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Bull Run Mountain Conservatory

Uncrowded, tons of buildings to explore, and yes a Civil War Trail too!
Rating: 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 6.5 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly

Overview :  Chapman's mill and small office building located right next door, follow the fence by the parking lot along the railroad tracks to... more »

Tips:  You are required to fill out a liability waiver to take this hike at the trailhead.

Do not enter private property, it is well marked ... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Small Office House

Small office house with interior next to chapmans mill. You access this by driving down road next to rail (big fence by parking lot), but you can't explore this from within the park trail.

2. Civil war rail checkpoint

This is the remains of a civil war checkpoint, not much left standing...but this is the structure that makes it a civil ware trail, you will see the civil war trail marker near here.

3. Ice Hole

This is an ice hole used to store ice back in the old days, so yes this structure goes along with the civil war era rail checkpoint which is down the hill a small ways.

Continue on for more buildings down the trail. Ifgoing clockwise then you will soon be headed up the hill to the ridgeline.

4. Chapman's Mill

This is chapman's mill, lots of great things to see inside this building! there is also 3 other buildings nearby. You access this by driving down road next to rail (big fence by parking lot), and you can't explore this from within the park trail.

The mill has been reinforced very nicely with beams and bolts in the right places... it is totally... More

5. Building Remains

Here you will find the remains of an unnamed building. There are lots of artifacts in this building.

6. Rock View

The ridgeline has small trails leading to the rocks to look over the ridge, but you may not see much since it is heavily forested!

The route back down in the clockwise direction is all downhill now.

7. Private Property

The gate marks private property, you should turn back here.

8. Trail View

Easy slope down the hill, a little loose gravel. nice views looking down the path. a small stream on your lefthand side.

9. Water Crossing

Small water crossing, one of two depending on which path you choose, easy stepping on rocks. Throw another rock in if you need too, no need to get wet.

10. Old Cabin Homestead

Old cabin homestead, history unknown. There is some machinery down at the intersection which brought you here, about 100 feet away in view.

The floor boards are rotting through so be careful going into it (i always look for hives and such in old houses...happened one time).

11. Machinery Remains

Machinery remains, looks like an old tractor.

12. Trail View

trail view heading to the east. leisurely stroll. continue on to last intersection then you will turn south the complete the loop to the main road and the farther parking lot (not at the trail head). you have to walk back on the road west to get back to the trailhead.

13. Possible Homestead

Possibly the base of another homestead off the trail, did not explore it further, but its common that log and timber homes were built on a rock base and this could be an example of one. have seen many types of buildings on this conservatory from civil war era to 50's.

Continue sough to the evergreen forest area, that means you are getting close... More