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Contact: Chris Alford, 571-334-8549
The majority of Prince William Forest Park will reopen tomorrow, Saturday, March 24 at noon. Crews cleared more than 1,500 fallen and hazardous trees from approximately 21 miles of road and 37 miles of trail following the March 2-3 windstorms. Most of the park’s roads, trails, and facilities will reopen tomorrow at noon.
“We are very pleased to welcome the public back to their national park,” said Prince William Forest Park Superintendent Tanya Gossett. “It’s been an intense three weeks for National Park Service crews and contractors, and we appreciate everyone’s patience as we cleared hazard trees and restored electrical lines throughout the park.”
The visitor center is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. Scenic Drive and most park trails will reopen for recreational use tomorrow at noon. The Turkey Run and Oak Ridge campgrounds and the Chopawamsic Backcountry Area will resume normal operations on Monday, March 26. Cabin camp areas are open to permit holders only.
Prince William Forest Park is managed as a natural area and there are always risks involved in outdoor recreation. Visitors should exercise caution while recreating and remain aware of their surroundings. Visitors are highly encouraged to stop in the visitor center to discuss hiking plans with a park ranger.
Damage caused by the windstorms in Prince William Forest Park was significantly greater than other recent storms, including Hurricanes Isabel and Sandy and the 2012 derecho. The park was closed on March 6 due to public safety concerns.
Fifteen national parks shared crews and equipment with Prince William Forest Park to assist with clean-up efforts. Under an agreement with the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, several trained volunteer sawyers also helped with fallen tree removal.www.nps.gov/prwi and on Facebook @prwinps.