Learn about some of the fascinating stories of Prince William Forest Park. You can learn how the park was created, what was happening in and around the park during the Civil War era, and about how the forest was first turned into farms during the Colonial era.

Young camper jumping off a dock into the lake
Summer camps in Prince William Forest Park

NPS Photo

Creating Prince William Forest Park

The shining star of the Recreation Demonstration Area was Chopawamsic - otherwise known of today as Prince William Forest Park. For almost 50 years, social welfare groups from around the Washington, DC metropolitan area came to Chopawmasic RDA to fulfill Franklin D. Roosevelt's vision.

Historic black and white map of Chopawamsic Recreation Demonstration Area
An early map of Chopawamsic RDA

NPS Photo

Chopawamsic Recreational Demonstration Area

The Recreation Demonstration Area (RDA) program began in 1933 as a comprehensive effort to alleviate the suffering brought by the Great Depression. It addressed three groups of people: struggling farmers, unemployed men, and poor children. This program also established a legacy for recreational land use in the U.S.


Last updated: October 23, 2017

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Mailing Address:

18100 Park Headquarters Road
Triangle, VA 22172


(703) 221-7181

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