Friday, October 08, 2010
Bull Run/Occoquan Trail
It is a truly amazing resource in the heart of Northern Virginia the end points are Fountainhead Regional Park and Bull Run Regional Park, with Bull Run Marina and Hemlock Regional Parks in the middle. At 18 miles it is perfect for a serious day hike, and a good day hike alternative to those that are thinking about a day hike on the Appalachian Trail. The AT is fantastic, but this is closer for many people and just as nice in many ways.
The trail runs along the river and in some areas you are in low areas next the bank and in other areas the trail is along high bluffs. The area around Hemlock Overlook Regional Park is perhaps the most beautiful with its stunning rock outcroppings.
Hiking this trail is literally walking in the footsteps of history. Between Fountainhead and Bull Run Marina is the point where the armies of Washington and Rochambeau crossed the Occoquan River on their way to Yorktown in 1781, to bring the Revolutionary War to an end. Rochambeau was the General in charge of the French troops that were critical to the success at Yorktown. For more information on this chapter in history see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington%E2%80%93Rochambeau_Revolutionary_Route
In this section of the trail we also saw many small groups of people walking briskly along the trail for a few miles to get their exercise.
There is also great wildlife to be seen along this nature trail, and a varied environment.
Today with sore feet and great memories, I would highly encourage anyone to start early in the morning and make a day of exporting the hidden natural and historic resources of the "blue trial."