The following trails tell the story of the Battle of First Manassas (Bull Run):
First Manassas Trail (5.4 miles)
Matthews Hill Loop Trail (.9 miles)
Explore the ground on which the opening phase of combat occurred during the Battle of First Manassas (Bull Run).Begin your walk at the Matthews Hill parking lot (Tour Stop #4).The trail leads up the crest of the hill to Capt. William Reynolds' battery of Union artillery. From this vantage point, visitors can observe the landscape from Union artillery positions that overlook the historic Stone House and Confederate artillery positions on distant Henry Hill. Scenic vistas looking south and west give an excellent view of major portions of the battlefield. The trail descends down the front slope of Matthews Hill before turning east and entering the woods.Visitors will soon come upon the Stovall monument, marking the approximate location where Pvt. George Stovall of the 8th Georgia was killed. The trail loops back by paralleling the Union battle line, with trailside markers indicating the approximate location of Federal regiments during the combat.
Stone Bridge Loop Trail (1.3 miles)
Begin your hike at the Stone Bridge parking lot (Tour Stop #12). Follow the trail down to the post-war Stone Bridge (Confederate troops destroyed the war-time bridge in 1862), where Union forces deployed to divert Confederate attention from the main advance upstream. Upon crossing the bridge, the trail continues along Bull Run with its picturesque displays of wildflowers in the spring and colorful foliage in the fall. The trail ascends a steep bluff to the overlook of Farm Ford, where Union troops led by Col. William T. Sherman crossed Bull Run on the day of the battle. Turning west away from the stream, the trail emerges out in the open fields of the war-time Van Pelt property. Visitors will pass the site of the Van Pelt home, 'Avon,' used by Confederate Col. Nathan G. Evans as his headquarters. The trail cuts back over a watershed area with excellent birding opportunities from the wooden boardwalk through the marsh.
Last updated: April 20, 2021