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Hiker Reviews for the Dead Run Hike - 1 to 17 of 17   
Review the Dead Run hike here!   Average Review Rating:

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, January 27, 2018
LOL - this is not a level 2 hike! Was more like an obstacle course! If you're going to go - do NOT bring your child (walking or not). The hike is treacherous and tricky - more so with a child carrier. Took us 3 hours today without a break for lunch. Not an easy hike, especially with the occasional muddy patch. Might have been better without the carrier I'll admit, but I legitimately believe it deserves a higher difficulty rating. If you want a challenge - this is the one for you. Happy to answer any questions regarding.

By: JMP Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, January 29, 2017
VERY poorly marked, and maintained, the sections off the river, especially the clear cut power line sections south of GW Parkway near Turkey Run.

Does anyone know who maintains this section of the trail. PATC? Are there workdays? Could be a very nice fairly rigorous circuit.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Fine hike considering how close to downtown it is. The portion with the stream is nice, but the rest is pretty plain. Decent hills up and down keep it a little interesting, but for most of it you're just walking through the woods. Def watch out for downed trees - I counted 3 that were basically on the trail, and all required taking 10-15 seconds to be sure which direction to go.

By: Mel Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, January 15, 2017
This was a robust hike that is close enough to DC to be undertaken last minute, but remote enough to make you feel like you are farther out from the city. Parts of this hike that require rock scrambling and ravine crossing are more 3 than 2, but overall, the trail has a little bit of everything. We started the hike at 8:30am and no on else was there yet. Finished it in 3 hours, but we also walked at a slower pace. There wasn't much birdwatching to be had, but we did see a beautiful Pileated Woodpecker! Strongly suggest hiking footwear and not running shoes.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, December 10, 2016
Hiked this loop with a group as part of our expedition from Fort Marcy Park, through Turkey Run, and on to Dead Run (and back). This trail was surprisingly more challenging that the "2 rating" suggests. We walked up through the rock scrambles before finding yellow blazed on the right side. After walking under the GW Parkway, it became a little confusing as to which way to go next since we did not see the next yellow blaze until completely passing it and doubling-back to retrace our path. The trail also became muddy and slippery the closer we got back to Turkey Run.

By: BobbyB Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, September 2, 2016
Nice little walk on a Friday afternoon. Didn't have much trouble following the blazes except where the tree fell hiding the marks and obstructing the trail. It was obvious from the disturbed brush that the trail was up a little steep slope. 

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, February 7, 2016
The good news - as others have noted, is that this is a nice, short hike inside the beltway. A pleasant hike along the river, and the climb up Dead Run is surprisingly scenic, with several little falls and pools. The bad is the loop back once you cross Dead Run again after passing under the GW Parkway. I don't know if the trail is more obvious during the summer, but for much the return, it's a game of "where the heck is next blaze?" And to echo the review I wish I had read more closely before - there is a place where it seems like the blazes end, and we searched off trail for some time before finally hitting a recognizable path. Finally, be warned that the path crossing one gully is pretty sketchy, particularly when it's muddy.

By: dlaxman31 Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 20, 2015
We did this hike around 9am and the parking lot was empty. The weather was perfect since the trail was nice and dry. We were able to manage a majority of the hike until we got to the crossing of Dead Run. The trail isn't marked all that well during this point and it made for a bit more difficult crossing since we went up a bit too far then originally planned.

The rest of the hike we were on the correct path until we got around mile 1.8 and under the GW parkway. There were several other trails that took us in a bit of an additional loop but we did end up getting near the fence as mentioned in the directions. From there it was pretty simple and we were able to make it back to the parking lot with no issues.

Great hike. FYI: the elevation gain is WAY off. I had about 3.8 miles (with our additional loop) and then had around 500-600 ft of elevation total.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 12, 2015
This is a nice, easy hike. There's some great water views, and the trail is shady in general. However, just a heads up that the yellow trail is basically entirely washed away around Dead Run (markers and trail alike). As I was hiking by myself and suffer from a severe case of klutziness, I opted to just double back instead of braving what looked like a slippery scramble up by the falls to go under the bridge. When I neared the trail head I decided to do the Turkey Run loop as well, following and eventually crossing the stream further up.

