Warrenton Branch Greenway In Virginia

Here is everything you need to know about the Warrenton Branch Greenway:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Virginia
  • Length: 1.5 miles.
  • Type: Multi-use.
  • Surface: paved
  • Managed By: Town of Warrenton
  • Permit Required?: Yes
  • Website: https://www.novaparks.com/parks/washington-and-old-dominion-railroad-regional-park

The Warrenton Branch Greenway, located in Fauquier County, Virginia, has a rich historical background that dates back to the early 19th century. The greenway follows the path of the former Warrenton Branch of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, which played a significant role in the region’s transportation and economic development.

The railroad was constructed in 1852 and connected the town of Warrenton to the mainline of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad in Bristoe Station. This branch line served as a vital link for transporting goods, primarily agricultural products, between Warrenton and other major cities like Alexandria and Washington, D.C. The railroad facilitated the growth of Warrenton as a commercial center and contributed to the prosperity of the surrounding communities.

During the American Civil War, the Warrenton Branch Railroad witnessed several significant events. In 1861, Confederate forces destroyed a bridge along the line to impede Union troops’ advance towards Manassas Junction. The railroad also played a role in the First Battle of Bull Run (Manassas), as both Union and Confederate forces utilized the line for troop movements and supplies. Throughout the war, the railroad suffered extensive damage due to military actions and was subsequently repaired multiple times.

After the Civil War, the Warrenton Branch Railroad continued to serve the region’s transportation needs until the early 20th century. However, with the rise of automobiles and the decline of rail travel, the line gradually lost its significance. In the 1960s, the railroad tracks were removed, and the right-of-way was abandoned.

Recognizing the historical importance of the Warrenton Branch Railroad, efforts were made to repurpose the abandoned rail corridor into a recreational trail. In the late 1990s, the Warrenton Branch Greenway was established, transforming the former railroad bed into a scenic pathway for walkers, joggers, and cyclists. Today, the greenway not only provides a picturesque route for outdoor enthusiasts but also serves as a reminder of the region’s transportation heritage and the role the railroad played in its development.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Warrenton Branch Greenway Trailhead: This is the main access point for the Warrenton Branch Greenway and is located at the intersection of Walker Drive and Keith Hills Road in Warrenton, North Carolina.

2. Warrenton Branch Greenway – North Trailhead: This trailhead is located at the northern end of the greenway, near the intersection of US-401 and NC-58 in Warrenton. It provides access to the greenway for those coming from the north.

3. Warrenton Branch Greenway – South Trailhead: This trailhead is located at the southern end of the greenway, near the intersection of US-401 and NC-58 in Warrenton. It provides access to the greenway for those coming from the south.

4. Warrenton Branch Greenway – Middle Trailhead: This trailhead is located in the middle section of the greenway, near the intersection of NC-58 and NC-158 in Warrenton. It provides access to the greenway for those coming from the middle section of the town.

5. Warrenton Branch Greenway – East Trailhead: This trailhead is located on the eastern side of the greenway, near the intersection of NC-158 and NC-58 in Warrenton. It provides access to the greenway for those coming from the eastern part of the town.

6. Warrenton Branch Greenway – West Trailhead: This trailhead is located on the western side of the greenway, near the intersection of NC-158 and NC-58 in Warrenton. It provides access to the greenway for those coming from the western part of the town.

These are some of the major access points or trailheads along the Warrenton Branch Greenway. There may be additional smaller access points or trailheads along the greenway as well.

Transportation Available

1. Warrenton Greenway Shuttle – Shuttle service providing convenient transportation along the Warrenton Branch Greenway.
2. Warrenton Trolley – Trolley service offering a fun and scenic way to explore the Warrenton area.
3. Warrenton Bike Share – Bike rental service for easy and eco-friendly transportation on the Warrenton Branch Greenway.
4. Warrenton Car Service – Reliable car service for private transportation needs in and around the Warrenton Branch Greenway.
5. Warrenton Taxi – Traditional taxi service available for quick and convenient transportation in the Warrenton area.


The amenities available at the Warrenton Branch Greenway may include:

1. Restrooms: Public restroom facilities may be available along the greenway for visitors’ convenience.

2. Parking: There may be designated parking areas or parking lots provided for visitors to park their vehicles while using the greenway.

3. Camping Sites: Depending on the greenway’s regulations and facilities, there might be designated camping sites or areas where visitors can set up tents or camp overnight.

4. Picnic Areas: There may be designated picnic areas along the greenway, equipped with picnic tables, benches, and possibly grills for visitors to enjoy outdoor meals and gatherings.

5. Trails: The greenway may offer various trails for walking, jogging, or biking, providing opportunities for exercise and outdoor recreation.

6. Playgrounds: Some sections of the greenway might have playgrounds or play areas for children to enjoy.

7. Dog-Friendly Areas: There could be designated areas along the greenway where visitors can walk their dogs or let them off-leash, provided they follow any leash laws or regulations.

