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!
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.
Temp. Closure C-Loop Bathroom
Due to sequestration cuts, the C-Loop bathroom at Oak Ridge Campground will remain closed. Please use the B-Loop restroom, a short walking distance away. We apologize for the inconvenience.
8,000 years of human history lies beneath the trees of Prince William Forest Park's 15,000 acre canopy. Throughout the park there are places, some that you can get to... some that you cannot. These places were once the backdrop for the drama of every day life for rural Virginians from the 1600s to the 1930s. Learn about some of these places and hear the land tell its story.
Cabin Branch Pyrite Mine
From 1795 to 1920, Prince William County took care of its poor and infirm at the county poorhouse or poor farm. Located in the Northwest corner of the park, the poorhouse site is inaccessible by trail, but it still has a fascinating story to tell.
These three communities were the centerpieces of life for residents before Prince William Forest Park became a park. Hickory Ridge, Joplin & Batestown were a collection of stores, churches, farms, and country stores scattered along three crossroads. The buildings may have made up the physical landscape of these three communities; but the generations who lived there made up their heart.
Quantico Creek and its South Fork were a popular place for mills in the 18th and 19th century. Very little remains of these mill sites, but they once housed the heart of a local industry.
There are two historically significant bridges in Prince William Forest Park. One that you can drive across on the Scenic Drive; the other you can hike across along Pyrite Mine Road.
Greenwood Gold Mine
Around the time that pyrite was found at the Cabin Branch Pyrite Mine, someone struck gold at the Greenwood Gold Mine. Alas, this small vein was not profitable, and the Greenwood Gold Mine closed in 1885 with very little money being made. There are few visible remains on this site.
Did You Know?
Prior to 1948, Prince William Forest Park was named Chopawamsic Recreation Demonstration Area. The name hinted at one of the park's intended uses as a source of recreational opportunities for the inner-city youth of Washington, D.C.