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Deer Run Trail

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One way

0.6 miles

1.0 km

Difficulty

Intermediate

Elevation gain

116 ft

35 m

Highest point

1,009 ft

307 m

Avg grade

6% (4°)

Elevation loss

-101 ft

-31 m

Max grade

13% (8°)

Elevation loss

-101 ft

-31 m

Avg grade

6% (4°)

Lowest point

893 ft

272 m


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Explore Park, VA

Getting there

Driving directions

Current weather


Shared by Helen White

Overview

Deer Run Trail follows *dark* blue blazes off River Walk Trail, which follows lighter blue and continues along the river. It'll be fairly clear which is which—if you're concerned about ending up on the wrong trail, River Walk Trail is wider, and continues to parallel the river. Take the fork that leads you up the hill and you've reached Deer Run.

This trail isn't truly "rugged," but it is narrower, and the ground does have a number of roots along the way. If you're comfortable hiking in the woods, it should not be difficult, just be aware of your footing. When you hit the first fork, it doesn't particularly matter which way you loop. It can be a little difficult to tell, though, exactly which part is the trail here! Keep looking for the blazes, and you'll find the path, though. They're doing construction to expand the...
Deer Run Trail follows *dark* blue blazes off River Walk Trail, which follows lighter blue and continues along the river. It'll be fairly clear which is which—if you're concerned about ending up on the wrong trail, River Walk Trail is wider, and continues to parallel the river. Take the fork that leads you up the hill and you've reached Deer Run.

This trail isn't truly "rugged," but it is narrower, and the ground does have a number of roots along the way. If you're comfortable hiking in the woods, it should not be difficult, just be aware of your footing. When you hit the first fork, it doesn't particularly matter which way you loop. It can be a little difficult to tell, though, exactly which part is the trail here! Keep looking for the blazes, and you'll find the path, though. They're doing construction to expand the park between 2018 and 2019, so maintenance is ongoing.

Once you reach that fork, I recommend going right (which is more northeast than east, and closer to "straight ahead"). This will let you climb and then descend around the hill, ascending back to this fork on the other side. Either way works. Again, be aware of roots and rocks, and keep an eye out for the blazes.

Either way you loop, you'll pass Palmer's Pond on the way. It's a pretty little spot, and in late May you can hear either toads or frogs (not toadally sure) croaking. There'll be a wooden bridge leading across the stream that you don't have to cross as part of Deer Run, but if you choose to take the Palmer's Pond connector back to Old Salem Turnpike, it'll take you across this bridge, past the pond, up the hill (steep!) and back to the road.

At the apex of this trail, you can spot the orange blazes that mark the trailhead of Turkey Scratch Loop. Turkey Scratch is a short loop, and even more rugged than Deer Run. You could complete the two at once and it'll be nearly (not quite) a mile all together.
Explore Park is open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Need to Know

You can get here either by taking the path down Old Salem Turnpike Trail (leaving from Lot A) and then onto Palmer's Pond if you are confident on the narrow dirt switchbacks of Palmer's Pond. You could also get to the trailhead of Deer Run by taking River Walk Trail and branching off at the fork.

Flora & Fauna

You'll pass Palmer's Pond on this trail, and you can enjoy the sights and sounds of critters in the water.

Contacts

Local Club: Roanoke Outside

Land Manager: Roanoke City Parks and Recreation

Shared by Helen White

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