Prince William County and the Commonwealth of Virginia has entered PHASE 3 of reopening, and while we all remain safer at home right now, Prince William's 38 square miles of scenic parks and trails provide great opportunities for responsible recreation this fall.
Quantico Cascades Trail in Prince William Forest Park is a 1.8-mile easy hike out and back. The trail begins at Parking Lot E and is marked with yellow blazes. This trail is generally great for seniors, kids and leashed dogs. This scenic trail travels through open forest where you'll see downed trees, park wildlife and a meandering creek cascading over and through large rocks. The trail ends a small footbridge on the North Valley Trail. From there you can turn around to head back to Parking Lot E or extend your trip onto North Valley Trail. Pack lunch and enjoy a picnic at one of the tables near Parking Lot E.
Enjoy sandy beach shores and a hike through history at Leesylvania State Park. This land, situated at the confluence of Powell's Creek and the Potomac River, was first the site of an Algonquian (Native American) village. Capt. John Smith visited the area in 1608 on his voyage of discovery. During the 18th century, the property was acquired by Henry Lee II, father of Revolutionary War hero Henry "Lighthorse Harry" Lee and grandfather to Confederate General Robert E. Lee. In 1825 the property was sold to the storied Fairfax family. During the Civil War, the land was the site of a Confederate gun battery. More recently, the site was used as a launching point for gambling boats on the Potomac. Today, the nearly two-mile Lee's Woods Trail takes you past the remnants of the original Lee and Fairfax homesteads, as well as Free Stone Point, near where General Lee ordered the blockade of the Potomac River during the Civil War.
Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve is approximately 2,350 acres of the Blue Ridge Mountains located in western Prince William, VA. Open Fridays - Sundays 8 am - 6pm, this preserve offers several easy to moderate trails for families to enjoy. Fern Hollow Loop is a 3.4 mile trail showcases a variety of historic features - including the upper mill and meadowland ruins, ice house structure, cemetery, views of Chapman Mill and Thoroughfare Gap. **Please note that dogs are not allowed in the preserve.**
Silver Lake Regional Park is a 230- acre passive recreation park of rolling meadows, pine forests and a 23-acre lake. It offers four miles of multipurpose trails that can be utilized for hiking or horseback riding. Silver Lake Loop is a 1.1-mile trail with scenic lake and dam views. Bring a picnic and lunch at one of the tables by the water.
Experience the views along scenic Neabsco Creek Boardwalk in Woodbridge, VA. This 3/4-mile accessible boardwalk is part of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail connecting trails and historic sites throughout Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. Bald eagles, ospreys, waterfowl, turtles, dragonflies, beaver, muskrat, and deer are just a few of the many species visitors can hope to spot while enjoying the panoramic views offered from the raised walkway and observation areas.
Conway Robinson State Forest is a 444-acre mixed pine and old-growth hardwood forest located off of Route 29 adjacent to Manassas National Battlefield Park in Gainesville, VA. It features approximately 5.1 miles of multi-use (hiking, biking and horseback riding) trails. The longest trail is marked with blue blazes and is a 3.2-mile loop around the outer part of the park. The blue trail offers a mainly flat hike dirt trail with some patches of gravel. There is a picnic pavilion near the parking lot. The trail is easy enough for dogs and kids however it may be too bumpy for a regular stroller.
Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park is a 140-acre historic site located in Bristow, VA where Federal and Confederate soldiers fought the Battle of Kettle Run (1862) and the Battle of Bristoe Station (1863). This 2.1-mile trail loop is easy enough hike for most skill levels. The trail is a mixture of gravel, grass and wooden walkways with historic markers along the way. The trail is kids, dog and horse friendly - but be mindful that after rainfall there can be pooling of waters in various areas along the trail.