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:

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

Pyrite Mine Hike - Ranger Guided - 2.5 hours. 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.

Spies in the Park - Ranger guided - 2 hours. 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.

Home Sweet Home - Ranger guided - 1 hour. 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 - Ranger guided - 1 hour. 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 - Ranger guided - 1.5 hours. 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 - Ranger guided - 1 hour. 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 - Ranger guided - 2 hours. Limited availability. 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.

Ranger in a Rucksack - Self-guided - 1 to 2 hours. 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.

Letterboxing - Self-guided - 1 to 2 hours. 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.

Bridging the Watershed - Ranger and Educator guided - 2 to 3 hours. 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. Programs usually run 2 to 3 hours and must be coordinated through the Alison Ferguson Foundation. This program is limited to organized educational institutions.

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