Bull Run Occoquan Trail
NOVA 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.
Due to the heavy rains over the last couple of weeks there are many sections of the Bull Run/Occoquan Trail that are impassible including many of the stream crossing where bridges have been washed away or moved out of position. We will be working to correct these issues as soon as possible but please consider these current conditions when planning your trip.
NOVA Parks has recently completed an assessment of the entire Bull Run/Occoquan Trail. The purpose of this assessment was to identify any issues as they relate to trail design and sustainability. NOVA Parks will take the results of the assessment and its recommendations and use it as a road map to complete improvements throughout the trail in the coming years.
You will notice a change to the traditional mile markers that appear on the trail as NOVA Parks will soon be switching to reference markers. Over the years as the trail has been altered, rebuilt or relocated the mile markers were no longer accurate. In the coming years NOVA Parks has committed to continue to work on improvements to trail and these reference markers will assist in better identifying where you are on the trail and not provide incorrect mileage. Each sign will have a letter designation and the direction in which you are traveling. If needed, these letters can be used by pa
The Bull Run Occoquan Trail is openly daily, from dawn to dusk.
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