If you’re looking for somewhere that’s just a bit off of the beaten path of the regular tourist areas to take a peaceful walk and enjoy the beautiful spring weather, you should check out the Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park located at the corner of Iron Brigade Unit Avenue and Tenth Alabama Way in Bristow, VA. While Bristoe Station is not nearly as famous as the nearby Manassas National Battlefield Park, it’s also not nearly as large or crowded. This historic site covers 140 acres in a quiet corner of Bristow and has more than 2.7 miles of walking and equestrian trails leading you through fields and woods and past peaceful ponds. Dogs are welcome on the trails as well as long as they are kept on a leash.
This historic site is famous for two Civil War battles that occurred here – The Battle of Kettle Run in 1862 and the Battle of Bristoe Station in 1863 – as well as for numerous troop encampments during the Civil War. This area was used as an encampment by so many due to its proximity to the railroad and a nearby water supply. This park has many reminders of these battles and encampments including the remains of buildings, cannons, split rail fences, cemeteries, and numerous historical markers.
Some of the interesting things you will find in the Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park include a replica of a winter hut used by soldiers from Pennsylvania during the winter of 1863-1864, the remains of the John Brawner house site from 1870, and canons and split rail fences. The trails can be muddy at times so be prepared, but they do provide a very enjoyable walk through the woods and fields of this beautiful area. Wildlife abounds in the fields, woods, and ponds. There is plenty of parking in the lot just behind the New Bristow Village neighborhood and all of the conveniences of modern life – restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, etc. – are just a stone’s throw away. Starting in May and running through October, guided tours will resume on the 2nd and 4th weekends of each month at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm. So if you are looking for a quiet place to enjoy nature and learn something about this area’s Civil War heritage, take a trip to the Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park and do some exploring.