8. Water Fountains: Public water fountains may be available along the greenway for visitors to stay hydrated.

9. Bike Rental: Depending on the greenway’s facilities, there might be bike rental services available for visitors who don’t have their own bicycles.

10. Information Kiosks: Informational kiosks or boards may be placed along the greenway, providing maps, trail information, and other useful details for visitors.

Please note that the availability of these amenities may vary, and it is recommended to check with the local authorities or official website of the Warrenton Branch Greenway for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Nearby Services

1. Hotel Warrenton – Convenient lodging option near the Warrenton Branch Greenway.
2. Warrenton Diner – Local eatery offering a variety of food options.
3. Warrenton Fire Department – Emergency services available in case of any fire-related incidents.
4. Warrenton Police Department – Emergency services available for law enforcement matters.
5. Warrenton Urgent Care – Medical services for non-life-threatening emergencies.
6. Warrenton Veterinary Clinic – Veterinary services for any pet emergencies.
7. Warrenton Pharmacy – Pharmacy services for any medication needs.
8. Warrenton Grocery Store – Nearby grocery store for any food or supply needs.
9. Warrenton Gas Station – Convenient fuel station for any emergency fuel needs.
10. Warrenton Post Office – Postal services available for any mailing or shipping needs.

Warrenton Branch Greenway Difficulty Notes

The Warrenton Branch Greenway offers a moderate difficulty level for outdoor enthusiasts. The trail spans approximately 4.5 miles, providing a scenic and enjoyable experience for walkers, runners, and cyclists. With a mostly flat terrain and well-maintained paths, it is accessible for people of various fitness levels. However, there are a few sections with slight inclines and uneven surfaces, which may pose a challenge for some individuals. Overall, the Warrenton Branch Greenway strikes a balance between being accessible for beginners and providing a satisfying workout for more experienced users.

Features And Attractions

The Warrenton Branch Greenway is a scenic trail located in Warrenton, Virginia. While there may be additional points of interest along the trail, here are some notable scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks that you can find along the Warrenton Branch Greenway:

1. Warrenton Branch Greenway Trailhead: The starting point of the trail, offering a peaceful and serene environment.

2. Old Town Warrenton: As you walk along the trail, you can explore the historic district of Old Town Warrenton, which features charming shops, restaurants, and historic buildings.

3. Warrenton Aqueduct: This historic site is a remnant of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, which was used for transportation in the 19th century. The aqueduct is a picturesque spot for photography.

4. Rady Park: Located along the trail, Rady Park offers a beautiful green space with picnic areas, playgrounds, and sports fields.

5. Warrenton Cemetery: A historic cemetery that dates back to the 19th century, featuring unique gravestones and a peaceful atmosphere.

6. Fauquier History Museum at the Old Jail: Situated near the trail, this museum is housed in a former jail and showcases the history of Fauquier County.

7. Warrenton Reservoir: A scenic water body located near the trail, offering opportunities for fishing, birdwatching, and peaceful walks.

8. Natural Landscapes: The Warrenton Branch Greenway passes through various natural landscapes, including wooded areas, open fields, and wetlands, providing a diverse and scenic experience.

Please note that the availability and condition of these points of interest may vary, so it’s always a good idea to check for any updates or closures before visiting.

Usage Guidelines

– Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
– Owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets.
– Bicycles and other non-motorized vehicles are allowed on the trail.
– Motorized vehicles are not permitted on the greenway.
– The greenway is open year-round, but certain sections may be closed during maintenance or construction.
– Camping or overnight stays are not allowed on the greenway.
– Fires and open flames are prohibited.
– Littering is strictly prohibited.
– Hunting or trapping is not allowed on the greenway.
– Fishing is allowed in designated areas, following state fishing regulations.
– Swimming or wading in the waterways along the greenway is not permitted.
– Alcohol and illegal substances are prohibited.
– Respect other trail users and yield to pedestrians.
– Use caution and follow posted speed limits when cycling or skating.
– Stay on designated trails and do not trespass onto private property.
– Report any suspicious or illegal activities to the appropriate authorities.
– Children should be supervised by an adult at all times.
– Use the greenway at your own risk; the management is not responsible for any accidents or injuries.

Seasonal Information

The Warrenton Branch Greenway, located in Fauquier County, Virginia, offers a picturesque and serene escape for outdoor enthusiasts. The best times of the year to visit this beautiful trail depend on personal preferences and the activities you wish to engage in. Spring and fall are particularly popular due to the mild temperatures and vibrant foliage. During these seasons, the greenway showcases a stunning display of blooming flowers and colorful leaves, creating a picturesque backdrop for hiking, biking, or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll.

Summer is another great time to visit the Warrenton Branch Greenway, especially for those who enjoy warmer weather and longer days. The trail is surrounded by lush greenery, providing shade and a refreshing atmosphere. It is an ideal time for picnics, birdwatching, or even fishing in the nearby streams. However, it is worth noting that summer can be busier, especially on weekends, so if you prefer a quieter experience, weekdays may be a better option.

