Trip to Prince William Forest Park
by Mo Johnson
(Montclair, VA )
Prince William Forest Park Map
Just got back from a great trip to Prince William Forest Park. Took my 3 kids and our dog. Threw our bikes in the truck and hit the road.
The main entrance to the park is just off I-95 -- exit at same place as for Quantico. The park is to the west of 95; whereas Quantico is to the East.
We bought the annual pass for $20. My goodness what a great deal. I think Prince William Park is one of the great secrets of the whole DC area. I think it is the largest park in the area. Tons of hiking and biking trails. There are a couple major creeks that feed into several man-made lakes. The lakes were created by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the depression. What a great deal we have gotten over the many decades since!!
There is lots of wildlife -- we saw a group of 4 or 5 deer this trip. In the summer we always find turtles, frogs, salamanders, etc.
There is an old abandoned pyrite mine.
Also, the roads are mostly 2 lane, with one lane blocked off for bike riding, jogging, walking, etc. That's great. One bad thing, though, you really need to know where you plan to stop as you go through the park (which parking lot or area). Because...if you miss it (as we did today) -- then you have to drive all the way around to get back to it.
There is also camping -- tent and cabin -- for individuals, families or groups.
The best thing probably is that Prince William Forest Park is very underutilized. That's rare in the DC area. So, it's never crowded and always quiet (unless you are near my kids :)
Oh, it's a national park by the way, one of the largest East of the Mississippi. And, so few people have heard of it. Oh, and it has a trailer park area too where you can camp in your trailer.
So, take some time to enjoy the park when you get a chance.