Established in 1936, Prince William Forest Park, Located in Prince William County, Virginia, is the largest protected natural area in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region at over 15,000+ acres. Today, the park is a window into the past, a view of what much of the east coast once looked like centuries ago.
The park serves as the largest example of eastern piedmont forest in the National Park System (one of the most heavily altered ecosystems in North America). The park also protects the Quantico Creek watershed. It is a sanctuary for numerous native plant and animal species.
A variety of recreational opportunities are available, which include wildlife viewing, 37 miles of hiking trails and 21 miles of bicycle accessible roads and trails. Several tent camping options, including family, group and backcountry camping are available as well as rustic cabin camping, and a full-service, concessionaire-operated RV campground, are available.
Cultural resources located in the park are also varied. They include the remnants of Joplin and Hickory Ridge, two small communities existing prior to the park's establishment and the works of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), who built the facilities, roads and lakes during the 1930s. The U.S. Army's Office of Strategic Services (OSS) used the land exclusively for training spies and radio operators between 1942 and 1945.