• 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

Snakes

There are many snakes in Prince William Forest Park. They are usually seen sunning themselves on the rocks along Quantico Creek or soaking up the warmth of the pavement on Scenic Drive.

If you see a snake along Scenic Drive or along Quantico Creek, please do not attempt to touch or move the snake. Whether walking or driving, please give the snake a wide berth and continue on your way.

Here are some of the snakes of Prince William Forest Park.

 
copperhead

Northern copperhead

Andrew Hoffman

Northern Copperhead - poisonous
Many snakes can vary greatly in coloration, and the copperhead is no exception. They can range anywhere from a bright orange to tan, and all the way to a very dark brown. Copperheads do not possess rattle, but they are known to flick their tail against dry leaves so quickly that it can easily sound like a rattle to a surprised hiker.

 
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Timber rattlesnake on the defense

Photo courtesy of Andrew Hoffman

Timber Rattlesnake - venomous
The timber rattlesnake is a fairly large snake with a wide body and the distinctive rattle on its tail that serves as a warning device when it is threatened. Their coloration varies as well, but they are typically a dark brown with diamond like patterns on its back. Both of our venomous snake species will not aggressively pursue a human and use their bite as a last defense.

 
northern ringneck

Andrew Hoffman

Northern Ringneck

 
a black rat

Andrew Hoffman

Black Rat Snake
 
garter snake in the grass

Andrew Hoffman

Eastern Garter Snake

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.