Explore the best birding trails in Virginia with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
My girlfriend and I did this as a day hike. Totally doable if you start early enough and are in somewhat decent shape. We took about 6 hours including a couple breaks. There are also a healthy number of established campsites along the way if you want to break it into a multi-day trip. I would also come back in the summer just to play around in the water on the Mau-Har Trail.
I loved this trail and will be going back. Despite this National Park being almost in my backyard, I have never been here before and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
One thing you should know is that the Prince William Forest Park has a lot of trails in it. Korie (below) is right - it's really a series of trails that make up the Pyrite Mine Trail Loop. The trails are well maintained and are a mix of flats and moderate hills. Trail markers are a combination of typical color markings on trees and at trail intersections there are [sometimes] easy to read indications as to which direction to go on. It's easy to get turned around and on the wrong trail so I would highly recommend stopping at the visitor center and getting one of the good trail maps they have.
The Pyrite Mine placards were very informative and reveal quite a bit of history about the area that I was completely ignorant of. It was fascinating to see a new forest grown over what had been an environmental blight. But the mine served its purpose and with help from mankind the forest has reclaimed the area.
The Visitor Center was great and there are some excellent displays of local wildlife, a relief map (which was very cool) and some supplies and t-shirts and such to buy. The Ranger we met there was super-informed, very friendly and really seemed to know what she was doing.
BTW - if you're interested in orienteering, there's an orienteering kit you can get at the Visitor Center and a log-book so you can record your tracks.
I would definitely recommend this and will be going back again. Great trails.
Billie Jean C. on Angel's Rest on the AT
Parking is very limited, if you park at the entrance behind DQ. I hike often, I run daily and this trail was one of the most difficult trails I have encountered. Very steep incline the entire way. According to my fitbit it was a little over 3 miles up. Views from the top were beautiful.
Arrive early. I parked at 8am in the White Oak lot and by 8:30am, 15-20 cars parked. When I finished the hike at 1pm the place was packed.
I did the Cedar Run to Hawksbill Peak to the horse trail down to White Oak Canyon. I thought White Oak was much more scenic, but a lot busier. A lot of peole were hanging out along the banks of the waterfalls and there were several people fishing.
The trails are steep in spots, with lots of rocks, but I saw kids all along the trail.
Overall, I enjoyed the trail. However, while on it I was wondering why it was labeled hard, there wasn't too many inclines. As we were approaching the waterfall it was a moderately steep down hill slope. It seems as though if we started going to the left side of the loop from the trail head we would have done more climbing. Wish we would have known that from the beginning! It would be worth going back again and trying the trail counterclockwise!