24 March 2008

Trail Running: Manassas Bull Run

One area where my and Mike's workout interests overlap is trail running. We've been trying to spend nice Sunday mornings exploring local trails. Yesterday we ran the 5.3-mile First Manassas Trail at the Manassas National Battlefield Park. The trail circles a good portion of the field and woods where the Civil War's First Battle of Bull Run took place. It was pretty cool to be outside in the sunshine, running, and learning some history. It took us a long time because we kept stopping to read historical markers and look at deer and just enjoy the nature and history. We weren't there to be speedy; we were there to have fun.

The trail is pretty flat. I remember only two real hills, and they weren't that big. They're historical, so you can pretend to be a soldier charging up. Most of the trail is along open fields, so sun protection is a must. When the trail gets close to the actual Bull Run, it gets a little muddy and squishy, so be careful if you're there after it rains. There are some benches and even a picnic table or two, so you could have a very nice day of walking or running and lunch.

There's a small visitor's center with an interactive battlefield map, a book store, and restrooms. The park entry fee is $3 per adult for a 3-day pass.

I found this great map at HikingUpward.com, which is where I learned about this Manassas trail. Hovering over a number will bring up the trail name and a brief description. Clicking on a number will bring you to a new page with more detailed information.

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