How did Stonewall Jackson morph from a small-town science teacher into a fearsome commander whose campaigns are still studied in military academies around the globe? The transformation came in 79 days between March and June 1862, and the most stunning and revealing act in that period was Jackson’s bold strike into the Alleghenies at McDowell, where he won his first independent victory May 8, 1862. This was no ordinary schoolteacher.
We offer three tours to help you discover the story of McDowell:
Jackson’s Route Tour: (2-3 hours)
Meet your guide in Staunton for a leisurely drive to McDowell over Jackson’s route of march with stops at key points. Survey the mountain battlefield from a splendid panoramic viewpoint in the valley below while your guide relates the challenges facing the men who fought there. Visit historic buildings used by commanders in the village of McDowell, including the visitors’ center. Mountain scenery, country flavor, plenty of stops, very little walking.
Battlefield Hike: (3 hours)
Meet your guide in McDowell for an invigorating hike on an unforgettable battlefield. The 2-mile loop on a shady, first-class woodland trail includes a half-mile climb to the mountain-top position occupied by the Confederates in the Battle of McDowell. There your guide will relate the story of the fight, the conduct of the troops and the leadership on both sides. Come dressed accordingly, including water and a snack. This challenging tour is for healthy, hill-climbin’ history lovers only, who will have to sign a standard hiking tour waiver.
Deluxe Tour: (4-5 hours)
Meet your guide in Staunton for a memorable excursion. The Deluxe is a combination of the Jackson’s Route Tour and the Battlefield Hike. You will follow the march into the mountains and hike up to the crest of Sitlington’s Hill in the footsteps of the troops. Be prepared for a 2-mile walk in the woods on some physically challenging slopes. Our standard hike waiver required.
Before the tour begins, your guide will talk with you about pricing, timing, meals, pit stops and other details related to the tour. You will have options and can make informed decisions to suit your preferences.
Reserve a guide now by submitting the form below. We will confirm your reservation within 24 hours. You can cancel later without penalty.