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The Bull Run Occoquan Trail meanders through a sea of bluebells.

Mark VanDyke

High Water Course

Here is information about one of the course options we would use if high water or excessive mud precludes us from going to the upstream Bluebell Loop in Bull Run Regional Park. Even this course may not be usable in all situations. It is the course we used in 2005 and again for the 25th anniversary Bull Run Run in 2017.

Aid Station Split Cumulative Crew access Dropbags Cutoff Map
1. Centreville Road 8.0 mi 8.0 mi
Cub Run (no aid) 1.0 mi 9.0 mi
2. Centreville Road 1.0 mi 10.0 mi
3. Hemlock Overlook 5.1 mi 15.1 mi
4. Bull Run Marina 4.3 mi 19.4 mi
5. Wolf Run Shoals 4.2 mi 23.6 mi
6. Fountainhead 2.8 mi 26.4 mi 1:30 pm
7. Do Loop – In 4.0 mi 30.4 mi
8. Do Loop – Out 2.6 mi 33.0 mi
9. Fountainhead 2.4 mi 37.0 mi 4:15 pm
10. Wolf Run Shoals 2.7 mi 39.7 mi
11. Bull Run Marina 4.2 mi 43.9 mi 6:00 pm
Finish 5.4 mi 49.3 mi 7:30 pm


  • The start and first seven miles will essentially be “normal” with one small difference. You will take two laps around Hemlock Overlook and then go down to the river on the horse trail, rather than the single loop that you do in a “normal” year. The course then goes to Centreville Road as it always does.
  • The course will go past Centreville Road for one mile to, but not across, Cub Run.
  • Back from Centreville Road to Hemlock will be “normal.” There will be no alteration of how the course goes through Hemlock.
  • Leaving Hemlock in the downstream direction will be “normal” until you complete the Do Loop and return to Fountainhead.
  • On your way back to Fountainhead you will do the White Loop a second time before you arrive at the aid station.
  • From Fountainhead, you go straight back as usual to the finish.
Runners crossing Popes Head Creek during the early miles of the 2019 BRR
While Popes Head Creek was high, we still used the regular course in 2019. The high-water course is only used if the stream crossings are dangerous. Wet or dry, you can expect to get your feet wet at the Bull Run Run.

Last updated November 11, 2020