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Kelly’s Ford


Kelly’s Ford and nearby Brandy Station were the sites of the largest cavalry battles ever fought in the Western Hemisphere. Here in May and June of 1863, Union cavalry came close to winning two decisive battles against superior Confederate horsemen. Kelly’s Ford, while part of the C.F. Phelps Wildlife Management Area, is also a site along the Civil War Trail. Two large interpretive signs explain the entire layout of the battle and its ultimate end. While standing at the boat landing, visitors should watch for kingfishers, bald eagles and osprey as they patrol the river. During winter months, waterfowl are possible.

Up the road a few miles, just off US 29, is the site of the Battle of Brandy Station. A visitor center and driving tour information are available here. As you tour the walking trails, watch for eastern bluebirds and a variety of other open habitat species. During summer months butterflies are prolific along these trails as well. The Graffiti House in the Town of Brandy Station was once used as a field hospital and many soldiers left their names and messages on the walls here.


From John Marshall Birthplace Park return to SR 28. Follow SR 28 south to US 15/29 South. Turn left onto US 15/29 South and continue to Rt. 674 (approximately 2 miles south of the Fauquier/Culpeper County Line). Turn left onto Rt. 674/Kelly’s Ford Road. Continue for 4.5 miles to boat landing/Civil War Trail Sign on the right.

Location & Directions

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Site Information

  • Site Contact: None
  • Website
  • Access: Free, open daily dawn to dusk. This site is available for launching a boat to view wildlife from the river.

Seasonal Bird Observations


  • Parking
  • Site Viewable Only By Boat