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Bull Run-Occoquan Trail, VA (Eastern Half)

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This hike occurred on June 12, 1996 along the eastern half of the 17.5 mile Bull Run-Occoquan Trail. This trail parallels Bull Run Creek and then the Occoquan River along the border of Prince William and Fairfax Counties, VA. Participants were Mike Calabrese, Jerry Robey, Bill Isham and Doug Knowles. We all met at Hemlock Overlook , which is about the half way point on this trail, at 9am and shuttled my car back to Fountainhead Regional Park, which is the eastern terminus of this trail. We planned to hike west back to Hemlock.

The weather was overcast and humid. We sweated a lot but the scenery was

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About 26 years later I would return to the eastern terminus of the BROT to explore then nearby Blue Blazed Equestrian / Pedestrian Trail.

very nice and the elevation changes minimal. We saw alot of old family cemetaries in the middle of nowhere. Some of the names on the tombstones were familiar today to those who live in northern Virginia. Names like Braddock and Burke, to name a few.

When we got to Bull Run Marina it started raining and thundering very badly. We stayed under the canopy of the concession stand and talked to the caretaker there until the storm passed. The caretaker was telling us about the relationship of George Mason University to the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority and, specifically, Bull Run Marina and Fountain Head Regional Park. This guy had hiked the AT and the Pacific Crest Trail, which we found very impressive.

The storm passed in about half an hour so we continued our journey to Hemlock Overlook and the end of the hike. We took a shortcut back to the car. I wasn't sure if we were on the right trail or not. The rest of the group was about to mutiny when we saw the cars. Whew! Saved by the bell.

We plan to do the remaining 7 miles of this trail on September 22nd after

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camping out at Bull Run Regional Park the night before and heading east to Hemlock Overlook. All are welcome to join us. This is a nice trail to hike in sections.

Mike C

09-18-2022 Edit- All these years and I wasn't sure but I believe the guy that we met at the Yates Ford Marina Concession Stand that day was Warren Doyle. This guy is recognized as having hiked the Appalachian Trail more times than anyone else. He was involved for a short time with a joint project between GMU and NOVA Parks. I ran across his name in log books at numerous AT shelters over the years.

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