Manassas Battlefield National Park in Virginia are primary interpretive themes and all interpretive media in the park focus upon these stories. However, the park is becoming more significant as a natural resource because it is located in an increasingly urban environment. The 4,400 acres protected at Manassas are a significant, undeveloped green space near large population centers.
The park provides easy access for educational groups and is an ideal location from which to study natural processes and to enjoy nature and being outside. The Brownsville picnic area is located in the south western portion of the park and has a large parking lot, accessible restroom facilities, and a covered pavilion with accessible picnic tables, and a 1/4 mile wheelchair accessible natural resource education trail. This trail is a gently rolling hard surface loop trail that leaves from the pavilion and restrooms, though fields and near a stream, past a small pond with an wheelchair accessible dock, and back to the pavilion.
In addition, we have recently established a “Track Trail” location at this picnic area. Working together with partners throughout the community, the mission of Track Trails and Kids in Parks (kidsinparks.com) is to promote children’s health and the health of our parks by increasing physical activity and engaging families in outdoor adventures that foster a meaningful connection to the natural and cultural world. The focus at the Brownsville trail is to educate children and family about making better backyard habitat for wildlife. There is a brochure and series of waysides that instruct people on how they can accomplish this in their own backyard with examples along the trail.
We have also recently improved a trail on the far eastern edge of the park allowing for access to a wayside and view of our historic stone bridge. Be sure to visit that site as well to learn about the civil war history at that location!!