The Bull Run Mountains are truly a breath of fresh air less than an hour from Washington DC. Located in the Northern Virginia county of Prince William and Manassas, a county with deep Civil War roots and ties to great moments in American history, the Bull Run Mountains offer a peaceful and physically exciting way to further learn about this area of our country.

Besides easy to navigate trails, the Bull Run Mountains Conservatory offers educational programs for kids and adults to learn more about the environment, nature, history and ecosystem of the area.

“We need the tonic of wildness… At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because of the unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”- Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods

Rated very high by several hiking guides, including a 5 out of 5 rating by, there are hiking trails for every fitness level. If you’re really looking for a work out and want to get to the beautiful overlook- consider a more moderate, longer, 6.5 miles trail, to the top.

Here are some of our favorite parts and can’t miss spots when visiting the preserve’s 2486 acres that make up the mountains and the Bull Run Mountains Conservancy.  

1.) Fantastically marked trails to are easy to navigate.

2.) Free Events that are open to the public

3.) Free, easy parking

4.) Make sure to hike to see the 180 degree views from the Highest Peak- Signal Mountain is 1,369 feet

Experience the mountains through unique, one of a kind guided tours of the area. Here’s our favorite guided tours:

5.) Hike with a Naturalist- Learn exactly what you’re hiking around during this event. (First Wednesday of every month)

6.) Trail Work Saturdays- learn more about the mountains and trails by attending this unique guided workshop to help improve the trails. You’ll learn about the mountains from your guide and learn about how to preserve and care for the trails and the environment.

7.) Woodcock Flights- don’t miss an exciting opportunity to witness Woodcock’s spring flights and a courtship ritual. 

8.) Visit the Chapman’s Mill. Really well preserved and restored, this mill gives visitors the ability to be transported back in time and see what life was like then. (Unable to be visited by the trails, you’ll need to move your car to visit this spot at the Conservancy.)