Visitor Center partial closure
Prince William Forest Park Visitor Center will close three days a week begining December 17th, 2013. The closure will take place on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday each week between December 17th, 2013 to March 1st, 2014.
Oak Ridge Campground and Chopawamsic Backcountry Closure
Oak Ridge Campground and Chopawamsic Backcountry area will be closed December 1st, 2013 to February 28th, 2014.
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!
National Park Service
What is Orienteering?
Maps and a limited number of compasses can be signed out at the park visitor center. Please note that the course maps cannot be photocopied and cannot be kept overnight. The course maps are available from 9 am to 5 pm only.
Here at the park we use two types of maps; the most common map is our park map, which is basically a tourist road map. It shows the location of the scenic drive, hiking trails, bicycle trails, campground locations, and other areas of interest. However it does not contain enough information to really be useful as an orienteering map. For orienteering we use a topographic map. This type of map actually shows the shapes of hills, valleys, streams, and other features of the park in a measurable way, usually through the use of contour lines. These lines are commonly measured from mean sea level.
However unless your plans call for traveling in a straight line, a compass will not help you much unless you have a map. The map shows the direction you need to go in order to reach your destination, whereas the compass serves as the means of helping you get there. This being the case, any map is better than no map at all.
Did You Know?
By the 1900s, Beavers were entirely extirpated from Virginia and were difficult to find across the entire lower 48 states due to over-consumption by humans. In 1950, Boy Scouts reintroduced 5 beavers into Prince William Forest Park. Today are more than 80 beavers in the 15,000 acre park.