Outdoor Activities

Spring Beauty
Spring Beauty

NPS - Sylvia Madaras

BIOBLITZ: MAY 13, 2017
Get ready for Petersburg National Battlefield's first ever Bioblitz. Bioblitzes are when local and national parks provide the setting for park staff, community members, and scientists to explore, learn about, and document the natural resources that exist on our public lands. So here's your chance to become a "citizen scientist" and start documenting what you see. There is even a program to help you get started. To learn more, visit the
INaturalist website.

We're excited to invite the community to come discover the abundant natural resources here at Petersburg National Battlefield. Environmental education and stewardship abound! Many local organizations and experts will be present, leading interactive walks and talks on the many species and ecosystems in the park. There will be crafts and plenty of time to explore the trails. There will also be a photo contest. Details will be posted soon.

Event Flyer

BIOBLITZ PHOTO CONTEST: Submissions accepted from April 1, 2017 - May 1, 2017. Physical submissions will be showcased at Tramonto Ristorante in Old Towne Petersburg in May. Photo contest flyer is here.

Photo Contest Release Form & Regulations

Eastern Front Unit - Self Guided Trails

You can learn about significant battles during the Siege by walking on the same grounds where they were fought:

Stop 1 contains a half mile trail featuring outdoor exhibits, maps, and audio boxes to help visitors learn more about the opening attacks on Petersburg.

Stop 5 walking trail focuses on two separate desperate attacks which occurred on the same piece of land; the Charge of the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery Unit (June 18, 1864) and the Battle of Fort Stedman (March 25, 1865) which was General Robert E. Lee's last major offensive of the Civil War. Trail length: 2/3 mile.

Stop 8 is where the famous Battle of the Crater took place. The trail will take visitors to the location where the men of the 48th Pennsylvania began digging their 511' tunnel. Visitors can continue to walk the trail, reading wayside exhibits along the way as they make their way to the site where 4 tons of black powder exploded underneath 300 Confederate soldiers on the morning of July 30, 1864. The resulting crater is still very visible. Trail length: 3/4 mile

** Although trails are paved, there are areas where people in wheelchairs may have difficulty navigating slopes and rough areas. Please proceed with caution.

Eastern Front Unit - Nature Trails

There are approximately 10 miles of nature trails located within the Eastern Front Unit. The trails are suitable for hiking, running, and bicycling. For those who own their own horses, horseback riding is also allowed on the allotted trails. Trail maps are available at the Eastern Front Visitor Center and online.

Five Forks - Self Guided Tour
The Five Forks Battlefield Unit has a driving tour which included 5 stops with wayside exhibits. In addition to the auto tour stops, there is an 8 mile nature trail system within the unit. Like the Eastern Front trail system, the trails are suitable for hiking, running, bicycling and, in some cases, horseback riding.

General Grant's Headquarters Unit at City Point (Hopewell) - Self Guided Tour

Scattered around the Visitor Contact Station at the Grant's Headquarters Unit are a number of wayside exhibits focusing on the historic significance of City Point during the Siege of Petersburg. Visitors can walk to the cabin where General Ulysses S. Grant stayed during the siege, and can continue their walk to the James River waterfront area which served as the location of supply wharves during the siege.


Last updated: March 28, 2017

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Mailing Address:

Petersburg National Battlefield
1539 Hickory Hill Road

Petersburg, VA 23803


(804) 732-3531 x0

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