Prince William Forest Park
Prince William Forest Park
4.5
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Park that offers campsites and recreational programs for families and children.
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  • Brittany_11_10
    Los Angeles, California1,707 contributions
    Trails galore
    Prince William Forest Park is a great place to enjoy a picnic, go for a walk in the woods (there are many different trails), sit by some body of water (streams, a little bog) and watch the animals (frogs, turtles, birds), or go for a bike ride (on paved road). The $10 (?) entry fee is valid for a week, and you can definitely go here more than once and enjoy a different activity, or just a different part of the park, as it's pretty big. In addition to the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees, we also saw a deer--though I guess that's not hard to do in northern VA.
    Visited June 2021
    Written July 19, 2021
  • Hatzlacha
    Virginia893 contributions
    Fantastic NPS activity site
    I was really impressed by how much you can do outdoors here in a relatively small area. We visited on a weekend and were greeted with lots of bicycle riders parking at the entrance / visitor center area. There's a quick path there to hike which isn't so strenuous, but is a little crowded. If you head towards the back of the park there are far less people and thus more time in nature for longer, slightly harder hikes. Lots of dedicated camping sites as well with (what looked from a distance) as great accessory facilities, making this a good test ground for new campers or just an escape for city folks. Great place for many return visits!
    Visited July 2020
    Written July 29, 2020
  • 3841C
    Milan, Italy178 contributions
    Delightful campground in an oasis of peace
    We spent some days there as a base to visit Washington DC, a perfect way to avoid crowded hotels, coming back to this green peaceful forest at the end of the day. The pitches were huge and tidy. Besides us, there were only a couple of small groups of campers, so we feared most of the toilet blocks could be closed. Instead, we had a great surprise: the restrooms were luxurious, like the one of a hotel, sparkling clean and new, with toilet paper and soap and big shower rooms with free hot water. We didn't really expect so much in the middle of the forest. Note: this place has no reception, shops, restaurant or games room, it's not a holiday village, but if you're looking for a quiet place to enjoy nature and take some one-day trips around DC it's simply perfect.
    Visited April 2019
    Written January 5, 2020
  • Teardrop Trailer Traveler
    United States754 contributions
    Prince William Forest Park
    Prince William Forest Park is located just off I-95 in Virginia. It's easily accessible, but has a quiet, remote feel. The word "forest" in the park's name is apt. The entire park is wooded. Although there is a "scenic drive" which does a loop of the park, there are no vistas. Everything is in the trees. The park has many hiking trails, as well as several unpaved roads which are open to bicycling. It also has a few cabins and campgrounds. I only spent about an hour in the park, but it would be a good place to get away for a weekend of camping. I drove the park loop road, stopping at a few sites. I took a few short walks through the woods, to the picturesque, serene Quantico Creek. I also stopped at Carter's Pond, which was perhaps the noisiest site in the park. This was not because of traffic or people, but rather the plethora of frogs that live in the pond! Overall, Prince William Forest Park is quiet, peaceful, and secluded. I didn't see many other people there at all. It's a good place to get away and take a walk in the woods.
    Visited June 2021
    Written July 4, 2021
  • James C
    Brooklyn, New York1,315 contributions
    Morning in October
    It’s a beautiful park with tons of trails and a great scenic drive. Totally worth it either for a long or short stay. Check out the VC first to get the low down on what is best for the time you have.
    Visited October 2021
