North Carolina  Virginia
Maryland  West Virginia
All States Hike Map

Hiker Comments for the Manassas B.F. Bull Run Hike - 1 to 38 of 38   
Average Rating:

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, May 4, 2016
The trail was in generally good condition, with quite a few muddy spots in the short stretch immediately next to Bull Run.

I read other reviews and see criticism of the trail markings -- I agree it could be confusing. The very first sign at the start of the blue-blazed trail near the cannons needs to be turned about 45 degrees -- I took off in the wrong direction right from the start. I didn't rely on the markers and, as with most of my hikes, made use of the downloadable Hiking Upward .gpx file and an iPhone app. (I use DeLorme Earthmate.) Not as accurate as a dedicated GPS device I think but close enough.

I see complaints about ticks -- saw none of those. The trail is part in the woods and part in open fields -- it's a nice mix. Historical markers along the way -- I learned quite a bit about the battles there. The visitor center was open and has a movie that starts each hour on the hour -- the timing didn't work for me to stick around and see it. The Hiking Upward description says there's a $3 fee, but I paid nothing and no one asked me for money. The nicest restrooms I've seen at any trailhead!

By: Cullen Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 26, 2015
I hiked this particular trail of the battlefield many times.

I do agree with some other posts that the trails could use better marking. If you think the trails around First Manassas are bad, check out the trails for Second Manassas!

It does pay to bring a map and to know how to read a map.

The route in this map is well-maintained and I'd consider it a fairly easy hike. There are some inclines but they are gradual and brief. For most of the trail, you're under tree cover and when you're on the hills, there seems to be a breeze most of the time, which is nice.

The trails are usually wide enough to allow for joggers to pass walkers or hikers, but just be aware that this is a heavily used park.

I would recommend getting there in the morning if you're going on the weekends because Manassas does get a good number of tourists.

Finally, I'll say that this hike is one of the more enjoyable hikes in the area. The terrain is interesting, and you'll get to read history along the way, if you so choose.

By: Margaret Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 20, 2015
Oh, those waving wheat meadows.  It's really pretty out at Manassas, and lots of birds!  The woods are unremarkable but nice, and most visitors weren't venturing far from the historical attractions while I was there, so for a fairly busy park I had a relatively solitary hike. 

Here is the thing.  The trail markers are so bad it's comical, unless you forgot to bring sunscreen and you accidentally add three miles to your route because of your stubborn refusal to get a map.  Get a map.  It will still be confusing, but you probably won't get a horrible sunburn like I did.  Ah, well.  My favorite type of marker, encountered twice, was the type where there was a t intersection with a marker that featured a colored dot with the cute little icons of horse & rider, hiker, and bike, but with no arrow. . Hooray!  The trail goes in two of these directions, probably!  Good luck figuring out which two!

About halfway through I found a parking area with a map.  I took a pic, which I referred to during the second half of my hike, but I still got more lost after that than I had before I had a map at all. 

But still, it was gorgeous, and I saw a doe with two fauns and another doe by herself, a big black snake, and about a million larks, thrashers, and other birds. 

By: Pendar Deleon Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 25, 2014
Ticks, ticks and more ticks. 13 dog ticks and 4 deer ticks so far. I was covered with long pants and long sleeve shirt, rubber bands at the ends and had sprayed Deet on my clothes. Nice hike but you will be taking along hitch hikers.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, January 20, 2014
It was good hike. Nice views of the battle field. What brought the hike down was the poor trail markings. I would do this hike again in the spring to see more birds and wild flowers.

By: Susanne Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, May 27, 2013
The scenery is really beautiful, but the trail is not marked well at all. We got lost several times and ended up walking back on 29 because we were fed up taking the wrong turns on non-marked intersections.

The ticks couldn't have been worse. We found several on our clothes and on the dog during the hike. When we got home, we searched each other for ticks and found even more. They definitely spoiled the hike!

By: Dave Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, January 5, 2013
This hike is worth doing for the history alone. Pretty surreal to walk amongst the grounds of the first real battle of the Civil War and the place where Stonewall Jackson earned his name. I got there around 8:30 on a Saturday morning and the parking lot was full. If going just for the hiking/solitude the proximity to route 29 and 234 would really sour the experience as you're close to both for a good portion of the loop.