As for seasonal closures, it is important to be aware of any maintenance or weather-related closures that may occur throughout the year. The greenway is well-maintained, but occasional closures may be necessary for repairs or improvements. Additionally, during winter months, the trail may be temporarily closed due to inclement weather, such as heavy snowfall or icy conditions. It is always advisable to check the official website or contact the local authorities for up-to-date information on closures before planning your visit.

Overall, the Warrenton Branch Greenway offers a delightful outdoor experience throughout the year. Whether you prefer the vibrant colors of spring and fall, the warmth of summer, or the peacefulness of winter, this trail has something to offer for everyone. So, grab your hiking boots, bike, or picnic basket, and embark on a memorable journey through the natural beauty of the Warrenton Branch Greenway.


1. Paved Pathway: The Warrenton Branch Greenway features a fully paved pathway, ensuring smooth and accessible travel for wheelchair users.
2. Wide Path: The pathway is designed to be wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs and other mobility devices comfortably.
3. Accessible Entrances: The entrances to the greenway are designed to be accessible, with ramps or curb cuts for easy entry.
4. Rest Areas: The greenway provides rest areas along the pathway, allowing wheelchair users to take breaks and enjoy the surroundings.
5. Benches: Wheelchair-accessible benches are available along the greenway, providing seating options for individuals with mobility limitations.
6. Accessible Parking: The greenway offers designated accessible parking spaces near the entrances, ensuring convenient access for individuals with disabilities.
7. Signage: Clear and visible signage is placed along the greenway, including accessible symbols and directional information.
8. Restrooms: Accessible restrooms are available near the greenway, equipped with features such as grab bars and wider doorways.
9. Water Fountains: Wheelchair-accessible water fountains are provided along the greenway, allowing individuals to stay hydrated during their visit.
10. Picnic Areas: The greenway offers wheelchair-accessible picnic areas, providing opportunities for outdoor dining and relaxation.

Safety Information

1. Stay on designated paths: Stick to the marked trails to avoid getting lost or wandering into unsafe areas.
2. Be aware of your surroundings: Stay alert and watch out for other trail users, wildlife, or potential hazards.
3. Use proper lighting: If using the trail during low-light conditions, ensure you have a headlamp or flashlight to see and be seen.
4. Share the trail: Be courteous to other users, including cyclists, runners, and walkers, by keeping to the right and passing on the left.
5. Keep pets on a leash: Prevent your pets from running off or potentially causing harm to others by keeping them on a leash at all times.
6. Carry identification: Have your identification and emergency contact information with you in case of an accident or emergency.
7. Stay hydrated: Bring enough water to stay hydrated during your time on the trail, especially during hot weather.
8. Dress appropriately: Wear comfortable clothing and appropriate footwear for walking or cycling on the trail.
9. Use sunscreen and insect repellent: Protect yourself from sunburn and insect bites by applying sunscreen and using insect repellent.
10. Be cautious at road crossings: Pay attention to traffic and use caution when crossing roads along the trail.
11. Report any suspicious activity: If you notice any suspicious behavior or witness a crime, report it to the local authorities.
12. Stay on the trail during wet conditions: Avoid venturing off the trail during or after heavy rain to prevent accidents or damage to the environment.
13. Carry a cell phone: Have a fully charged cell phone with you for emergencies or to call for assistance if needed.
14. Respect private property: Stay on the public trail and avoid trespassing on private property adjacent to the Greenway.
15. Follow all posted rules and regulations: Observe any signs or rules posted along the trail for the safety and enjoyment of all users.

Conservation Notes

The Warrenton Branch Greenway is a significant conservation area that plays a crucial role in preserving the natural environment and biodiversity of the region. The conservation status of the greenway is of utmost importance, as it serves as a habitat for numerous plant and animal species. The greenway is carefully managed to ensure the protection and conservation of these species and their habitats.

Efforts are made to maintain the ecological integrity of the greenway by implementing various conservation practices. These include regular monitoring of the flora and fauna, controlling invasive species, and preserving the natural vegetation. The greenway also serves as a buffer zone, protecting nearby water bodies from pollution and runoff.

Conservation efforts on the Warrenton Branch Greenway extend beyond the protection of wildlife and vegetation. The greenway is designed to minimize human impact on the environment, with designated trails and recreational areas to ensure that visitors can enjoy the natural beauty of the area without disturbing the delicate ecosystems. Additionally, educational programs and initiatives are implemented to raise awareness about the importance of conservation and encourage responsible behavior among visitors.

Overall, the conservation status of the Warrenton Branch Greenway is actively managed to preserve the natural environment, protect wildlife habitats, and promote sustainable recreational activities. The ongoing efforts to maintain the ecological integrity of the greenway ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy and appreciate the beauty and biodiversity it offers.

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