Some advice: wear boots and a good dose of insect repellent. There are many smaller pools of standing water (read: mosquito breeding ground) and and the trail is really muddy at the moment due to the rain we've experiences. Also, trail is very dog friendly. Would probably hike this again at another time. 

By: Suzanne D. Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, July 10, 2015
I tried the hike with my daughter a few days earlier, but missed the right bank of Dead Run - went back today and found the barely visable trail along the right bank (very proud of myself). However, I lost the trail again where 2-3 very massive trees were blocking the path. I diverted down a small creek toward the river, but had to climb through a large drainage pipe. I'm going to go back and try one more time going to opposite way. No real trail maintenance and due to the quantity of rain we've been having the trail is really muddy.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, June 28, 2015
It poured like crazy yesterday, so this was a very muddy hike. But also very green and beautiful with stream views (including many stream crossings, which resulted in wet shoes). If you're debating between sneakers and hiking boots, go with the boots. The more waterproof the better.

One of my favorite things about this hike in summer: it's super shady. We didn't even need sunglasses.

Here's the most important thing we wanted to add, though: one of the trees with a yellow blaze has fallen over across a stream. You can't see the blaze because it's toppled down facing the wrong direction. This comes about half-way through the hike. We found ourselves climbing up steeper areas than had been mentioned in the directions and soon realized we'd missed a blaze and were seeing a "trail" where there wasn't one. As a result, we ended up clambering up a steep mud slick, trying to find another yellow blaze. It all worked out but it was a little confusing/exhausting and we ended up getting a few bee stings before re-discovering the trail.

We saw quite a few dogs who seemed to be having a blast, so bring Fido.

By: Felix Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 6, 2014
Did this on a nice Saturday, finished the loop in 2 hours and 35 minutes. Had I not gotten lost at several points, I would have been able to finish in two hours approximately. The trail markings are not very clear especially at mile 1.8. There are several yellow markings in several different directions, I ended up trying 2-3 wrong directions before finally getting the right one. Very tricky. Also, when HU specifically mention 'cross dead run' it means that you need to cross it, even though there is no yellow marking what so ever that suggested it's the point of crossing. You will find the marking, however, after you cross dead run and walk for several yards. Given all the unclear marking and all the mysterious crossings, I felt very satisfied to have been able to complete this trail. This is after all, a nice hidden gem inside the city, with beautiful creek and several swimming holes. I will probably go back here in fall and check my timing (without the 'lost' time). I met several people at several points, however I was the only one doing this loop at that time.

By: Nicolle Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, June 22, 2014
This was a great hike, the waterfall was absolutely the best part -- and one of the more strenuous areas to cross.  But I agree with previous comments that the trail becomes difficult to follow at times, partially because the yellow trail blaze markers are fading or oddly-placed, and partially because the trail itself doesn't seem maintained enough to be a trail.   However I wore a GPS watch and was able to determine at what points I needed to be extra vigilant for turns, etc. based on the copy of the Hiking Upward trail map (which was a great help).  We made it in about 2 hours.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 21, 2014
This was a great hike but I was unable to complete the hike because I was unable to find the yellow blaze marking once I reached Dead Run. I followed the directions and followed the run on the left side for about 40 yards but couldn't find a blaze marker on the opposite side. I don't know if there may of been a washout or overgrowth covering trail makers. I still had a great time and will give this trail a try again in the fall!

By: UK Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, June 4, 2014
It is a very pleasant hike with a few steep spots. We took our two year old there who had a very good time hiking and he also enjoyed crossing the streams. The views of the river are beautiful. It is a great after-work hike!

By: Woody Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 24, 2014
If you live in the DC area and don't want to drive 2 hours out to Shenandoah this hike is a fantastic alternative. I took it at a leisurely pace and finished in 90 minutes. The walk along the Potomac on the Heritage trail is quite nice. When you get to Dead Run go up the left bank for ~50 yards (vs. the 30 yards in the description) before you cross. Once you cross Dead Run you turn left to stay on the trail. It can get a little bit confusing as the yellow blazes are somewhat faded. Will definitely do this again.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, May 12, 2014
Directions offered were right on and the hike was even more so! The streams and falls made this hike worth getting out and about! I'm looking forward to hitting this trail up again next month to take advantage of the swimming holes.

Records 1 to 17 of 17
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