The following trails tell the story of the Battle of First Manassas (Bull Run):
First Manassas Trail (5.4 miles)
This extended hike leads visitors over the landscape where on a warm July day in 1861, the newly formed Union and Confederate armies clashed for the first time. The trail begins at the Visitor Center and leads you through forested areas, emerging at the Stone Bridge. After following Bull Run upstream, the trail turns west and meanders over farm fields and woods. Emerging out on to the open crest of Matthews Hill, site of the opening phase of combat during First Manassas, visitors can observe much of the battlefield landscape. The trail descends into the valley of Young's Branch, and passes the historic Stone House (open seasonally). The building, which dates to the second quarter of the nineteenth century, served as an aide station during both battles of Manassas. After crossing Lee Highway (Route 29) at the pedestrian crosswalk, the trail heads up Henry Hill to the scene of fierce artillery clashes from opposing guns. Caught in the middle was Henry house, home of Judith Carter Henry, an elderly widow, who refused to evacuate her home during the battle and was killed by cannon fire (she is buried nearby). Near this spot, Brig. Gen. Thomas J. Jackson earned his nickname "Stonewall," as his presence on horseback rallied the shattered Confederates for a final push that sent the Union forces into retreat.