Please note that Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve and all of the hiking trails within are TEMPORARILY CLOSED due to the COVID-19 pandemic
The Preserve is open FRIDAY - SUNDAY year-round.
March 16th – November 14th
8:00am – 6:00pm
November 15th – March 15th
8:00am – 4:30pm
For more information, contact Virginia Outdoors Foundation Preserve Staff at: 571-260-5200
This trail is known as the Dawson's Trail, blazed red.
Traveling by historic cemeteries from two different families who called this mountain home—
one being the Dawson family, the other being the Chapman family (the owners of the nearby
mill). You'll also pass over the natural quarry entrenchment—providing the opportunity for a
closer look at this famed geological feature of historical note. The western portion of this trail
also brings you through a hickory- and chestnut oak-dominated ridge, this unique ecological
community supports a scrubby huckleberry and lowbush blueberry underbrush.
From the parking lot cross the railroad tracks and head right. Follow the red metal trail markers for the Red Trail
. The trail is a fun rolling trail through dense woods, bringing with it all the woods have to offer: deer, squirrels, tons of birds, snakes, and possibly bears.
The trail is coincident with the Green Trail for about 0.4 miles. Shortly after the Green Trail heads off to the east, the trail will intersects with the Brown Trail which can be used as a short-cut, cutting off the back end of the Red Trail
loop if desired. Otherwise, stay on the Red Trail
to come to a lovely spot with memorial benches next to a small stream.
After the stream the trail very briefly joins the Green Trail again before heading back south. It makes its steepest climb, but nothing strenuous, and once again intersects the Brown Trail. As you come down towards the end the Red Trail
ends at the Green Trail. Take a left onto the Green Trail to head east back to the Red/Green junction and turn right to return to the parking lot.
White-tailed deer, opossum, raccoons, bobcat, foxes, squirrels, voles and field mice, as well as raven, timber rattlesnakes, butterflies and moths.