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South Run - Mercer Lake Loop Route

Easy/Intermediate
 4.4 (11) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A 4.3-mile lollipop loop run from South Run Recreation Center around Mercer Lake and return.


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Map Key

4.3

Miles

6.9

KM

99%

Runnable

287' 88 m

High

217' 66 m

Low

165' 50 m

Up

165' 50 m

Down

1%

Avg Grade (1°)

7%

Max Grade (4°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek

Overview

This route provides a nice 4.3-mile lollipop loop route around Mercer Lake. The way is mostly a paved doubletrack path starting at South Run Recreation Center.

Description

The trailhead is located at the gravel parking area on the south side of the building furthest from the South Run Recreation Center Park entrance at the Fairfax County Parkway. The route utilizes the South Run Stream Valley Trail and the Lake Mercer South Loop Trail to complete the loop around the lake.

The trail consists of mostly gentle rolling wooded hills and flats, following a stream bed and encircling Lake Mercer. There are a few steep but short climbs. The trail is mostly paved doubletrack with a few sections being flat and unpaved gravel. The longest climb comes as you approach the dam on the east side of the lake. After crossing the dam, the trail serves as a boundary between townhouses and the woods for a stretch. Most of the trail is shaded with only a few sections open to the sky. The trail is in great shape and makes for a very enjoyable outing.

Flora & Fauna

Mostly deciduous forest. Lots of squirrels, birds, and small mammals. Occasional deer are also present.

Contacts

Shared By:

Victor Stephenson

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 11 votes

#2003

Overall
  4.4 from 11 votes
5 Star
55%
4 Star
27%
3 Star
18%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#58

in Virginia

#2,003

Overall
139 Views Last Month
7,172 Since Sep 20, 2016
Easy/Intermediate

27%
0%
73%
0%
0%
0%

Photos

Foggy Lake Mercer on a warm, January day.
Jan 4, 2020 near Burke, VA
South Run Stream Valley Trail: gravel doubletrack ends and paved doubletrack begins.
Oct 12, 2016 near Newington, VA
Trail Intersection: South Run Stream Valley Trail and Lake Mercer (South) Trail at north side of Lake Mercer Dam.
Oct 12, 2016 near Newington, VA
South Run Stream Valley Trail on left. Lake Mercer (South) Trail on right crossing Lake Mercer Dam.
Oct 12, 2016 near Newington, VA
Unpaved section of trail (service road). Trail is in great shape. Easy walking/running.
Sep 20, 2016 near Burke, VA
North & South Mercer Lake Loop Trails intersection. Keep left to follow South Trail. You'll return on the North Trail.
Sep 20, 2016 near Burke, VA

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Check-Ins

Feb 17, 2020
Matthew Deyo
4.1mi
Nov 9, 2017
Rendel Sogueco
Feb 26, 2017
Susana GB