    Traveled with family
    Written October 16, 2021
  • James H
    3,489 contributions
    A Break from the Traffic
    We arrived by motor home and stayed in the RV Park. After driving five hours it was a pleasure to take a walk through a very small portion of this wonderful park.I understand from the ranger station that there are over 10 miles of trails to hike and you can design your own loop. You can also drive through the park or ride a bike. It is hard to believe that this Oasis is right in the middle of the traffic jam they call I-95. While in the area we visited the National Marine Museum and it was stunning. Happy to spend three days in this neck of the woods.
    Visited September 2013
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 7, 2013
  • paxa
    Washington DC, District of Columbia6,845 contributions
    Easy hiking but very buggy
    First time visiting this park. Didn't have a lot of expectations as from all I've heard it's not particularly scenic. We drove the scenic loop which doesn't have any view points or overlooks, just trees lining the road, pretty enough when backlit by sunlight. Tried a couple of trails - the Oak Ridge trail is narrow and doesn't seem to have been maintained for some time so quite messy, overgrown and muddy in parts. When I checked online it seemed to be a loop but looking at the map at the trailhead (from the Oak Ridge Campground) couldn't quite figure out how it would work, especially when trail markings were not very clear either. It was also extremely buggy - so maybe better visiting in colder weather. On the way out we stopped at the High Meadows trailhead and walked a bit on that trail which was a lot better than Oak Ridge in that it's much wider - two can walk side by side - better maintained and less buggy. The one on the side of the parking area more interesting with some mild elevation variation. The one thing that made our day, however, was the sighting of an albino squirrel right by the Oak Ridge trailhead. That was really cool. Definitely not something you'd see everyday anywhere! Rating is 3.5 for trails and 5 for rare wildlife.
    Visited October 2020
    Written October 4, 2020
  • Jeanne M
    Dumfries, Virginia23 contributions
    Local National Park
    Prince William Forest Park is probably enjoyed more by the locals than those seeking out National Park destinations. It is heavily forested, with streams and hiking trails. It also has a very nice biking trail and campground. Even a drive through the loop will lower you stress.
    Visited January 2016
    Written March 8, 2016
  • Farmanimalparade
    98 contributions
    Nice place to escape DC
    We visited in the winter, but still found plenty to appreciate. There's a scenic drive and lots of great hiking options. They also have a number of parking areas so you don't have to walk far to see things. There was a small lake (I would have called it a pond) and lots of wooded areas to walk through. It was a day trip so we didn't camp, but there seemed to be lots of cabin and campsite areas. It didn't have any breathtaking views or other unique things like some national parks I've been to, but certainly worth a day trip to escape the city or suburban sprawl. I imagine it would be extra beautiful in spring. Restrooms near the visitors center were were clean and well maintained for a park. It was a trash free park, so be prepared to bring your trash out with you.
    Written February 23, 2014
  • flyingsails
    Woodbridge, Virginia59 contributions
    Great hikes
    I've had lots of fun hiking at this park. Especially on the Laurel Loop trail, which swings by a tiny waterfall where the creek widens. Great place for photography and they plan nice historical events. I attended the Junior Ranger program here when I was 11, and they do a really good job.
    Visited April 2013
    Traveled with friends
    Written August 8, 2013
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Teardrop Trailer Traveler
United States754 contributions
Jun 2021
Prince William Forest Park is located just off I-95 in Virginia. It's easily accessible, but has a quiet, remote feel.

