• dogwood across creek

    Prince William Forest

    Park Virginia

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    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


jack in the pulpit
Jack-in-the-Pulpit is one of the most visually interesting and beautiful wildflowers in the piedmont forest.

Jack-in-the-pulpit, arisaema triphyllum
Jack-in-the-pulpit is one of the most visually interesting flowers in the Prince William piedmont forest. Standing one to three feet tall, the stalk offers jack a commanding view of the forest congregation during the April and May blooming period. The flower, at the same height as the leafy stalks, has a pale green exterior extending into a leaf which curls roof-like over the pulpit. The inner surface of the flower is darker green with white and brownish-purple stripes. In the fall a cluster of bright red berries provides food for birds after the flower has withered. The root of this plant, if eaten raw, can cause a severe burning sensation and possible blistering and swelling of the mouth and throat.

cardinal flower

Cardinal flower, Lobelia cardinalis
The Cardinal flower, Lobelia cardinalis, so-called because of its similarity to the bright red robes of Catholic cardinals, flames among the forest plants from May through October. Standing one to six feet tall, the bright red flowers bloom primarily along streams or in wet, moist areas. Interestingly, because the floral leaves emerge from an extremely narrow tube at the base, insects find it difficult to reach the pollen, leaving propagation of this plant to hummingbirds. The lower portion of the stem is lined with lance-shaped green leaves.

touch me not, spotted

Spotted Touch-Me-Not, Impatiens capenesis
The small orange flowers of the Spotted Touch-Me-Not, Impatiens capenesis, decorate stream banks and swampy areas July through September. The implied warning in the name refers to the explosive quality of the seed pod, which, at the slightest touch, throws its seeds up to five feet away. Multiple inch-long blossoms, dotted with red spots, dangle from thin stems on thick succulent stalks up to five feet tall. A spur-like tail extending from the blossom curves back under the flower as a defining characteristic. Native Americans found that the sap from the leaves and stems offered relief from the discomfort of poison ivy and stinging nettles. Scientific research has also documented Touch-Me-Not’s effectiveness in treating the fungus of athlete’s foot.

common mullein

Common Mullein, Verbascum thapsus
While this plant is not native to North America is have been here since Europeans have come to North America. Mullein has a variety of uses it is especially recommended for coughs and related problems, but also used to fight against a variety of skin problems. The plant was also used to make dyes and torches. Native Americans would use the leaves to line there moccasins.

spotted wintergreen plant

Spotted Wintergreen, Chimaphila maculata
While spotted wintergreen is endangered in many parts of North America it is abundant through out the park.

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!