Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Manassas National Battlefield Park: Stone Bridge Trail


Date of Visit: June 18, 2017

The Stone Bridge Trail is one of the accessible trails (or at least partly accessible) at Manassas National Battlefield Park. It is also one of the stops on the driving tour, so it has a parking lot next to it.


The Stone Bridge Trail is a rather short trail that is mostly a paved path that goes up to the Stone Bridge. The trail is only considered accessible up to the bridge.


Right before the bridge there is a bump to go over and the bridge is not technically accessible due to the slope, but it's not that difficult to go across the bridge. The trails on the other side of the bridge are where it really is no longer accessible partly due to it being a stepped trail down. While not much of a trail, Mik still found it interesting to be able to check out the bridge.

Destination Info:
Manassas National Battlefield Park
Manassas, VA

Manassas National Battlefield Park: Henry Hill Loop Trail

Date of Visit: June 18, 2017

The park actually does have some wheelchair accessible trails, but we ended up not getting around to checking them out except Stone Bridge Trail because we wore Mik out doing the Henry Hill Loop Trail. I am glad we ventured out on this trail first, though, as it was an interesting overview of the battle and while not technically accessible it was quite doable (amazing what a difference the new wheelchair makes as it would've been hard to impossible with his last chair except maybe with the freewheel).


The Henry Hill Loop Trail focuses on the history of the Battle of First Manassas (Bull Run), which mostly took place around the hill. The trail is mostly through low grass, although some parts are more dirt and gravel and there are definitely uneven pothole parts.


The first main stop on the trail is the Henry House, which was destroyed during the battle and rebuilt after the war. There is an exhibit with a movie and history on the house inside, but it is a huge step to get inside that has a big rock as a step making it not really doable to get inside with Mik. If it has just been regular two or three steps, we might've taken Mik inside because once inside it seems you can easily roll through and he would've found it interesting.


Even not being able to go inside the house this part of the trail has several things to see as there is a family cemetery where the only civilian casualty of the battle is buried and an 1865 monument.


Most of the bad parts are past the Henry House as you loop over to the Southern line cannons. You could probably easily skip the worst parts of the loop, which included a steep hill down and right back up, and still get a feel for the whole trail if you went to the Henry House, back to the Visitor Center, and then over to the Jackson statue and Southern line instead of following the whole loop trail.


Following the loop we went past some of the Southern line marked with cannons and over to the Jackson statue that commemorates where he got the Stonewall nickname.


Destination Info:
Manassas National Battlefield Park
Manassas, VA

Manassas National Battlefield Park: Henry Hill Visitor Center


Date of Visit: June 18, 2017

For Father's Day, I wanted to do an outing with Dad and we were originally going to go without Mik to Shenandoah National Park since I've been wanting to do Ranger Dan photos there. When I was looking at the map to see if there were any other National Park units nearby to also do I was reminded that Manassas National Battlefield was close to us. It was also somewhere Mik was interested in visiting as long as it was accessible, which we found after a quick look at the Manassas National Battlefield Park website led us to their accessibility page that has good details on what areas of the park have wheelchair accessible parts.

As usual for a National Park, we started our visit at the Visitor Center. We were impressed with the parking layout here as it laid out so that the middle walkway up to the visitor center has handicap parking on both sides in every row. Thus, you have the opportunity to avoid taking a spot close to the building when all you need is the extra room for loading/unloading.

The visitor center is accessible via a ramp to the side of the entrance and the double doors have a button to open them automatically.


There is also a ramp from the back entrance to go out to the Henry Hill Loop Trail or just view the area from the patio if you don't want to trek out on the grassy trail. There is also a ramp on the back side accessed from around the front that leads down to the basement level where the bathrooms are located.

The visitor center has a small museum, a gift shop, and a theater. We didn't end up seeing the movie because it is shown on the hour and both before and after doing the Henry Hill Loop Trail we would've had to wait 20 to 30 minutes for it to start (and Mik wasn't sure about watching a 45 minute movie).

Destination Info:
Manassas National Battlefield Park
Manassas, VA

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