I did this as a trail run and it seems to be a really popular place for runners. For good reason-the trails are really well groomed and a nice mix of dirt and grass trails. If you're going for the first time definitely take a map or take a good look at the map before you start. As I was running I decided to forgo holding onto the map and just follow the blazes which turned out to be a mistake as the loop isn't marked very clearly. Blue blazes are also used for the bull run #2 loop which I mistakenly ended up on but didn't realize it for about a mile.

By: Mike Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, November 3, 2012
I give this 5/5 stars not because of the trail itself, but because of the history and culture that is a part of it. I ran about 6 miles of this trail, and it's was a wonderful run. The workers at the Visitor's Center were extremely friendly and helpful, and described the route to me, and gave me free maps. Be sure to pay the nominal fee -- it's well worth the maintenance of this treasure.

If I had hiked this, I might give it fewer stars, but as a run, it was perfect. It was a nice variety of wooded areas, wide, grassy battlefields, and slightly technical slopes. I had to cross roads twice, but that's inevitable in a populated area. I stopped at a few of the markers to read about the history of the battle, and it was astounding to see the sheer size of the battle and how it covered so much ground and involved various skirmishes. I hadn't visited a Civil War battlefield since I visited Gettysburg 20 years ago, so it put things into perspective and greatly enhanced the running experience. Definitely check it out.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 30, 2012
The weather was beautiful, there weren't too many people, & we had a wonderful time wandering through the trails in the fields & the woods, cutting through the bridle paths, & stopping at the historic houses, gravestones, & markers. Not totally flat, but quite minor elevation changes. We broke a sweat at times but were only a bit tired by the end. We brought a dog & it had fun too. Highly recommended if you want a real work-out you wouldn't stop so much, but then you'd miss a lot of history.

By: Meghan Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 2, 2012
I hiked this trail with my dog this afternoon. We had never done this hike before and I was not sure we would like it. I am happy to say that I was way off. With the map and the abundant trail markings, it was a breeze to navigate. I would have given this an additional star however, I had to take one away because the trail crosses over Rt. 29 - twice. And one of those crossings requires you to run across light, no crosswalk. That is just an accident waiting to happen. There really should be tunnels under 29.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, August 31, 2012
I've been to Manassas Battlefield Park numerous times since moving to Virginia in January, but today was the first time I hiked the Bull Run, and it was a nice little hike overall.  Not too crowded today, not too hot, a nice breeze, and not overly stressful.....

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Overall a nice hike on a pleasant day. Having the track on my GPS kept me from getting lost, so I had no trouble navigating the route. Visitor's center also has a nice foldout map of this route and the Groveton hike.

By: Mo Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 14, 2012
Nice local wilderness for hike/trail run. I am amazed by the people who find the trails hard to follow. The visitors center provides guide printed in color with many visuals. As far as ticks, this location is extremely bad year round except for when there is frost on the ground. Use some common sense and you will be okay.

By: EC Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, July 12, 2012
Note on navigation. There is one point that is ambiguous. we took the wrong fork. we ended up cutting through a field. as a result my daughter got a tick (lyme disease alert!) and the focus on getting a tweezer to remove it affected the end of our hike.  It would be easy to improve the signage it's too bad that the trail markers dont have directions/ textual orientation. 

By: John M. Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 5, 2012
This is a nice hike, suitable for kids, not difficult. Great to have it so close to DC. Pretty landscape.  I cannot understand how some reviewers have written that the hike is hard to follow. The NPS has a special flier that shows hiking trail, and the trail is clearly marked at all times.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 29, 2012
What a day for a hike in Manassas Battle Field, today was equestrian day. This meant the 2 times we crossed route 29, the police stopped traffic and my son got to pet the horses.

Other than the horses this hike offers you more than just trees to look at. We saw a few turtles, a snake, and a lot of history. We even got to pick off some ticks, oh the ticks, that is how you know your in a cool place.

