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Second Manassas: Conway Robinson Forest & Brawner Farm

Let’s take a hike on the 152nd anniversary of the Battle of Second Manassas!

The route: This is a two-part hike: Conway Robinson State Forest and  Brawner Farm.

• Conway Robinson State Forest. We’ll start at 9:40 am from the parking lot and hike clockwise along the Blue Trail. It’s 3.2 miles of smiles through a mixture of pine and old growth hardwood forest. The surface is dirt, relatively flat, and the hike should take only about an hour. After completing the Conway Forest hike, hikers will reembark and drive to the Brawner Farm parking area. To get there, exit the parking lot and turn left on US-29 N/Lee Hwy. At the next traffic light, turn left on Pageland Lane. Drive north on Pageland Lane and take the first right turn to enter Brawner Farm parking area.

• Brawner Farm. At Brawner Farm, we’ll meet Ranger Rick at 11:00 am for a ranger-led walking tour describing the fighting on August 28-29. The duration is about an hour, subject to questions, and will take us about halfway out on the Brawner Loop Trail; 1.3 miles total. The surface is paved from the parking area to the Brawner Farmhouse, and the loop trail is freshly mown.

After the ranger-led walking tour, there will be living history demonstrations at Brawner Farm, each lasting about 30 minutes: an infantry demonstration at 12:00 pm, and an artillery demonstration at 12:30 pm.

Finally, there is an lighted interpretive map inside the Brawner Farmhouse that provides a short overview of the battle.

Google map:

How to get there:

If you're hiking both parts: Your first stop will be at the Manassas National Battlefield Henry Hill Visitor’s Center at 6511 Sudley Road, Manassas, VA 20109, to purchase your $3 ticket. To get there from the I-495 Capital Beltway, travel west on I-66 to Exit 47B, Route 234 North (Sudley Road). Proceed through the first traffic light. The entrance to the Henry Hill Visitor’s Center is on the right, just past the Northern Virginia Community College. After purchasing your ticket, continue to the meetup location at Conway Robinson State Forest. Exit the Henry Hill Visitor's Center and turn right on VA-234N/Sudley Rd. Drive 0.5 miles north to US-29 S/Lee Hwy and turn left. Drive 3.4 miles along US-29 S/Lee Hwy to the traffic light at the intersection with University Blvd. Turn right to enter the Conway-Robinson Forest parking lot and park. 

If you're hiking Conway Robinson State Forest only: From the I-495 Capital Beltway (either direction), take Exit 49A to I-66 W, following signs for Front Royal. Drive 21.5 miles along I-66 W and take Exit 43B for US-29 N/Lee Hwy. Turn right onto US-29 N/Lee Hwy. At the first traffic light (University Blvd), turn left to enter the Conway Robinson State Forest parking lot and park.

• Sorry, this is not a Metro-accessible hike.

What to bring: Water, comfy shoes, and your furry friend if desired. (Leashes are required.) Sunscreen and insect repellent are recommended. As a reminder, this is a kids-free zone, no one under 18 years of age is permitted.

Cost: If you are doing both parts, a park pass is $3, payable at Henry Hill Visitor Center. There is no fee to hike Conway Robinson State Forest only.

Administrative stuff: Drinking fountains and restrooms are located at Brawner Farm parking area, 6660 Pageland Ln, Gainesville, VA. Hikers should stop by for pit stops as needed before, during, and after the hike.

After the hike: A wine tasting is available at the nearby Winery at Bull Run. To get there from the Stuart’s Hill Center park office, drive 4.1 miles back towards Manassas along US-29 N/Lee Hwy and turn left at the first gravel path past the Stone Bridge parking lot. The CapMac food truck will be on hand at the winery from 1:00 to 5:00 pm, serving their signature CapMac’n Cheese and other fare.


• Conway Robinson Forest, Lee Hwy/US-29 and University Blvd, Gainesville, VA:

• Manassas National Battlefield Park:

    Henry Hill Visitor’s Center, 6511 Sudley Road, Manassas, VA

    Brawner Farm Parking Area, 6660 Pageland Ln, Gainesville,

• Second Manassas at Civil War Trust:

• Battle of Brawner Farm:

• Winery at Bull Run, 15950 Lee Hwy, Manassas, VA:

• CapMac:

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  • Lori

    Jane, great meeting you! I thought of you as I toured a gold gilded ballroom this morning imagining us in hoop skirts and sporting dance cards! Ian, you rock! My friend is doing well and resting. Hope everyone enjoys the remainder of the lovely holiday weekend.

    2 · August 31, 2014

  • Jane

    A wonderful combination, beautiful day, plenty of great conversations, a quick lesson in first aid. John you keep on trucking. Lori, Martha, Vivian, and Tara there will be another day.

    1 · August 31, 2014

  • John M

    Extra thanks to Ian for his timely First Aid skills...

    2 · August 30, 2014

    • Ian B.

      Turns out I did tie the bandage correct.

      2 · August 31, 2014

  • Susan

    Great hike and another great day! Thank you John!

    1 · August 30, 2014

  • Lori

    I neglected to extend a warm thanks to Tara, Jane and others who kindly helped my friend. She appreciated your kindness. Have a great week!

    2 · August 30, 2014

  • John M

    Lots of fun, thanks!

    3 · August 30, 2014

  • Lori

    Thank you John and Ian for all your help and making my friend welcome! Hope everyone enjoyed the rest of the hike and demonstrations as well as the winery. Cheers! To my fun fellow hikers, "tomorrow is another day" and just say no to whalebone corsets!

    4 · August 30, 2014

  • Ellen C

    I am at Lee and 66. I think O lost.

    August 30, 2014

  • Dianne

    Running late. Never going to get to Manassas by 9.30. Have a great hike!

    August 30, 2014

  • Myrtle

    So sorry John - last minute emergency to deal with so have to drop out. Have a good time!

    August 30, 2014

  • Patricia Cabezas P.

    Anyone interested in carpooling from Alexandria?

    August 28, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Anyone carpooling from SW DC

    August 28, 2014

  • Caroline H.

    Sorry to miss this one. Will be out of town

    August 26, 2014

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