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Bull Run Trail is a 17.4 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Manassas, Virginia that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and horses and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

Length 17.4 mi Elevation gain 1,387 ft Route type Point to Point
Dog friendly Kid friendly Hiking Horseback riding Nature trips Running Forest River Views Wild flowers Wildlife
Description
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Facilities
Getting There

Follow blue blazes. There are mile post markers every mile. Trail proceeds east about 1/2 mile to Cub Run then south to Bull Run. Trail remains north and east of Bull run for 18 miles to the main parking lot in Fountainhead Regional Park. Watch for old Confederate artillery position near mile 4. Most of the trail follows the river bank but where the bank or feeder streams are impassable, the trail ascends into the hills. Trail can be seasonally muddy and there can be problems with stream crossings. There are side branches for horses in places where the trail is too rocky or steep for horses. Trail is very well maintained by PATC.

Trail head parking lots are in Bull Run Regional Park and in Fountainhead Regional park. There are nice segment hike parking lots at the end of Yates Ford Road near Clifton and at the Bull Run Marina Regional Park.

Centreville Trailhead- Take I-66 to Exit 52 (Route 29) at Centreville, drive 2 miles south, turn left onto Bull Run Post Office Road and follow the signs to the park entrance. Follow signs to Atlantis Water Park parking lot. Cross road to trail head mile 0. Accessible year round. (This is what is featured here on the map. The Bull Run Regional Park is accessible mid-March through November.)

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Reviews (232)
Photos (801)
Recordings (242)
Completed (551)
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Forest Sun
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Backpacking

The trail is not marked properly

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Kera Barclay
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Hiking
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Mister Browne
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Hiking

has it all

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Forest Sun
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Running

We got deterred by high water in the river

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Johannah Evans
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Hiking

We did a small portion of the trail - 1.5 miles out and back - easy hike to do with mostly shaded area.

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Gary Oliver
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HikingRocky

I did a four mile portion starting from a parking area at Rt 28, (Fairfax/Manassas Park border) continuing downstream to Hemlock Overlook. Parking was free on both ends, I was thoroughly impressed. I intentionally waited for a dry period for obvious reasons and found it has decent elevation gains and some rocky terrain making it feel more like a true hike. Well shaded with lots of old growth trees and interesting ground cover creates a nice aura and swimming holes in several areas. I believe it would be less strenuous in reverse starting at Hemlock (the high point) but wanted the winery as my finale. Paradise Springs Winery is across from Hemlock.

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sara hume
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RunningFeeMuddyOver grown

$8 entrance fee. It’s a good running trail with almost no elevation, but there are multiple muddy parts where you have to cut through the woods to get past and the trail is barely a foot wide at most points so watch out for ticks and snakes.

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Maia Dominguez
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HikingBugsMuddy

Overall a nice trail, but a decent amount of mud to walk though. There were some cute bridges on this hike. Decent hills but only for a small percent of the hike

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KeY KeY Y
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HikingBugsMuddyRocky

Nice trail towards Fountainhead. A bit narrow for me. Tree canopys make it dark at times and hard to see trail roots in certain places. Muddy and overgrown. Watch out for the snakes!

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Lawrence J
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HikingBugsMuddy
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Brandon C
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Walking

I really liked the trail. Clear on where to go, relatively flat through 80% of our hike. I like how there are side trails to go onto small beach-like areas. If you’re going during COVID-19 put “Bull Run-Occoquan Trail Parking.” That search will take you to a place you can park.

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Ruth Dixon
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HikingMuddy
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Victoria Medina
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HikingMuddy
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Bethanie Mintz
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HikingMuddy

Super muddy after rain. Great for kids. Good places to hang out by the water and throw rocks in!! Easy access to the trail and can continue the trail into Bull Run park or Hemlock Overlook! It’s beautiful!

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wan jun ju
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HikingMuddy
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Tait Pettersen
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Hiking

Back in the area 2 years later. Still love this trail. I prefer the out and back 5 miles total from the water park parking.

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Rebekah Atwater
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Hiking

Great. 19min drive from my house.

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Michael Vice
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HikingBlowdownMuddy
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Tayler Franklin
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HikingBugs

Other than the length there isn't much of anything about this trail I would consider "difficult". It's a well maintained path with only minor up and down hill sections throughout, there are blue paint markings on trees along the path that make it easy to follow, and its location along the river between multiple suburban areas makes it very easy to reach help should any be needed. Overall it's a good trail. Its proximity to housing and roads is, excluding the bugs, pretty much the worst thing about it, if you're looking to really "escape to nature". As a pleasant walk through woods, it fits the bill though. If you go during low traffic times(middle of the week, during school/work hours, etc), you will likely run into more spider webs than other humans. In 4 hours early on a Friday afternoon, I saw two people total. My biggest point of dissatisfaction was definitely the frequency with which I was enveloped in spider webs. They stopped me at least once every couple of minutes. The way back was much more pleasant as I had already cleared my own path through the webs....

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Carter Scheffler
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HikingMuddyOver grownRocky
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Thomas Green
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Running

Ran the whole course yesterday starting at Bull Run. When you get to the park, make sure you don't take the Water Trail as that is for kayakers getting access to the creek. Park at Atlantis and then walk down the road about 100 yards and cross the two long low bridges to get going. Trail was decently muddy in lots of places but there is ample room to run along the edges and get through. When you get to the marina and are on pavement, go down to the docks and then cut underneath the overpass to keep going, this part isn't very well marked. Also when you pop out into the fields and soccer fields, go straight down the road with the fence on your left, turn left and the trail will continue ahead about a few hundred yards ahead on the right. Very well maintained trail, thanks PATC!

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