were tough to figure out direction.

hiking
Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Good hike except for the loiterers.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Beautiful trail, and easy riding back to the road after being on the Big Woods Trail!

hiking
Monday, December 24, 2012

I have run here a couple of times and am glad I didn't have the issues mentioned below. There are usually other people walking the trail. The trail is short and easy.

hiking
Friday, November 30, 2012

While I didn't notice some of the issues mentioned by other reviewers, the main issue I had was that this is one of the worst marked trails I've ever been on. That said, the geology and the views of the Potomac are great, and it provides a little bit of a workout. With all the rocks, I'd imagine this trail is a bit better before all the leaves start coming down in the fall.

hiking
Friday, May 11, 2012

I do not recommend this trail. When you arrive, expect to see some older gay men cruising near the bathrooms. This park and trail is a very well known cruising spot. Inherently, I have no problem with this, but it does tend to make you a bit paranoid about what will be around the next turn... In addition, a large portion of the trail is so near the beltway that the sound of traffic drowns out any and all nature sounds. You even hike underneath the road at one point. The hike itself is easy to moderate, and there is one place with a small waterfall just beside the Potomac that was actually quite nice to sit and enjoy, but that small piece of quiet and beauty did not make the rest of the trail worth it.

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