Bull Run Occoquan TrailNOVA Park’s longest natural surface trail
Perfect for hikers or those on horseback, this incredible path takes visitors through more than 5,000 acres of scenic woodlands. Along this track one will also find one of the region’s richest untapped historic resources. This area played a vital role at different times in our history from the Revolutionary to the Civil War. Sites along the trail include various battle points and land features, as well as the more curious, like a grouping of earthen mounds that once comprised a make-shift Civil War fort.
The trail is open for walking/hiking/biking* from dawn to dusk. (*Biking on authorized sections- trail conditions permitting.) Parking areas are open. Please follow proper social distancing protocols and obey all park signs. Please take all trash with you when you leave.
Nature & Wildlife
The forest is left undisturbed as a sanctuary protected by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority. It hosts an abundance of wildlife and vegetation and preserves an important watershed area, supplying clean water to county residents before flowing to the environmentally threatened Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay.
Visitors will enjoy meandering through groves of mature hemlock or beech, through pine stands or diverse areas of oak, hickory, maple, dogwood, sycamore and many other trees.
Wildlife is plentiful and easily seen by those who come to observe from a silent distance. Whitetail deer, raccoon, striped skunk, opossum, gray squirrel, beaver, cottontail rabbit, turkey, bald eagle, red-tailed hawk, turkey vulture, blue heron, Canada goose, smallmouth bass, bullfrog, black rat snake, painted and box turtle are but a few of the creatures residing on the land or in the water.
Interested in volunteering to assist with trail maintenance and trail improvement projects on the Bull Run/Occoquan trail? Maintenance is provided by volunteers of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club. Volunteer via their website or email the PATC trail maintenance coordinator for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
I was thoroughly impressed.
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.
by Gary O.
An unexpected trail in the middle of Northern Virginia
The Bull Run-Occoquan Trail is a hiking trail in the U.S. state of Virginia. Designated in 2006 as a National Recreation Trail, the Bull Run-Occoquan Trail invites hikers and horseback riders to discover more than 4,000 acres of scenic woodlands.
by Jeffrey S.