Along the banks of Bull Run near Clifton Virginia, Hemlock Overlook Regional Park has 8 trails dedicated to hiking and horseback riding. The perimeter circuit we have mapped here follows the banks of Bull Run along the Bull Run/Occoquan Trail passing the ruins of Virginia's first hydroelectric dam. Hemlocks can still be found on the red and yellow trails for which the park is named. This hike is one of several that can be found along Bull Run, including: Fountainhead Regional Park, Wolf Shoals, and Manassas Bull Run.
The main parking area is directly across from the Paradise Springs Winery, and a great way to spend the day is to hike the 3.8 mile perimeter circuit then walk over and enjoy a glass of wine on their large patio. The park also doubles as a accredited Outdoor Educational Center operated by Adventure Links. The group is focused on youth development, with a popular ropes course as part of the facilities.
Mile 0.0 - Pass the kiosk and wooden posts then begin the hike down the wide yellow blazed trail. The trails are not named, however the colored trails have blazed trees in a horseshoe shape similar to markings found at Fountainhead Regional Park. The yellow blazed trail will arrive at the crossing of the red blazed trail in 0.13 miles.
Mile 3.8 - Arrive back at the parking are on Yates Ford Rd.
Interactive Hike Map BelowPrintable
Topo Hike Map (PDF)
Hike route in Drag the map with your mouse using the icon Zoom with the controls on the left Mouse-over icons in the map below for location shots
Calculate roughly how many calories you could burn on the Hemlock Overlook Regional Park hike:
Reviews For The Hemlock Overlook Regional Park Hike (5 Most Recent)
Great trail so close to town and clearly marked. I really enjoyed this hike. We followed the instruction above and found it to be very useful. There were a number of people on this trail at times but not as busy as other locations (Great Falls/Old Rag). I would definitely go back. Many options near the water to sit and relax if you choose and enough variety of trail to keep you interested. My favorite hike so far this year.
Date of Hike: Saturday, February 18, 2017
A warm February day is a must-hike day. We enjoyed the trail and the views through the leafless trees. Lots of people on the trail, and with all the spots to stop and enjoy the area, I can see why. The trail is well-blazed. Definitely recommend it for all types looking for a short hike.
The instructions here on HU are a bit confusing unless you can pull up the picture while hiking. Where it says "At this point the Bull Run/Occoquan Trail crosses the creek over several concrete pillions.", DO NOT go down the steps and cross the river. Turn right and look for the yellow blaze. (We thought it meant to cross the river, then turn right.)
Date of Hike: Friday, April 22, 2016
Overall a nice hike. The walk along Bull Run is very nice and I found the hydroelectric plant ruins interesting. The trail runs in part along the very edge of the Bull Run bank a few feet above the water so don't be looking at your map for too long or you'll be wet. The park is apparently near a shooting range and most of my hike was accompanied by the constant sound of shotgun blasts -- so, not a peaceful experience. Dogs off leash on the trails (against Park Authority regulations) were sometimes scary. Bonus points for being less than an hour from DC.