“Leisurely trail around one half of Manassas National Battlefield. Lots of woods, grass and history!”
— Scott Spencer
Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Wildflowers
Open dawn to dusk, 365 days per year.
Overall, it's a nice fast route. Not a ton of hills except for near the end. I run the course in this direction so the hardest hill is at the end of the loop. Well maintained, lots of history and you'll find lots of other runners. There is no super view or anything like that. Still a very enjoyable run.
Can be combined with other trails in the park for longer routes.
Need to Know
Parking in the visitor center lot can fill up early on nice days. Other parking lots are marked on the map.
Wide, well-groomed trails. These trails do get really, really muddy after it rains, and they can be pretty slippery with ice in the winter. All streams have bridges over them. If you use Strava, there are about six Strava segments for this trail as well. Great for adding to your leaderboards.
The trail follows blue blazes most of the way.
From the visitor center, head across the field to the right. Run past the cannon and down towards the woods. Follow the blue blazes to the right. When you hit the T in the trail turn left, follow the gravel trail to the stream and cross through the creek or use the bridge to your left.
Stay on the gravel path until you reach route 29. Cross route 29 and go up the hill bearing to the right. At the top make a right at the signpost and head down towards the footbridge and the stone bridge. Be careful on the footbridge. Its singletrack and lots of people use it. It might make sense to just run next to the footbridge. It's mostly brush with some mud underneath.
At the stone bridge turn left and run along Youngs Branch, a nice stream with ducks!
At the next intersection stay straight, cross the small bridge and head up the short but quite a steep incline. There's a bench at the top to catch your breath if need be. Continue on until you get out of the woods. Turn right.
Stay on the path until you get to another horse crossover. Stay straight on the blue blazed path (if you see horse prints you've made a wrong turn). This path follows gradual ups and downs for about 1.5 miles until you come to another intersection. Go straight and head out to the field, turn right go down to the parking lot and then turn left to go up towards a line of cannons.
From here you can almost see the end. Stay on this path until you get to a steep downhill. Head to the Stone House, cross Route 29 and make your way up the last climb here. It's not Colorado or Montana, but after 5 miles your calves will still scream at you as head up Henry Hill to the house and then head straight to the visitor center where you started.
Hope you enjoy it!
Flora & Fauna
Squirrels, deer, snakes, turtles, bluebells in the early spring. People, tourists, dogs and don't forget the horses. Some of the course doubles up with horse trails. So watch out for horse droppings.
History & Background
"The War of Northern Aggression" as it is called down here, was partially fought on this land. There is a lot of history. Not a time in history I know anything about so I will leave it you...
Also, Disney tried to open a theme park nearby but got shot down by us locals.