Bull Run Mountain Loop is a 4.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Broad Run, VA that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and trail running and is accessible year-round.
Chapman's Mill was built in 1742 by Jonathan and Nathaniel Chapman, a father/son partnership from an enterprising, well-connected colonial family. Enlarged in 1758, the mill became a prosperous gristmill that fostered the development of the Shenandoah Valley as a wheat and corn producing region for the next one hundred years. Chapman's mill is pretty amazing, still lots of gears and things to see inside and a small river nearby. Starting on the trail, do it clockwise so you can get the uphill portion done first. Hike up towards the ridgeline, then back down passing through 2 stream crossings at most. You will see the remains of a civil war rail house with an ice hole nearby. Then comes a few other buildings, one with quite a bit of artifacts inside including a 1940-1950's refrigerator. Hiking up the hill to the ridge line produces a nice view of the other side.... plenty of rocks to sit on for lunch. Turning back downhill, you come across an old cabin homestead on the left hand side. There is small machinery close by to look at also. Once you get back on the road, you hike back to your original trailhead parking lot.
Advertised as "Moderate", but I would rate easy. On a scale of 1 to 10, a 3. I am 60 years old and 40 pounds overweight; hiked it on 8-20-2016 between 1000-1100, temperature was about 85 degrees. Pretty easy trail (my first time hiking), I would give it a 2 except there are loose rocks and roots that you could trip or sprain an ankle. I did feel a little burn in my calves at the 3/4-1 mile point, just before the peak of the hill.
Nice scenery once you get away from the noise of Rt66. Saw some deer. Used my Garmin watch to time the trip...round trip from my car and back took about 40 minutes and was almost exactly 2 miles.
Very enjoyable. A fun excursion during a sunny, cool Winter's weekday - when the crowds are small. Stop in the Bull Run Mountains Conservancy visitor center to get information on what they do, then head out for a trek up to the scenic overlook. Start out on Chestnut Ridge, cross over to Dawson's trail (be sure stop by William Dawson's grave site), then take Ridge Loop trail up toward the overlook. The view is beautiful on a quiet, clear day, and you'll want to stay and take in the solitude with a small lunch or replenishment break. Come down via Chestnut Ridge trail crossing onto Fern Hollow for an opportunity to see Beverly Mill and other structures. If you want to add more distance, start at the visitor center and hike up along the road to start at East End trail, bringing Mountain road back to Dawson's trail. Enjoy the hike - and the view!
Nice cool morning hike. Brisk pace going up got the blood flowing and the 180 degree overlook was great. Started around 10:30AM Sunday and it was not crowded for the 2 hour hike.