• 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

Places

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.

 
the cabin branch pyrite mine

NPS Photo.

Cabin Branch Pyrite Mine
The beautiful green hillside that overlooks Quantico Creek reveals nothing of the devastated landscape left behind by the Cabin Branch Pyrite Mine. You can reach the pyrite mine via Pyrite Mine Road, North Valley Trail, and the Cabin Branch Mine Trail.

 
poorhouse foundation

Poorhouse Foundation. NPS.

Prince William County Poorhouse
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.
 
mary and charles byrd

Mary and Charles Byrd.

Photo generously provided by Charles Reid.

Hickory Ridge, Jopin & Batestown
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.
 
Milling in the Park
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.
 
building a bridge
Bridges of Prince William Forest Park
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?

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.