If you’re looking to take on your own outdoor adventure, then you need to plan your next hiking excursion at Prince William Forest Park, the largest in the region. What used to be farmland during the Colonial era, the now 15,000-acre park is home to over 200 species of wildlife, including black bears, turtles, snakes, and bald eagles. Hikers looking to spot these animals in their natural habitat, and also catch some historic views, should take a walk down these trails.
The Crossing Trail
Distance: .5 miles
Walk the trail that was once graced by General George Washington himself. The looping trail gives hikers access to a less strenuous walk that crosses the abandoned Telegraph Road, which served travelers during the Revolutionary War and thereafter.
Farms to Forest Trail
Distance: 2.7 miles
History lovers will love taking a walk down memory lane. The 2.7-mile trail takes hikers through what used to be farmland starting in the 17th and 18th centuries, which has since reverted back to forest. As you enjoy a self-guided hike of the trail and the extension, you’ll be able to visualize the plantations, homes, and communities that settled in the now national park.
Mary Bird Branch
Distance: .5 miles
If you’re looking for a quick hike with a lot of wildlife interaction, make your way down this short trail. As you make your way through the woods, keep an eye out for any signs of beavers. The once-extirpated woodland creatures were reintroduced to the area during the 1950s and build their dams at the creek during years of high water levels.
Piedmont Forest Trail
Distance: .2 miles
Pack your binoculars for a lovely stroll down this looped path. As you trek over footbridges and boardwalks, keep your eyes in the sky to catch a glimpse of the birds that call the park home. The path also includes benches so that you can take a seat for a better view of the nearby critters.
Quantico Cascades Trail
Distance: .7 miles
The serene water views at the end of this trail will give you the motivation to get in your daily steps. Just hop out of the car and start your adventure toward Quantico creek.
South Valley Trail
Distance: 9.7 miles
Measuring almost 10 miles, the longest trail in the park provides endless views on your journey. Whether you’re in it for the up-close lake and cascade views or want to wander over the footbridges and through the forest, you’ll definitely meet your nature quota on this long hike.
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