Auto Tour Stop #12: Stone Bridge

Stone Bridge with snow on it and the banks of Bull Run
The Stone Bridge following a snow in 2021

NPS Photo

Quick Facts
Manassas, VA
Major road of transportation for both the Union and Confederate forces
National Park, National Register of Historic Places, National Historic Landmark

Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Information Kiosk/Bulletin Board, Parking - Auto, Scenic View/Photo Spot, Trailhead

The Fauquier and Alexandria Turnpike bridge over Bull Run, known simply as "the Stone Bridge," was originally built in 1825. Its ability to carry traffic across the steep sided stream even at times of high water gave the Stone Bridge a key role during the Civil War.

The first shots of the First Battle of Manassas, fired by Union artillery on the ridge to the east, flew over the bridge but there was little more than heavy skirmishing in its vicinity on July 21, 1861. On March 9, 1862, when the Confederate army evacuated their winter camps in Centreville and Manassas, the Stone Bridge was blown up, to prevent its use by the Union forces that soon occupied the area.

Union Army engineers eventually constructed a temporary wooden span across Bull Run using the remaining bridge abutments. After suffering another costly defeat at Second Manassas (August 28-30 1862) Union forces used the bridge as their primary line of retreat. In the early hours of August 31, the bridge was destroyed by the Union Army. 

By 1884, the Stone Bridge was fully rebuilt. The new bridge, very similar to the original bridge, remained open to traffic until 1926. In that year the road was realigned and a modern highway bridge constructed just downstream. The National Park Service acquired the Stone Bridge in 1959.

While you're here...

Hike the Stone Bridge Trail

From the parking lot, take this 1.3 mile loop trail for picturesque views of Bull Run and displays of wildflowers in the spring and colorful foliage in the fall. This trail winds its way up to the heights above Bull Run. Along the way, you will pass interpretive panels at points of importance at First Manassas. 


Hike the First Manassas Trail

The Stone Bridge parking lot is one of the starting points for the 5.5 mile First Manassas Trail which takes you to key locations in the Battle of First Manassas. 

Manassas National Battlefield Park

Last updated: November 1, 2022