Deer Lakes Park

Looking to escape the city? Check out Deer Lakes Park, an Allegheny County Park that’s great for hiking!

Deer Lakes Park, located northeast of Pittsburgh, is an Allegheny County hidden gem. This county park has great hiking trails as well as fishing, playgrounds, tons of picnic areas, and lots of fun for all visitor types.

Read on to learn more about Deer Lakes and what the park has to offer!

As always, follow the principles of leave no trace when you're out exploring! Pack out all trash, leave wildlife alone, and generally leave it better than you found it - for more information visit the Leave No Trace Center.

About Deer Lakes Park

Deer Lakes Park is located in Frazer and West Deer townships, about forty minutes northeast of Pittsburgh. This park has amenities for all visitors – hiking, fishing, disc golf, playgrounds, and more!

The three man made lakes are the main attractions of Deer Lakes. The county stocks the lakes with fish for residents use (just make sure to get a fishing license before casting your line!) Two of the lakes have paved trails around them, with some funky workout stations around. The third lake, near the disc golf course, has a dirt hiking trail around it.

Deer Lakes Park on a beautiful winter day
Love the Allegheny County Parks? Check out my guide to all nine parks!

Hiking at Deer Lakes Park

I really enjoyed hiking at Deer Lakes. It’s definitely less maintained than some of the other county parks, but that didn’t bother me. I also found it to be significantly less crowded than busier parks like North Park or South Park. The areas around the two upper lakes is more popular, but the woods were very empty.

Here are some of my favorite trails at Deer Lakes!

Yellow Trail

This is a great trail to get a feel for the park! If you park at the parking lot on Mahaffey Road, you can also add some loops around both lakes. The loops around the lake are paved, which are great for wheelchair users or others using mobility aids (or runners who prefer a flat trail).

If you don’t want to park by the lakes, take yellow and black trail from the parking lot to the yellow trail. Unfortunately, this trail doesn’t go right by the third lake, but you can see views of it. This trail has some minimal elevation gain.

Purple Trail

This two mile trail is my favorite trail in the park! One of the most fun parts of this trail is the “turnpike”, or raised trail that goes over a section of the wetland. Similar to the yellow trail, I modified this trail to go around the Upper Lake more. For me, the appeal of Deer Lakes is the lakes!

Local Tip: Keep your eyes open! Parts of this both the yellow and the purple trails go by the 18 hole disc golf course. If I hadn’t been keeping my eyes open, I would have walked right into a very long throw by an enthusiastic frisbee thrower!

Walking along the third lake on the purple trail
Deer Lakes Park Trail Map

There are a couple of options for accessing a Deer Lakes Trail Map. Check out this PDF map from Allegheny County GIS. In addition to a paper map, the Allegheny County Park system has an app you can download to map the trails.

However, this is one park where AllTrails may steer you wrong if you do the trails as listed. I used the map function in AllTrails to see where other trails that looked more interesting were.

A view of one of the lakes at Deer Lake
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Frequently Asked Questions about Deer Lakes Park

Are dogs allowed at Deer Lakes Park?

Dogs are allowed in all Allegheny County Parks as long as they are on leash and under control. Remember to clean up after your dog!

Is hunting allowed at Deer Lakes?

Hunting is not allowed in any Allegheny County parks without express permission from the park.

How do I reserve a shelter at Deer Lakes?

To reserve a shelter, visit the Allegheny County Parks website reservation system.

How many parks are there in Allegheny County?

There are nine parks in the county park system. To learn more, check out my guide to all the county parks!

How big is Deer Lakes Park?

The park is located on 1,180 acres northeast of downtown Pittsburgh.

How do I get to Deer Lakes?

The park is located at 1090 Bailey Run Road, Tarentum, PA 15084. 

Unsure what to pack when heading out to hike in Deer Lakes? Check out my Ten Essentials for Day Hiking!

Deer Lakes Park is one of the most underrated parks in Allegheny County! I loved hiking there and I hope you enjoy visiting. Let me know in the comments!

Updated December 19 2023

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