• dogwood across creek

    Prince William Forest

    Park Virginia

There are park alerts in effect.
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    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

Office of Strategic Services (1942-45)

radio class

Lt. F. Ralph Ward and John Balsamo set up a SSTR-1 transmitter and receiver at Area C.


Spies in the Park
Prince William Forest Park was built as Chopawamsic Recreational Demonstration Area during the 1930s as an outdoor recreation area for urban youth. Cabins were built in its peaceful, rolling hills to shelter children during their first experiences in the great outdoors. Like so much of America, the bombing of Pearl Harbor forever transformed Chopawamsic and the people who used it. From 1942-1945, America's first centralized intelligence agency, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), converted Chopawamsic's sleepy summer camps into secret training Areas "A" and "C". For 4 years, thousands of military men and everyday citizens came here to learn the art of spying and survival behind enemy lines. Learn more...

Read "OSS Training Areas in National Parks and Service Abroad During WWII," an extensive study of Areas A, B, C and the men that trained there, by Rutgers University History Professor Dr. John Whiteclay Chambers.

Listen to the oral histories about the OSS at Chopawamsic Recreational Demonstration Area.


Did You Know?

Great Horned Owl

An owl's eyes are fixed in place because their large size provides no room for muscle. To compensate for this, it can turn its head in almost any direction and angle, including the ability to rotate its head nearly 280 degrees. By comparison, people can only turn their heads a mere 90 degrees!