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Bull Run-Occoquan Trail



17.9 mile 28.8 kilometer point to point
96% Runnable


Ascent: 1,531' 467 m
Descent: -1,467' -447 m
High: 294' 90 m
Low: 125' 38 m


Avg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 27% (15°)


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Trail shared by Jeffrey Edmonds

A nicely maintained long distance trail between Bull Run Regional Park and Fountainhead Regional Park.

Jeffrey Edmonds

Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

The gates at both entrances are supposed to open at first light.


This is an undulating trail along the Bull Run River with a few road crossings. The southern portion of the trail is a bit hillier than the beginning. The trail is usually well-marked with blue marks on the trees.

Runner Notes

A few roots and rocks occasionally.


Whether training for a long-distance thru-run or looking for an all-day point-to-point adventure, the Bull Run-Occoquan Trail is your best option in the greater DC area. As shown, runners should plan on getting a ride back to the starting point or setting up a shuttle.

Expect a good amount of ups and downs with a total of over 1,500' of elevation gain through the entire trail. It can be rund in either direction, with the higher sections to the south and lower sections in the north and middle. Passing through a couple parks, there are a few access points but not too many which adds to the remote feeling of this stretch of trail.

Given the proximity to Bull Run and its joining creeks, sections of the trail can be pretty muddy especially if it has rained recently. There are also sections of rocky tread that require careful footing, especially for folks moving quickly along the trail.

Flora & Fauna

Waterfowl along the river.

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Aug 26, 2019
Bradley Hawley
Out and back 9mi — 1h 40m
Aug 11, 2019
Brea Silberbauer
Jun 30, 2019
Mark N
Oct 7, 2018
David Eastman
Straight from Dulles to the Trails. Lovely and muddy and slick. Finished with a swim in creek near the Bull Run Park Trailhead 7mi
Jul 14, 2018
Andrea Lowe
Jun 28, 2018
Chris Kroehler
10mi — 1h 46m
May 5, 2018
Dave H
Good morning trail run, be sure to get here and park before the winery opens outside Hemlock Park 8mi
Nov 15, 2017
Emily Eiland
Autumn leaves covering roots, rocks and holes. Recent rain had left slippery areas. Overall a challenging run. 12mi

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 21 votes


  4.1 from 21 votes
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Run Rankings


in Virginia


212 Views Last Month
4,501 Since Jan 23, 2016



View during winter.
Jan 23, 2016 near Buckhall, VA
Next to Bull Run on the Bull Run Occoquon Trail
Aug 19, 2017 near Buckhall, VA
Bull Run.
Jan 23, 2016 near Buckhall, VA
Early morning fog.
Jan 23, 2016 near Buckhall, VA
Early morning entrance from Fountain Head. Plenty of parking.
Jan 23, 2016 near Lake Ridge, VA
Enjoy great views of the reservoir along the Bull Run Occoquan Trail.
Nov 4, 2019 near Buckhall, VA


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