Canaan Valley Resort State Park - Deer Run Trail - Hiking

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About

Summary

Deer Run Trail is a 1.5-mile easy trail that meanders along boardwalks and through an observation area ideal for wildlife viewing.

Written by

Allison Pugh

Distance

5.0 miles

The Deer Run Trail is 1.5-miles one way, making it a 3-mile round-trip. The addition of the .75-mile Abe Run Trail and the 1-mile Mill Run Trail you can get close to 5 miles.

Destination Distance From Downtown

124.9 miles

Difficulty

1 of 5 diamonds

Deer Run Trail is a short trail with several boardwalks, which make the wetland areas easy to navigate. The trail terrain varies from flat and grassy to technical with knotty tree roots.

Time To Complete

1 hours

The main trail is a 1.5-mile segment that doesn’t take long to get through, thanks to the easy terrain and boardwalks. If you want to extend your hike, you can add in the Abe Run Trail, a .75-mile segment, and/or the Mill Run Trail, which is a 1-mile loop.

Seasonality

All Seasons

Although this trail is open year-round, damp fall conditions can make the ground slick with leaves, and winter snowfall can make the tree roots along the trail slippery. Be prepared for wet or damp trail conditions throughout the year when precipitation is heavy.

Dog Friendly

On Leash Only

Fees Permits

No

Review

Intro

Canaan Valley Resort State Park is in scenic Tucker County, near Davis, WV. The park is home to 11 marked trails that cover more than 18 miles of terrain, from woodland forests and valley wetlands to meadows and rocky mountain peaks. Amid the wetlands of Canaan Valley Resort State Park, Deer Run Trail extends from the Main Lodge to the Nature Center. The trail journeys into the park’s Wildlife Observation Area, where you can see the diverse wildlife and plant life of the woodlands and wetlands.

Intersecting Deer Run Trail are Abe Run Trail, a .75-mile segment, and Mill Run Trail, a 1-mile loop, each marked in a different color blaze. Deer Run Trail is open year-round, but trail surfaces may be wet or damp, and it may flood if there’s heavy rainfall, especially in wetland areas.

What Makes It Great

Beginning at the Nature Center trailhead, Deer Run Trail greets you with a canopy of entangled hemlocks and evergreens, which provide shady coverage during the entire 1.5-mile hike to the Main Lodge. Boardwalk segments let you experience the beauty of Canaan Valley’s unique wetlands in the comfort of dry shoes.

A short distance down the trail, the Wildlife Observation Area has a wooden platform and bench where you can enjoy the plants and animals. Along the trail, you might see large game animals like deer, and even black bear, but more elusive species also call the forest home. Watch for red squirrels, frogs, salamanders, chickadees, titmouse, and several species of birds, including hawks, woodpeckers, hermit thrush, Kinglets, magnolia, and black throated warblers.

The intersecting Mill Run Trail is an easily accessible loop that winds through the meadow of the wetlands. The trail is easy, but you’ll need to keep an eye out for tree roots.

Who is Going to Love It

Perfect for non-hikers, families, and beginners, Deer Run Trail is an easy trek through a variety of terrain, from everyday grass to knotty tree roots and wetland boardwalks. Nature lovers, especially birdwatchers, will enjoy this little stretch. Deer Run is an a serene spot for photography or a quick, low-key hike. Even the experienced hiker will love the views along the wetland boardwalks, and appreciate the unique mixture of wildlife.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

Deer Run trailheads are at the Main Lodge and the Nature Center. There is free parking for guests at both trailheads. Don’t approach or feed wildlife.

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Location

Canaan Valley Resort State Park

Canaan Valley Resort State Park, 230 Main Lodge Rd.
Davis, West Virginia, 26260
39.034813, -79.464836

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