• dogwood across creek

    Prince William Forest

    Park Virginia

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • NO FIREWORKS

    Reminder to park visitors. Fireworks are prohibited at Prince William Forest Park.

  • Oak Ridge Campground Site A29 closure

    Oak Ridge Campground site A29 will be closed until safety concerns have been mitigated. Please do not use that site until it has been reopened.

  • Warm Wet Spring = More Ticks

    Please check yourself and your pets for ticks continually during and after your visit. Ticks are less prevelent if you stay on trail or in mowed areas. Wearing light colored clothing helps you spot them before the attach.

  • 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!

  • 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

African American History

Free African Americans had been present in Prince William County from its beginnings. The African-American Cole family seems to have been in the county since 1767. By the time of the first surviving U.S. Census for the area, dating to 1810, there was a sizable “mulatto” community in the Dumfries District. After the Civil War, many of those African Americans lived near the eastern boundary of the Park in a community called Batestown. .

Over time, a mixed African-American and white community developed consisting of two towns - Hickory Ridge and Batestown. Together, this community became known collectively as the Cabin Branch Community due to the employment of many residents in the operation of the Cabin Branch Pyrite Mine from 1889-1920.

Digital document on the African American Experience at Prince William Forest Park, written by Arvilla Payne-Jackson, Ph.D. and Sue Ann Taylor, Ph.D.

Continue on to Cabin Camp segregation

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Return to the History and Culture main page.

Did You Know?

Pyrite

Because of its abundance and high sulfur content, Pyrite, also known as "Fool's Gold," was once mined in what is now Prince William Forest Park (1889-1920) to be used in products ranging from light bulbs to soap.