The hike's elevations are not bad at all, my 3 year old had no problems here.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, January 15, 2012
We hiked Manassas National Battlefield Bull Run and Manassas National Battlefield Groveton on the same day and a long day it was!  We just so happened to have done this hike on a Sunday that followed MLK Birthday weekend so we got into the park for free. We added a lot of other little trails so we could make this a 15 mile hike. We started at the Visitor Center, in which tours can be taken and other information is available about the battlefields, not to mention the restrooms also available.  We followed the first Manassas trail with no issues at all. We started the trail at 10:00 AM finishing at 12:41 running into a lot of runners and people walking dogs. After we made it back to the car we then took a lunch in the car. We started 2nd hike at 1:10 and finished at 5:00. If you wanted to you could turn right at the top of Mathews Hill and cut out maybe 2 miles of the trip instead of going back to the car for a lunch. We did not just because we wanted the miles. So starting the second trip we headed back past all the stuff we just saw just for a mile. The second hike was very muddy so I would suggest a change of clothes for the car ride back home. Also on this hike we crossed the paths of fewer people although we did run into a couple riding horses that was pretty cool to see. We saw a deer that ran away after seeing us. We did go to the Groveton Confederate Cemetery and to me that was one of the highlights of the entire day. We also looked on the topo map at the driving tour stops if the trail was close to that we would walk to that parking area just for some more mileage. Also on Chinn ridge we passed the Webster Memorial and followed the trail to the end then walked back up to Webster. I think we both really enjoyed this trail because of doing both in one day and some really cool history. I missed the mountains and the quietness normal hikes have but it was really nice to have a nice change of pace day to get some history in.

By: Rachel H Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, November 30, 2011
This hike is great for those looking for an active history lesson, though I often felt torn between stopping at every interpretive panel and finishing my hike in time to head home before rush hour. A cold wind was blowing over the bare hilltops in the first mile or two, so I was glad to get into the quiet (and eerie!) forested section. Towards the end of the hike, crossing Lee Hwy where there isn't a crosswalk was a bit dodgy even at 2 pm I wouldn't have wanted to do that with young kids. A great little loop, though it's easy to see why it's a favorite for runners as well as hikers.

By: JV Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, November 25, 2011
We decided to spend Black Friday on a family hike instead of in a crowded mall.  I expected my kids, 9 and 12, to complain the whole way but they loved it.  We saw deer, took in the beautiful landscape, raced up the hills and generally had a good time.  This is a 5+ mile hike and is not at all strenuous, perfect for a family outing.

By: E. Gibbons Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, November 24, 2011
Hiked this neat and easy little trail in late morning/early afternoon before Thanksgiving dinner.  It didn't get busy until about noon and even then it wasn't as crowded as the C&O canal towpath gets on a holiday afternoon.  One jack*ss was hollering into his cell phone while walking behind me, but you know how to handle that just sit down for a few minutes and have your snack and a drink of water and let the idiot pass.  Lots of history here its hallowed ground.  Read up beforehand on the First Battle of Manassas (Bull Run) and enjoy the historical markers.  Unfortunately, the trail is not especially well-marked (but better marked than its sister trail: the Second Manassas trail), even the entrance to the trail is hard to find when you leave the Visitor's Center.   Get a map there or download it from the Internet site.  Watch for the blue dots and blazes blue dots are only on the counterclockwise side of the small brown plastic posts which are frustratingly placed not always at a decision point where you need them.  The blue blazes on the trees are reliable but there are not enough of them. Lots of side trails.  But this is a great option when you can take a half-day off work to decompress or for a Saturday afternoon after chores.   I especially enjoyed the path along Bull Run where it is easy to let your imagination slide to 1861.  This trail is a must-do this year the 150th anniversary of the battle.

By: sheryl Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 4, 2011
I do this trail at least once a week and sometimes more often depending on my schedule. I live in Manassas and I've been hiking it for at least four years. My latest time is 1 hour, 21 minutes but some days I lollygag because it's too nice to barrel through it. Good hike for beginners and a good hike for people wanting to increase their cardio exercise.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 7, 2011
Great job with this website. Thanks for the track!! My mom and I loved it.

By: Stephanie Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 25, 2011
A wonderful warm day for a hike.  My niece and I hiked it in a little over 3 hours.  We took plenty of water and enjoyed the preservation of the Battlefield and the time in nature.  Manassas Battlefield is a great place to feed yourself in history abour the Civil War.

By: Samuel Adams Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 22, 2011
Had a great day for the hike. Made the mistake of doing the loop clock wise rather than counter clock wise. The trails are horribly marked if you go clock wise. We went prepared and over all probably hiked 6.5 miles rather than the planned 5. That wasn't the issue. Just annoyed with the lack of blue circles. Had we gone counter clock wise like this site suggests, we would have be golden.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, January 16, 2011
An easy hike with historical eye candy. Some nice views of rolling Virginia hills. It was quiet on an early Sunday in winter I imagine it is bustling in the summer.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, September 20, 2010
Was a great Hike. I take my two dogs here all most every day. I saw deer three diffrent time and the breezes across the fields were great. the cemetary isnt much to look at but the markers and information is great. the trails are really straight forward and clearly marked just make sure you start at the right place and after that its easy going.Came across two  or three people was very peacfull.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, September 17, 2010
BEWARE!!!!! I was skeptical after reading the reviews..... My 5 mile jog turned into 10 miles with all the backtracking and cutbacks through the fields. At one point a Ranger even had to redirect me over fences and fields to set me straight. The worst part was that after the adventure, i found out ALL OF THE TRAILS ARE MARKED BLUE, with exception to the yellow trail. The green trail isn't green, its blue. So just when you think you are good because you see a blue marker, forget it.

