• 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

Animals

The park provides a needed refuge for wildlife populations in the area. The park covers two physiographic provinces and lies in a transition zone between northern and southern climates, resulting in diverse habitats that can support healthy breeding populations of numerous animal species. Current inventory data includes 38 species of mammals, 24 species of amphibians, 27 species of reptiles, 100+ species of birds, 23 species of fish, and an unknown number of invertebrates. Several studies have uncovered a few state rare or threatened species, as well as species of special concern. Threats to wildlife in the park include poaching, development, and direct habitat loss and alteration.

 

Amphibians
Simply put - amphibians are born in water and grow to breathe air. Frogs, toads, salamanders, newts and other colorful noisemakers fall into this class of animals. In Greek, Amphibios means both kinds of life - amphi, meaning both, and bios, meaning life. Today, Amphibians are known as 'ecological indicators' or the 'canary in the coal mine' of the animal kingdom. Their decline in population over recent years is a bellweather for the stress on our environment.

 
a woodpecker holds on

Paula Sullivan

Birds
Prince William Forest Park was designated an Audubon Important Birding Area in 2009 and is known as one of the best birding habitats in northern Virgnia. Every year, the public helps participate in the Christmas Backyard Bird Count and shares their exciting sightings with park staff. Learn more about the flights of fancy that you can find here!

Mammals
Our closest cousins in the animal kingdom, the characteristics of mammals sound so familiar. They have hair, three inner-ear bones, are born live (not in eggs), and nurse from their mothers. From the smallest bat to the great blue whale, mammals are amazing. Check out those mammals that you might find on your next hike here in Prince Wiliam Forest Park.

 

Reptiles
They slink, they slither, and invoke love in some, and fear in most. Reptiles include snakes, turtles, crocodiles, alligators, and lizards. They are covered in scales, bear young in eggs (except some vipers which give live birth), and breathe air.

 
striders150

Invertebrates
They may have no backbone, but invertebrates ARE the backbone of the natural world! Birds, snakes, amphibians and other animal species feed on invetebrates. They also pollinate our flowers and food plants and wow us with the beautiful color displays of moths, butterflies, and dragonflies.

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!