The word "forest" in the park's name is apt. The entire park is wooded. Although there is a "scenic drive" which does a loop of the park, there are no vistas. Everything is in the trees. The park has many hiking trails, as well as several unpaved roads which are open to bicycling. It also has a few cabins and campgrounds. I only spent about an hour in the park, but it would be a good place to get away for a weekend of camping.

I drove the park loop road, stopping at a few sites. I took a few short walks through the woods, to the picturesque, serene Quantico Creek. I also stopped at Carter's Pond, which was perhaps the noisiest site in the park. This was not because of traffic or people, but rather the plethora of frogs that live in the pond!

Overall, Prince William Forest Park is quiet, peaceful, and secluded. I didn't see many other people there at all. It's a good place to get away and take a walk in the woods.
Written July 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

James C
Brooklyn, NY1,315 contributions
Oct 2021 • Family
It’s a beautiful park with tons of trails and a great scenic drive. Totally worth it either for a long or short stay. Check out the VC first to get the low down on what is best for the time you have.
Written October 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

James H
Titusville3,489 contributions
Sep 2013 • Couples
We arrived by motor home and stayed in the RV Park. After driving five hours it was a pleasure to take a walk through a very small portion of this wonderful park.I understand from the ranger station that there are over 10 miles of trails to hike and you can design your own loop. You can also drive through the park or ride a bike. It is hard to believe that this Oasis is right in the middle of the traffic jam they call I-95. While in the area we visited the National Marine Museum and it was stunning. Happy to spend three days in this neck of the woods.
Written September 7, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

paxa
Washington DC, DC6,845 contributions
Oct 2020
First time visiting this park. Didn't have a lot of expectations as from all I've heard it's not particularly scenic. We drove the scenic loop which doesn't have any view points or overlooks, just trees lining the road, pretty enough when backlit by sunlight. Tried a couple of trails - the Oak Ridge trail is narrow and doesn't seem to have been maintained for some time so quite messy, overgrown and muddy in parts. When I checked online it seemed to be a loop but looking at the map at the trailhead (from the Oak Ridge Campground) couldn't quite figure out how it would work, especially when trail markings were not very clear either. It was also extremely buggy - so maybe better visiting in colder weather. On the way out we stopped at the High Meadows trailhead and walked a bit on that trail which was a lot better than Oak Ridge in that it's much wider - two can walk side by side - better maintained and less buggy. The one on the side of the parking area more interesting with some mild elevation variation.

The one thing that made our day, however, was the sighting of an albino squirrel right by the Oak Ridge trailhead. That was really cool. Definitely not something you'd see everyday anywhere!

Rating is 3.5 for trails and 5 for rare wildlife.
Written October 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jeanne M
Dumfries, VA23 contributions
Jan 2016
Prince William Forest Park is probably enjoyed more by the locals than those seeking out National Park destinations. It is heavily forested, with streams and hiking trails. It also has a very nice biking trail and campground. Even a drive through the loop will lower you stress.
Written March 8, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Farmanimalparade
98 contributions
We visited in the winter, but still found plenty to appreciate. There's a scenic drive and lots of great hiking options. They also have a number of parking areas so you don't have to walk far to see things. There was a small lake (I would have called it a pond) and lots of wooded areas to walk through. It was a day trip so we didn't camp, but there seemed to be lots of cabin and campsite areas.

It didn't have any breathtaking views or other unique things like some national parks I've been to, but certainly worth a day trip to escape the city or suburban sprawl. I imagine it would be extra beautiful in spring.

Restrooms near the visitors center were were clean and well maintained for a park. It was a trash free park, so be prepared to bring your trash out with you.
Written February 23, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

flyingsails
Woodbridge, VA59 contributions
Apr 2013 • Friends
I've had lots of fun hiking at this park. Especially on the Laurel Loop trail, which swings by a tiny waterfall where the creek widens. Great place for photography and they plan nice historical events. I attended the Junior Ranger program here when I was 11, and they do a really good job.
Written August 8, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lauren M
Woodbridge, VA13 contributions
Jul 2013 • Couples
The location of this park is right next to Quantico Marine Corps Base, which is pretty awesome for military families stationed here. Also, the free annual Military Pass (which you can use at any national park) makes it very affordable to visit as often as you want. The trails are very well kept, and the scenery is beautiful. They have little cabins you can stay in for less than $50, and a few other campgrounds if you prefer to bring your own shelter. Staff is always friendly, and love to recommend different hiking routes. The long scenic drive through the park is lovely, and you can always see a variety of wildlife (a few days ago we saw 4 fawns at different places while driving). About half of the scenic drive is one-way with a walk/bike path on the left side of the road (great for biking or running). There is a ton of historical sites in this park, including the Pyrite Mine. The park itself is huge, so you can take several trips and always see something new. I strongly recommend coming here to break away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life!
Written July 18, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

OldFarmCandles
Youngsville, NC13 contributions
Sep 2011
This is a "must see" location! Relax in a beautiful setting, hike well kept trails and get back to nature for a few hours (or days if you prefer)
Written September 12, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Steve S
22 contributions
May 2019
An easy drive from Washington, DC, a great place to enjoy trees, streams, and easy trails. Campground is well maintained and clean. This is our National Parks Service at its finest!
Written June 30, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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