First Battle of Manassas Trail Loop is a 5.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Manassas, VA that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
First Battle of Bull Run. This was the first major land battle of the armies in Virginia. On July 16, 1861, the untried Union army under Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell marched from Washington against the Confederate army, which was drawn up behind Bull Run beyond Centreville. On the 21st, McDowell crossed at Sudley Ford and attacked the Confederate left flank on Matthews Hill. Fighting raged throughout the day as Confederate forces were driven back to Henry Hill. Late in the afternoon, Confederate reinforcements (one brigade arriving by rail from the Shenandoah Valley) extended and broke the Union right flank. The Federal retreat rapidly deteriorated into a rout. Although victorious, Confederate forces were too disorganized to pursue. Confederate Gen. Bee and Col. Bartow were killed. Thomas J. Jackson earned the nom de guerre "Stonewall." By July 22, the shattered Union army reached the safety of Washington. This battle convinced the Lincoln administration that the war would be a long and costly affair. McDowell was relieved of command of the Union army and replaced by Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, who set about reorganizing and training the troops.
Not great scenery, marked horribly ,had to back track because if we didn't we would have risked doing over 12 miles in vey exposed to the sun terrain with not enough water. Would have really enjoyed doing the 5 mile loop but just had to turn back after 3 or so miles out of confusion. When in doubt go backwards always :/
Easy trail but has some good hills for running
A relaxing, relatively easy trail, with interconnected loops to other trails. it is rated easy; however, combined with other trails adds a bit of challenge to its intensity. While the majority of the trail is in a forested area, there are patches of trail that are in sunny, open fields, which can be challenging if it is a hot, sunny day (especially going uphill.) The trail is extremely peaceful, and their is tons of fauna, which you can hear as you make your way (deer in particular). The historical markers serve as welcome distractions, which will take your mind off of f any physical fatigue you may feel. be sure to use the bathroom and fill up with sterilized water at the welcome center before making the trek (and afterwards). Bring plenty of sunscreen and enjoy!!!
Great loop! Had a blast with our dog Otis as well. A great hike!
Nice easy, well maintained trail. If you like history, you will love this place.
Lots of History. Take hat and water in the summer
Well maintained and good for an easier day.
Peaceful and very hot! Overall I enjoyed the history and the scenery! Enjoyed it. Will go back there!
Beautiful landscape and well maintained trails.
Good place for a quick walk,lot of ticks in summer be ready with some bugs spray.
Great for hiking ,would be nice to have an spot for biking.
This trail is very easy, wide and well maintained. Bring bug spray for ticks in summer. There are many off shoots from the trail, but it has to be given a four star rating simply because of the history there. Highly recommend taking a guidebook with you or another tool that will help you get perspective. The first battle of the Civil War is crucial, saw the birth of the legend that was Stonewall Jackson, and showed the world that this war wasn't going to be so short after all. It is a great place to appreciate that the US does a fabulous job of preserving and honoring its history!
Great trail, only was not well marked. A 5.3 mile run became a half marathon rather quickly. very enjoyable.
Beautiful day and great distance not difficulty hike for all ages in our Fam (ages 7 to 48). Lots of muddy spots after snow melt!
good for a casual stroll or a quick trail run. Not very well marked, got a little lost but eventually somehow made my way back around. This is a good one to do if you are in the NOVA area, like a little history, want a quick hike and don't want to spend too much time in the car trying to reach your destination. And of course be mindful of the time of your arrival/departure, traffic can be awful in this area.
we always like entering this trail from the Stone Bridge parking lot and doing a nice loop that ends walking along the stream/river. There is enough small elevation changes here to get a great work out, and the serenity and history of the area makes it unique. There are a few plaques along the way, and this trail gives one a chance to be reminded of the history of the country... good chance to teach kids a bit during some good outdoors time.