Frogs & Toads
If you come across an attractive wart covered hopping toad as you hike the trails, it will most likely be an American toad. Toads prefer drier habitats than frogs, but still need water to lay their eggs and keep their skin moist. Contrary to popular belief their warts are not contagious and can't harm humans, but they are not recommended to be on the menu of our household pets. A substance called "bufo toxin" is released from glands near the toad's eyes as a means of defense and it can be dangerous if ingested in large enough quantities by small animals. American toads occur in a range of colors from light tan to nearly black.
Cope's Gray Tree Frog
Sometimes its surprising to find an animal that seems like its out of its normal habitat. That is often that case with the pickerel frog. This is indeed an aquatic frog, but it often wanders far from water and can be found on dry land far from creeks or ponds near bathrooms, building foundations, soda machines, or garages. If this unique habit isn't enough to idenitify the pickerel, then look for the rows of square-like spots going down the back and the orange colored wash on the inside of its back legs.
Did You Know?
Prince William Forest Park protects the federally threatened orchid Isotria medeoloides, small whorled pogonia, of which several colonies have been identified in the park.