Bristow Station Battlefield / Brentsville Courthouse, VA Day Hikes

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We again had 2 short loops for this hike which occured on Saturday, October 6, 2018: The 2.7 mile Bristow Station Battlefield Heritage Park Loop Trail and the 1 mile Brentsville Courthouse Loop Trail. Participants were Mary Gordon and Mike Calabrese. In addition, Cub Scout Pack 1373, along with Cub Master Tim Young, 3 other parents and 4 cub scouts joined us for the Bristow Station Battlefield Heritage hike.

We met at the POPUMC parking lot and left at 8:00 AM as usual. We got to Bristow Station Battlefield Heritage Park around 8:20. We would be hiking the Bristow Battlefield Loop Trail. Waiting for us were 4 parents and 4 kids from Cub Scout Pack 1373 who would be joining us. 10 participants in this hike. That was a good number for a group hike.

We did a counterclockwise loop around the perimeter of this park. I had originally read that the trails here were 3.2 miles. But a sign in the parking lot said that the trails were 1.4 miles long, which seemed a bit short. virginia.org lists this hike as 2.7 miles long so I will change it to that length on our hike list.

We explored the Alabama Regiment Cemetery and did a large semi-circle around the southeast corner of the park. We then explored the rest of the main loop of BSBHP. The scouts were gathering trash along the way and were placing it in bags, a very good thing on their part. I'm amazed in that everytime that I come to this park, I see a number of improvements such as new signage, new boardwalks and generally good upkeep. Kudos to Prince William County Parks and Recreation for this.

The weather was overcast and misty at times but was generally very comfortable to hike in. The scouts, their parents, Mary and I all conversed along the way and had a nice time. We got done with this hike around 9:30 AM.

The scouts left us at this point. Then, Mary and I drove over to the Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre and proceeded to hike the 1 mile self guided nature trail behind the historic courthouse. It went past the restored Haislip-Hall House, Behind the recently renovated Brentsville Superette and then went down to an overlook built by an Eagle Scout on Broad Run. We paused there for awhile and took some pictures.

We then started a tough 400 foot up from Broad Run and back to our vehicle. We got done with this hike by around 10:00 AM and got back to POPUMC by around 10:15 AM. These were both very nice hikes. I can't wait until the next one!

Mike C

More Pictures


A Short History of Bristow Station Battlefield Heritage Park , VA
(From virginia.org)

Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park is a 140-acre historic site in western Prince William County. Here, Federal and Confederate soldiers fought the Battle of Kettle Run on August 27, 1862 and the Battle of Bristoe Station on October 14, 1863. This peaceful landscape features more than 2.7 miles of walking and equestrian trails. Wildlife abounds in the fields, woods, and ponds.

A quiet section of Prince William County for hundreds of years, during the American Civil War two battles and numerous troop encampments occurred at Bristoe Station. While small compared to other Civil War battles, the August, 1862 Battle of Kettle Run and the October, 1863 Battle of Bristoe Station produced hundreds of casualties that were felt from Minnesota to New York and from North Carolina to Louisiana. Evidence of people who occupied this land remains in the park's road traces, buildings, and cemeteries.

Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre
(From pwcgov.org)

What Happened Here?

Established on 50 acres in 1820, the Town of Brentsville became the fourth county seat of Prince William County. By 1820, many residents had moved farther west for better farm land and the old county seat (Dumfries) was too far east for the western residents to conveniently travel. The new town of Brentsville was centrally located in Prince William County, along the major east/west road, which led from the port of Dumfries to the Shenandoah Valley. Every type of county business occurred in this courthouse, civil and criminal cases alike, for the next 70 years. Finally, in 1893, the county seat moved to Manassas, which allowed Brentsville to retain much of its 19th century character.

What is Here Today?

The 28-acre Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre includes five historic buildings: 1822 courthouse, 1822 jail, 1880 church, 1850 farmhouse, and a one-room schoolhouse that served the young children of Brentsville from 1929 to 1944.


Sign on entrance kiosk
  Sign on entrance kiosk.
   By Mike Calabrese

Hikers gathering for the hike
  Hikers gathering for the hike.
   By Mike Calabrese

Historical marker at entrance   Historical marker at entrance.
   By Mike Calabrese

Pond at BSBHP, VA   Pond at BSBHP, VA.
   By Mike Calabrese

Plaque describing AL Regiment Cemetery
  Plaque describing AL Regiment Cemetery.
   By Mike Calabrese

But the sign says No Mowing...   But the sign says No Mowing....
   By Mike Calabrese

Hiking BSBHP, VA on a gray day
  Hiking BSBHP, VA on a gray day.
   By Mike Calabrese



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