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Broad Run in Prince William County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve

Virginia Outdoors Foundation

 
 
Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, January 2, 2021
1. Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve Marker
Inscription.  
About the Preserve
A Living Laboratory
The Bull Run Mountains are the easternmost mountains in Virginia. The Virginia Outdoors Foundation's Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve is approximately 2,350 acres that serve as a living laboratory that sits in the backyard of our nation's capital. The preserve contains 10 different plant community types and a plethora of regionally uncommon and threatened plant and animal species. In 2002, this land was dedicated by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation as a natural area preserve to protect the unique ecosystems found here. As the owner and manager of the preserve, the Virginia Outdoors Foundation is committed to protecting these special ecosystems and sharing them with the public through managed access.

Science-Based
The Bull Run Mountains was an early hotbed of scientific activity, and the Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve continues to serve as an important site for scientific research. The permanent protection that a natural area preserve designation provides creates a relatively stable environment nestled in a

Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, January 2, 2021
2. Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve Marker
dynamically changing area with ever-increasing anthropogenic pressures. As a result, the preserve is a fantastic place for long-term research and amassing large datasets. VOF staff continuously pursue research objectives and actively encourage and facilitate the research of outside organizations and institutions. The scientific potential is limitless.

Data-Driven
Data of various types is actively collected by VOF staff and preserve volunteers, including data about plant and animal species, public visitation, and trail use. This data is crucial in making informed objective decisions. Our data-driven approach is critical for our ability to effectively balance public use with our obligation to preserve a healthy, natural ecosystem.

Outreach-Focused
With three different sections and focuses, the preserve is an active and dynamic resource. We host K-12 school groups, university students, and researchers throughout the week. Although the South Section is the only site that is open on weekends to the public without a permit, the entire preserve is actively utilized as a living laboratory, outdoor classroom, and open-air museum. Jackson Hollow and the North Section, which are accessible by permit only, serve as the engine that drives our scientific mission. Jackson Hollow houses our research station and is the home of our

Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, January 2, 2021
3. Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve Marker
stream restoration area and brook trout release sites. The North Section hosts many VOF-led organized educational programs and research activities. All research and discoveries made at the preserve are incorporated into our public educational programs and outreach materials.

About Virginia Outdoors Foundation
The Virginia Outdoors Foundation (VOF) was created in 1966 by the Virginia legislature "to promote the preservation of open-space lands and to encourage private gifts of money, securities, land or other property to preserve the natural, scenic, historic, scientific, open-space, and recreational areas of the Commonwealth."

VOF acquired its first parcels in the Bull Run Mountains in 1979. Today, it owns and manages 2,350 acres spread across three sections: the Northern Section, and Jackson Hollow. In 2002, the entire property was designated by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation as a Natural Area Preserve, dedicated to protecting the special plants and animals found here.

Fern Hollow Loop
Moderate — 3.4 miles
Passing through several plant communities, this trail provides an opportunity to delve into the varying natural habitat types that are found within the preserve—from the mountain laurel-covered ridges to the beautiful low-lying

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seeps, including the locally treasured section of habitat known as Fern Hollow. This trail is dotted with a myriad of historic features—including the upper mill and meadowlands ruins, ice house structure, Corum House, and LJ cemetery. The western portion of this trail also offers a beautiful view of the Chapman Mill and Thoroughfare Gap and provides a glimpse into the face of the natural quarry line that served as an entrenchment during the American Civil War.

Dawson's Trail
Easy to Moderate — 1.75 miles
Traveling by historic cemeteries from two different families who called this mountain home—one being the Dawson family, the other being the Chapman family (the owners of the nearby mill). You will also pass over the natural quarry entrenchment—providing the opportunity for a closer look at this famed geological feature of historical note. The western portion of this trail also brings you through a hickory- and chestnut-dominated ridge, this unique ecological community supports a scrubby huckleberry and lowbush blueberry underbrush.

Beech Ridge Loop
Easy — 1.35 miles
Winding around this gently sloped ridge that is now populated with a young forest comprised of beech and oak, you wouldn't know that it was historically dominated by the now endangered

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American chestnut tree. Today, this young forest is a great place to spy a family of white-tailed deer or hear the knocks of one of our native woodpeckers. This gentle trail has minimal changes in elevation and is a great loop for those seeking a shorter, relaxed excursion.
 
Erected by Virginia Outdoors Foundation.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AnimalsEnvironmentParks & Recreational AreasScience & Medicine.
 
Location. 38° 49.487′ N, 77° 42.383′ W. Marker is in Broad Run, Virginia, in Prince William County. Marker is on Beverley Mill Drive 0.8 miles west of Wheeler Lane, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 17502 Beverley Mill Dr, Broad Run VA 20137, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Chapman's Mill (within shouting distance of this marker); Campaign of Second Manassas (approx. ¼ mile away); Thoroughfare Gap (approx. ¼ mile away); a different marker also named Thoroughfare Gap (approx. ¼ mile away); Heflin's Store (approx. 1.4 miles away); Free People Of Color At Thoroughfare (approx. 1.6 miles away); The Thoroughfare Colored / North Fork School (approx. 1.8 miles away); Water Fowl And Their Habitat (approx. 1.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Broad Run.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. This marker has replaced the linked marker which had different content.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 2, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 2, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 47 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 2, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
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Mar. 7, 2021