• dogwood across creek

    Prince William Forest

    Park Virginia

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  • 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

  • Oak Ridge Campground and Chopawamsic Backcountry Closure

    Oak Ridge Campground and Chopawamsic Backcountry area will be closed December 1st, 2013 to February 28th, 2014.

  • 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!


ferns along a trail
Ferns add an archaic beauty to the forest floor.
Eugene Kobayashi
hay scented fern
Hay-scented Fern, Dennstaedtia punctilobula
Hay Scented Fern is a species of fern native to eastern North America, it is most abundant in the east of its range, with only scattered populations in the west. The English name 'Hay-scented Fern' comes from the fact that crushing it has the aroma of fresh hay.
New York Fern, Thelpteris novaboracensis
These are an aggressive growing fern that requires moist, humus rich soil in sun or shade and is often found in drier areas of swamps. The New York Fern does resemble hay-scented fern and as well as its habit of covering forest floors, but the shape of the fronds distinguishes these ferns from one another.
christmas fern
Christmas Fern, Polystichum acrostichoides
Christmas Fern is an evergreen, native species that is attractive year-round. These ferns are used widely in Christmas decorations. It thrives in shade and in woodland soil, but is able to grow in the sunlight if grown in moist soils
fiddlehead ferns
The early stages of fern growth are called fiddleheads. They are highly nutritious for both humans and animals. These are fiddleheads of the Christmas Fern.

Did You Know?

Visitors recreating in one of the park's picnic areas

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.