Thursday, June 4, 2015

Highlights of Manassas National Battlefield Park

Sandwiched between the bustle of Washington, D.C. and the serenity of the Shenandoah Valley region of the Blue Ridge Mountains lies Manassas National Battlefield Park. 

The park, located in Northern Virginia, is the site where two prominent battles occurred during the Civil War. The first battle of Manassas, commonly known as the First Battle of Bull Run, took place on these fields on July 21, 1861, the Second Battle of Bull Run took place in August 1862.

Today, this national park commemorates these historical events in American History. The National Park Service (NPS) has done a great job preserving its history and integrity, despite being located in such a heavily populated region. 

Within the park's confines it's dignified and totally focused on history, although two major roads do cross through the park areas.

Manassas Battlefield Park as it looked in May 2015

Manassas Battlefield
Manassas Battlefield Park on a winter's day

The park itself spans several miles and you'll find a small museum, the monument of General "Stonewall" Jackson, Civil-war era cannons, and other historic landmarks, most notably, the Henry House and the Stone House. The fields are open and resemble the way they would have looked during the Civil War era.

Stone House at Manassas Battlefield Park
Exterior of Stone House at Manassas Battlefield Park

This building has an interesting history as it was a residential home for many decades but its historic roots also include having been a tavern. Inside Stone House, everything has been restored to the way it would have looked during the Civil War era. The second floor is usually off limits but is occasionally opened for visitors to see.
Stone House at Manassas Battlefield
Interior of Stone House

Other ways to see and/or learn more about the history at Manassas National Battlefield Park:

  • Several self-guided walking tours
  • Henry Hill tour (approximately a mile)
  • First Manassas tour (5-mile loop)
  • Second Manassas tour (also approximately 5 miles)
  • Walking and nature trails
  • Park ranger-guided hikes or tours
  • Park ranger talks
  • Self-guided driving tour (16 miles, you can get a map at the Visitor's Center)

Other highlights to see in the park's boundaries include the Stone Bridge, Unfinished Railroad, Chinn Ridge, and Brawner Farm.

When planning a visit, it's a good idea to check with NPS schedules to determine what time each building closes. 

[Related reading: Civil War battlefields in Virginia]


  1. I used to ride my horse through the park and it was really neat. Growing up, we always called it "The war between the States". Its a beautiful area. Unfortunately, DC sprawl has made it way as far out as Rt 15.

    1. Just drove through Route 15 this weekend - every time I am out there on any highway, seems there is more and more construction in Loudoun going on.

      Must have been nice growing up in this area when it was mostly farmland. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!