First Hike Of The Year: Manassas National Battlefield

Near the end of our first hike of the year. My hubby wanted a photo of me but I suspect he wanted a bit of a rest. As for me, I wanted to go another 5 miles.

Near the end of our first hike of the year. My hubby wanted a photo of me but I suspect he wanted a bit of a rest. As for me, I wanted to go another 5 miles…I settled for yard work after the hike.

My hubby recently started back up at the gym. I’m so happy he’s jump-starting his weight loss and fitness goals. As part of his new routine, we went on our first hike of 2015:  Manassas National Battlefield. The park is just a couple of miles from our humble, little love shack. Besides learning about history, the park offers a perfect hike to toughen up his tender feet.

Working Up A Sweat On The Trail
I love hiking. Not only does it get me outdoors, it’s a great exercise without the cost or noise of a gym. Yes, I love my gym. But with hiking you get a full body workout. Sharp inclines, scrambling over rocks, carrying a pack, river crossings – you work every muscle, test your balance and get your heart rate up.

If you’re into burning calories, it’s easy with hiking. I typically burn 600 calories during an hour spin class. For the hour Manassas hike, it was 1300+ calories. Awesome!

Most importantly, being outdoors helps me relax. No stress or tension…it just melts away on the trail. Hiking always helps me hit the mental reset button.

The rolling plains of Manassas National Battlefield Park, home of 2 major civil war battles.

The rolling plains of Manassas National Battlefield Park, home of 2 major civil war battles. A lovely little hike close to home.

Hiking The Battlefield
Steeped in history, Manassas is the site of two major civil war battles – the first and second battles of Bull Run. The park itself has about 40 trails, all of which pass historic points of interest during those two battles, including the spot where confederate General Thomas Jackson got his famous nickname ‘Stonewall.’

The park has 2 main loops. We opted for the 5-mile blue-blazed trail. The trail took us through rolling plains, wooded areas, passing lots of cannons and two buildings – Stone House (a Union hospital during the battles) and the Henry House (where the only civilian was killed during the first battle of Bull Run).

Getting close to history...one of several cannons showing the positions of the Union and Confederate armies during the First Battle of Bull Run.

Getting close to history…one of several cannons showing the positions of the Union and Confederate armies during the First Battle of Bull Run.

While my poor husband’s feet started blistering, near the end he asked if we could reserve Sundays for hiking. Sweet! That sounds like a new fitness challenge to me.

Next weekend he wants to attempt Raven Rocks. But depending on his feet, I’m thinking we may want to do Manassas’ other large loop trail. We’ll see.

If the weather holds, we’re strapping our hiking boots back on for another great workout this weekend.

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