• dogwood across creek

    Prince William Forest

    Park Virginia

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  • Visitor Center Remodel 2014

    Over the next several months there will be new changes coming to the Visitor Center. Presently we are remodeling the bookstore area to give it more of a country theme. Next the exibit area will get all new exhibits. Thank you for your patience and support

  • Oak Ridge Campground and Chopawamsic Backcountry Closure

    Oak Ridge Campground and Chopawamsic Backcountry area will be closed December 1st, 2013 to February 28th, 2014.

  • Firewood

    Outside firewood is prohibited in Prince William Forest Park, unless it is certified USDA 'bug free' firewood. Dead and downed wood may be collected from designated areas for use while in the park. Help us protect the forest from invasive species!

For Teachers

rangers and children learn outdoors!
Children learning in the great outdoors!
National Park Service
 

If you're looking for lessons in history or the natural world, educational opportunities abound in Prince William Forest Park. For detailed information on bringing school children to the park, download our Educator's Guide.

Scheduling a Ranger Program
View our list of programs below then request a program using our Special Program Request form. Email the completed form to: prwi_info@nps.gov.

Requesting a Fee Waiver
If you are a bona-fide accredited educational or scientific institution (this does not include scout or commercial daycare groups) you can request an educational fee waiver for your program in the park.

 

List of Programs

Bridging the Watershed - Prince William Forest Park is one of 13 units of the National Park Service that provides high school students with real life scientific field studies. Teacher training provided. Visit the Bridging the Watershed website for more information. Ask about Mine Over Matter, our park specific curriculum that explores the history of the pyrite mine and scientific efforts to reclaim the damaged site.

Ranger in a Rucksack - Identify trees and leaves all on your own with our innovative 'ranger in a rucksack' program. Self-guided activities and informational tools help you be your own ranger. Check the 'rucksack' out daily at the visitor center from 9 am to 5 pm. Ages: middle school and up. Location - Pine Grove Picnic Area.

Head Bangers of the Forest: Woodpeckers - Learn about the woodpeckers most common to our area and how to identify them by sight and by calls. Understand why woodpeckers are important to the ecosystem and the quest for North America's extinct woodpecker: the ivory-billed woodpecker. All ages. Location - on or off site.

Night Flutters
- Discover what flutters in the night. Learn about the life cycle and habits of moths, the differences between moths and butterflies, and why moths cluster to your porch light. See what surprising moths are common in Virginia. All ages. Location - on or off site.

Day Flutters - Discover what flutters during the day. Learn about the life cycle and habits of butterflies, the differences between moths and butterflies, and about the Monarch's amazing migration. See the beautiful butterflies common in Virginia. All ages. Location - on or off site.

Pyrite Mine Hike
- Learn the history of the park's very own pyrite mine on this moderate, 2.5 mile hike. We will hike to the old mine site, and learn about the reclamation efforts, stroll along the boardwalk, and see several existing foundations and capped off shafts. Ages - adult. Location - on site only.

Early Birders Hike- 7 AM start time for best bird viewing. Bring binoculars. Please, no dogs. Learn what birds live in the park by trying to find them by sight and sound as we walk around quietly searching. We will try to learn 2 birds by song by the end of the hike. Ages 5 and up. Location - on site.

Hummingbirds - Learn about these amazing birds that can migrate thousands of miles every year. Several types of hummingbirds may be found in the park in the warmer months. Ages 5 and up. Location - on and off site.

Letterboxing - Self-guided. Make your very own stamp to take home, and use it to leave your mark here at the park! Follow the clues to find secret boxes hidden along Piedmont Forest and Laurel Loop Trails where you can stamp your book and leave your unique stamp behind, and get another clue! Grades pre-K and up. Location - on site only.

Spies in the Park- Learn all about the spy training that actually took place here at the park during WWII! Authentic games and activities will keep you guessing. Grades 5-8. Location - on site only.

Busy Beavers-The park has a healthy population of these unique mammals. Learn all about their special adaptations and how they can change their environment in this kid friendly program,. Grades K-8. Location - on and off site.

Home Sweet Home - Meet at Pine Grove Pavilion. Where do animals live and why? How are their needs similar to what people need? Are humans and animals so different after all? What habitats does the park offer and who lives in them? A short hike will follow where we will look for some park "residents". Grades K-5. Location - on site only.

Introduction to Basic Orienteering - 30 minute lesson. Learn the basics of map and compass use. Maps and compasses are always available at the Visitor Center from 9-5 daily. The course starts at Turkey Run Education Center's main doors. For more information contact park staff. Ages 10 and up. Location - on site only.

Going Green- Discover the impact humans have on the environment and ways to minimize our influence over the natural world. Slides and fun activities will help you make leaving a smaller footprint on the earth an easy and inspiring task. Grades 1-8. Location - on and off site.

Park History Overview - Learn all of the interesting facts and figures about the history of Prince William Forest Park. The information covered represents various time periods from Native American history to the Great Depression and World War Two. Grades 6 and up. Location - on and off site.

Cabin Camp History - Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, the cabin camps at Prince William Forest Park are a window into the history of the Great Depression and World War II eras. Grades 6 and up. Location - on site only.

Did You Know?

Office of Strategic Service (OSS) recruits learning Morse code during the Second World War

Prince William Forest Park was used by the Office of Strategic Services (forerunner to the CIA) as a training camp for spies during World War II. Today, you can rent a cabin where spies once learned their trade.