The pros: absolutely beautiful. I saw a large yellow turtle, a small snake, ran through a billion butterflies and the breezes in the meadows were amazing. As far as terrain goes, stellar. The sections with wood chips were my favorites low impact, puts that extra bounce in your step.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 12, 2010
This was a nice hike.  I went Sunday morning right after a rain and during the 5+ miles I only saw 2 joggers.  There were a couple of times that the trail intersections weren't clearly marked.  It took me 2 hours and that included stopping along the way and reading most of the history signs.

By: Kirk Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Ran the trail today.  The scenery was awesome, could totally feel the history.  The only drawbacks was some uncertainty at crossroads as to which way to go.  Got turned around at one point.  Add a few more blue dots, trail would be perfect.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, August 5, 2010
I love this hike. It's a great way to spend an afternoon. It's not a hard hike/walk and you see some good sites. I prefer this one to the other Manassas hike because the trail is very clearly marked, you can not get lost, you just cross over the one road. My dog loves the water and the creek is about halfway into the hike, perfect timing for a swimming break. The woods also makes it cooler in the summer which is a nice break from the heat and sun that you get in the fields. It can get crowded on weekends in the summer, especially the closer to the Visitor's Center and Stone House.

By: Avi Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, July 26, 2010
Ran the trail...well-maintained, well-marked, great views, and few people outside of the visitors center.  Couldn't have asked for a better day.  Look forward to doing the other Mannassas trail.

By: Dan O Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, June 1, 2010

This is a good hike for a nice afternoon / evening after work. I went on a sunny Tuesday around 430 PM and only saw 4 people jogging / walking, so not very crowded at that time. The park or county could mark and paint a crosswalk for the Rte 29 crossing near the Stone Bridge.

I parked at the Matthew's Hill satelite parking area and headed towards the Visitor Center across the battlefield. This was a mistake, starting the in the direct sun, if starting from this point I recommend reversing the described directions.

I will definately be back on nice evenings for a little excercise. Took about1:45 to walk without a break or a lot of poking around the historic sites.

By: John Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, April 23, 2010
Ran the 5.3 trail wearing trail running shoe dry conditions great trail some flat some hills and changes from grass to gravel some packed dirt and wood chips as well. Loved the open fields nice breeze.

By: Caff Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, January 23, 2010
I prefer hikes in the woods, but it was enjoyable to stop and read up on the history markers. Good hike to take the dog. Definitely a weather-sensitive hike I think it would have been a better hike if the ground were frozen. My friend and I also didn't care for the fact that a good portion of the path parallels and crosses major roads. All in all, a fine way to spend an afternoon.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 11, 2009
I enjoyed this hike quite a bit, and is an excellent introduction to hiking in general. I agree with the fellow reviewers about this being a weather sensitive trail - I hiked it a day or so after some rain, and there was some pools of water at the bottom of Matthews Hill that I had to go quite a bit around. The hills are gentle, and if you pace yourself you can easily make the distance. I enjoyed the back section of the trail, which is the part that US29 divides.

By: Kris Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, March 25, 2008
I was intrigued by the previous post about running this hike. I did just that this morning and had a great time! The trails are well marked for the most part and are well maintained. Running through the battlefield is a blast and I was the only one on the trails. It is pretty cool literally running through history. I am planning on running other battlefields now, and will return to do the 6+ miler of Second Manassas! In talking with the ranger, there are 52 miles of trails in the park including the bridle trails.

By: StephanieSD Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, March 23, 2008
My husband and I ran this today. It was very pleasant and relaxing.

By: ashipey Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, January 8, 2007
This hike is great for anyone who would like to enjoy a nice day out and learn a little about our nations past history. But be forewarned, make sure this hike is attempted during periods of nice weather. The trails are extremely wet and muddy during rainiy periods. Overall, I liked the hike very much.

Records 1 to 38 of 38
about us | contact us | terms of use | © 2021