Outdoor Activities

Spring Beauty
Spring Beauty

NPS - Sylvia Madaras

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: January 23, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Petersburg National Battlefield Administration Office
1539 Hickory Hill Road

Petersburg, VA 23803


(804) 732-3531 x0

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