• dogwood across creek

    Prince William Forest

    Park Virginia

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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

North Valley Trail

Burma Road bridge and adjacent foot bridge

Burma Road bridge and adjacent foot bridge

National Park Service

North Valley Trail (2.6 miles, 4.2 km)

North Valley Trail is a beautiful, moderately-difficult hike that follows alongside Quantico Creek. The trail can be reached from many different areas. To take the trail from north to south, follow Burma Road down from Scenic Drive for about 10 minutes until you reach a road bridge and an adjacent foot bridge. Go over the road bridge and the trail head will be to your immediate right. Follow the light blue blazes to remain on North Valley Trail.

 
Footbridge on North Valley Trail

Footbridge

National Park Service

North Valley Trail is one of the park's longer trails with many opportunities to connect up with other trails and fire roads. These include Burma Road, Lake One Road, Quantico Falls Trail, Cabin Branch Mine Trail, Pyrite Mine Road, and South Valley Trail.

Not too far down from Burma Road, you will come upon a small footbridge crossing over Quantico Creek

 
(Left) Mountain Laurel on edges of trail(Right) Base of Birch Tree

(Above) Trail surrounded by mountain laurel. (Below) Birch tree

National Park Service

As you travel down the path you will notice the many different types of plants and trees. This particular part of Prince William Forest Park is heavily populated with mountain laurel, different oak species, and birch trees.

 
Two photos of moss growing on a downed log

(Above)Moss on a downed log (Below)Moss and Fungus on the edge of Quantico Creek

National Park Service

Near the creek's edge, the moist environment and many downed logs provides wonderful conditions for moss and fungus to grow. This not only provide good habitat for moss and fungus, but also habitat for many of the park's animal life.

 
Footbridge over small tributary of Quantico Creek

Footbridge

National Park Service

After about 25 minutes on the trail, you will come upon a small footbridge. Here the trail will turn up into the woods away from Quantico Creek.
 
Footbridge and Quantico Creek

Footbridge and Quantico Creek

National Park Service

As you travel back in the woods you will cross over Lake One Road and Quantico Falls Trail. About 20 minutes after leaving the creek's edge, you will meet back up with Quantico Creek and pass the end of Quantico Falls Trail.

 
Quantico Falls

Quantico Falls

National Park Service

Shortly after meeting back up with Quantico Creek and passing Quantico Falls trail for the second time, you will come upon Quantico Falls. Though small, the falls make for a great view and resting point.

 
Blue Blazes of North Valley Trail

Blue Blazes of North Valley Trail

National Park Service

As you are traveling along North Valley Trail, be careful of tree roots and slippery conditions. With the trail being so close to the creek, erosion has become a problem in a few areas.

 
Quantico Creek

Quantico Creek

National Park Service

Shortly after the falls, the trail levels out and remains relatively flat for the remainder of the hike.

 
Beaver activity

Beaver activity

National Park Service

There are many small tributaries that you will come upon along North Valley Trail. Keep your eyes open for beaver activity.

 
Old Foundation near Pyrite Mine

Pyrite Mine Foundation

National Park Service

About 20 minutes south of Quantico Falls, you will come upon a series of old foundations. These are the foundations of the Cabin Branch Pyrite Mine's three main buildings. The Boiler Room supplied power to run the mine. Machinery in need of repair would travel on a spur of a railway track to the Machine Shop and Engine Room.

 
(Above) Old Pyrite Mine Foundation
(Below) Old Pyrite Mine Site

(Above) Old Pyrite Mine foundation
(Below) Old Pyrite Mine Site

National Park Service

After passing the foundations, cross over a small bridge on the left towards the Old Cabin Branch Pyrite Mine viewing platform. About five minutes down the trail, you can look across the creek to see the open hill side where the mine use to operate. One foundation still remains on the hillside.

During the mine’s operation, more than 200,000 long tons of pyrite was brought to the surface and processed into sulfuric acid and used in making soap, fertilizer, and gunpowder.

 
Foundation near Pyrite Mine

Foundation near Pyrite Mine

National Park Service

Just after the boardwalk ends, the foundation of the Cabin Branch Pyrite Mine's Commissary building can be seen on the left.

From here it is only a short walk to the Pyrite Mine Road bridge, where the North Valley Trail trail ends. From here you can access Pyrite Mine Road or South Valley Trail.

 

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!