Bull Run's spacious fields accommodate groups by the hundreds, even thousands, for picnics, camping or special events. Bull Run's scenic woodland and trails offer miles of hiking and solitude. In springtime, acres of bluebells and other wildflowers bloom beside a picturesque, meandering stream. A large outdoor pool is open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Disc golf is open year round. A public shooting center, which includes sporting clays, skeet, trap, wobble trap and indoor archery, is open year-round.
I have a small dog and we absolutely loved this trail! Lots of opportunity to get in the water. Lots of rocks, fallen trees, etc. The diverse landscape made it fun and interesting. The first left onto the RED blaze trail was missed because you can only see it on your way back. Now I know and will do the longer journey.
Do not follow the all trails map. We did and we got lost! Had to use regular google maps to get out. I agree with the others about the intertwined and not-so-well marked trails. We were on a section that was almost vertical. It is beautiful and serene and we took some great photos but the lack of trail clarity could have been scary for someone less adaptable. We had to evacuate through a clearing and a private road with lots of private property signs, which could lead to a dangerous situation.
We did the 13 miles from Fountainhead to Hemlock round trip. The trail was moderately challenging, with changes in terrain and wonderful scenery of the water and wildlife. The trail is very well marked with the exception of 6.3 miles in. If you want to keep going to Hemlock the path turns left with no sign, but the end of that section of the trail goes straight. We ended up asking a friendly passerby and he directed us across back to the path which crosses the two-lane road. If you find yourself there, it's the 6.3 mark where the path turns to pavement. Look for the left turn. The midpoint of our journey was spent at Paradise Springs Winery which I highly recommend! I might not have enjoyed the hike as much without it, as I found myself wanting breathtaking views after that distance.
Be extremely careful following the trails! The directions we found for the loop trail weren't clear about where to turn off, and we ended up going probably an extra mile on the blue blazed Bull Run Occoquan trail before we realized the mistake. If you crossed Bull Run on the concrete pylons, turn back! The yellow blazed trail to head back to parking is just before the crossing.
We had a perfectly lovely time until that mishap. The trail isn't too strenuous, a few steep parts and some rocky areas. Our small dog (jack Russell dachshund mix) had a blast!
Did a 13 mile section from Fountainhead Regional Park to Hemlock Overlook. Trail is well maintained but keep your eyes on the Blue Blazes as there are a number of feeder and side trails. Some decent ups and downs as you leave Fountainhead for about 5 miles until the trail makes it's way closer to the river. We ended this section by heading up at the "Yates Ford Road / Hemlock Overlook" sign posted on the trail. It is an uphill climb for about a half mile but the reward is Paradise Springs Winery! Not a bad way to end the hike.
Tanuj S. on Hemlock Overlook Regional Park
Do not follow the alltrails map, it will most certainly get you lost. Poorly kept trail. The part by the river was beautiful and serene. I would only recommend that part.
Make sure you have enough battery on your phone when doing this one.
So there is really two trails here. This is really a spot for Blue Bell trail, which is about a mile or so long, and easy. Bull Run trail connects and is much longer, but still pretty easy trail wise.
It costs $7.50 to get into the park at the trail head. I think that's per car, but not sure it was just me. There was definitely a lot of horse dung and mud on this trail. It was also fairly busy for a cold day, but it was nice.
Dakota S. on Hemlock Overlook Regional Park
Half of this trail is poorly kept, with lots of fallen trees blocking the path. I had to hike to the road just to get back to my car. Also be careful to not accidentally wander onto the 17(?) mile trail that intertwines with this one. They stupidly use the same tree markers (and sparingly so) so it is easy to get lost. Also, DO NOT SWIM HERE. Venomous snakes are in the water. Beyond that though its a beautiful trail, just make sure you have gps to get home or don't explore too much. People were very dog friendly btw.
Mohamed M. on Bull Run Trail
Great trail. Secluded enough and with enough hill climbs and rocks to make it scenic and a work out. Only competed part of it around Hemlock, will definitely be back to complete the entire trail.
Just walked 2.5 mi of this trail with almost 6 yr old daughter. She rocked it! Lots of opportunities to traverse rocks over bull run. Changes in elevation very modest. All folks we passed were very friendly with my off-lead GSP. Highly recommended.