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Prince William Forest Park




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General Information

Description - This park, administered by the National Park Service, preserves the largest example of an eastern piedmont forest ecosystem in the National Park System. It is a significantly large natural resource and sanctuary for native plants and animals in the midst of a rapidly developing region. The park lies where the piedmont and coastal plain of Virginia meet. The result of this convergence is several falls and rapids, where stream water flows from the hard rocks of the piedmont to the soft rocks of the coastal plain. The park encompasses the Quantico Creek and South Fork drainages, which together comprise approximately 18 square miles. The protected area has a long history of human use that includes agriculture, milling and mining. Ruins of commercial and residential structures remain in the region, as well as over 40 cemeteries recording the names of previous residents.

Recreation - The Visitor Center is open everyday 8:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. and a good place to gather information about the park. Park staff provide maps and information on the park as well as recreation opportunities available. Regularly scheduled ranger-guided tours and talks are available on weekends. Camping, hiking, mountain biking and fishing are popular activities to be enjoyed within this natural area.

Oak Ridge Campground provides tent camping for six persons or less at each site. Campsites include a picnic table and fire grill (firewood provided), parking space and room for tents or a small recreational vehicle. Campers select sites on a first come, first serve basis. Turkey Run Ridge Campground is exclusively for group tent camping. Facilities there include picnic tables, grills, firewood, parking and tent space. The sites are designed so parties of seven persons or more may camp in close proximity. Reservations for the group site are required. Five Cabin Camps built in the park during the 1930s are available for use. The cabins can accommodate up to 200 persons and are used often by large groups.

The park has an extensive system of trails and roads. Thirty-five miles of hiking trails lead along ridges, into valleys and through the two main drainages in the park. The Park Scenic Drive provides access to all trails and facilities in the park. Four miles of the Park Scenic Drive is a dedicated bike lane providing a paved, relatively flat surface ideal for beginning bicyclists. Fire roads throughout the park provide access to the backcountry for more experienced cyclists. Chopawamsic Backcountry Area offers 400 acres of undeveloped camping experience. Permits are required and the area is usually open mid-April through October.

Climate - Summers are generally hot and humid in this region of the state with frequent afternoon thunderstorms. Winters can be cold with variable precipitation. Spring and fall bring moderate temperatures and fewer crowds to the region.

Location - Prince William Forest Park is located I95 32 miles south of Washington, D.C., in Triangle, Virginia. The park is accessible from Interstate 95 via State Route 619 west.


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More Information

Contact Information:
Prince William Forest Park, 18100 Park Headquarters Road , Triangle, VA, 22172, Phone: 703-221-7181

Additional Information:
Northern Virginia Travel Region - In the shadow our nation's capitol, Virginia is home to many American bald eagles and other abundant wildlife. This rapidly expanding area still offers an oasis for the refreshment of the mind, body and spirit.
Virginia National Forests & Parks - Virginia is home to some of the most popular national parks and national forests in the Eastern United States.

Links:
Prince William Forest Park - Official agency website

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