Explore the most popular kid friendly trails in Prince William Forest Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Hiked this trail as part of a training session for an upcoming long distance backpacking hike. I walked the loop as depicted. About 6.8 miles if you believe my GPS. Definitely not Easy. I would rate it as moderate. Very few level stretches and about 90 percent up or down in the first 80 percent of the trail. Definitely need bug spray in mid August. Parallels a nice stream for about a mile or so in the second half. Lots of trees. Bet it would be very pretty in the Fall. Bring lots of water.

2 months ago

Not a crowded park - great for peaceful walks with the dog.

3 months ago

Easy hike with lots of water points at campgrounds along the trail.

saw Mr Beaver when creek was frozen.
started from lot E.

7 months ago

Lovely hike (did the South Valley Trail to the North Valley Trail out and back). Several opportunities to cross the stream on logs which was fun. Would rate easy not moderate, but definitely enjoyable.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Well maintained for a nice and easy hike. Lots of shades.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Great trails, definitely need a map to help navigate. 7mi was perfect n easy here

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Easy trail with awesome creekside stretches. Perfect for pups. Decently crowded even in winter months.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

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.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Nice and easy. Park at Turkey Run Campground/Education Center and combine with Quantico Falls/Cascade trail for a longer easy out and back.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Perfect for a fairly flat relaxing hike

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Not terribly easy. The markings for the trails are very far apart and I ended up on a different trail than I started. It took a while to get back to parking (but that's my fault) and there aren't maps anywhere besides at the incredibly crowded visitors center. Get there early to avoid boy/Cub Scout retreats.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

It not a easy trail.. I get lost end up walk the last little bit on the road... but walk most of the time walk near the river/creek and very peaceful.. I will be doing it again hop I can find the full loop.. it right behind the bathroom on turkey run road it yellow to orange to white blaze..

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Two important things to know about this trail: 1. It is within a National Park (Prince William Forest Park) and includes a $7 fee per car, and 2. There is no actual Pyrite Mine Trail Loop. PMTL is a cluster of trails , which grouped together, make up this loop. They call this larger loop made up of trails, PMTL to honor the former mine that was shutdown in the 20s and underwent natural restoration by FDR. There are a number of sites along the trail providing history and certain aspects about the former mine. Make sure to go to the info center to have the park rangers highlight the trails/loop that make-up PMTL. Also, be sure to take a map with you. The paint markings on the trees are for the most part helpful to guide the way; however, there are a few confusing patches where trees don't have markers, and we found the map to be a bit of a lifeline for navigation.The loop itself is delightful. It is entirely covered by a canopy of trees. The forest is lush and green. This is a moderate trail with a number of challenging patches, but completely doable. So far, this has been the best hike we have done. I recommend it to those looking for a bit of a challenge (not major) and who love dogs (tons of people bring their pups out on a hike or run.)

Have fun!

Saturday, July 02, 2016

This is a very nice park for the DC area. It wasn't crowded even on the main trail on a holiday weekend. Normally, you feel like you're in a shopping mall the trails are so crowded. There are a bunch of others that are more remote that we are going to go back to hike. There is also tent and car camping areas we will check out. The visitors center is nice and the rangers are helpful in planning your hike. Lots of creek for your dogs to cool off in with a few spots deep enough for swimming. It isn't the most challenging hike and there are no amazing vistas, but in the DC area finding a place that doesn't feel overwhelmed with humanity is truly amazing.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Nice easy, scenic trail. Great for families and pets.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

We enjoyed this park/trail. Not a lot of people which makes it very peaceful.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

This is a good trail. We got started a little late, and were worried it was going to get dark before we were finished, so we ended up cutting the last third of the trail off and walking back along the road to the parking lot.

It took us a minute to find the trailhead. It is on the back side of the building, and there is a concrete post a couple of feet high. From there you should be able to see the blazes.

cross country skiing
Sunday, January 10, 2016

When added with some of the other trails in Potomac National Forest, it makes for a good hike. Short by itself, small uphill section (or downhill depending which way you are coming from). Relatively easy.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

I couldn't find any of the attractions

Friday, September 11, 2015

This is a great trail for families -- well marked, wide, largely level walking surface with just a few rocky/roots areas. There is good shade for sunny days. The Birch Bluff Trail is a great addendum for more interesting sights as well as a little extra distance. More of a walk than a hike, but very enjoyable. The facilities at this park are very well maintained and the blazes on the trail are well placed and helpful. Definitely grab a map from the ranger office if you can as there are a number of trails that criss cross and it can be easy to get onto a different trail without realizing it. I want to try this one again in the winter!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Not a very scenic or challenging trail. It was enough though to make me come back the next day or so and Hike part of the South Valley Trail here at Prince William Forest National Park. I took a few shots and posted them here. Anyone could walk this trail.

trail running
Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A 1.8mi EAST to WEST stretch of trail between Burma Rd and Oak Ridge Campgrounds. Slightly overgrown, but easy to navigate with obvious markings. About 50% of trail closely parallels Scenic Drive, and can be seen to the NORTH easily.

trail running
Sunday, July 19, 2015

I've run this trail both day/night and wet/dry. From EAST to WEST it runs from the bridge on Pyrite Mine Rd in a NW direction for 3.5mi to the bridge at Burma Rd. 90% of this trail follows the contour of the Quantico Creek and is single track, non-technical. Mostly level elevation with approx 4-5 moderate hill ascents. Trail marking is okay, but can be confusing without a trail map. Lots of exposed tree roots and some muddy portions that cannot be easily bypassed. Some buggy parts, but not as much as you'd expect so close to the creek. A highly recommended easy trail run during dry conditions. Avoid after heavy rains, because trail becomes very slick on the ups and downs.

cross country skiing
Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Interesting terrain, good workout.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Just inside prince William forest so very easy to get started. Great hike the birch bluff loop adds a nice bit of extra distance. Took the dog no problems there. Federal park so don't forget you have to pay the small fee totally worth it.

trail running
Friday, February 27, 2015

This is my go-to trail when I want to get in a quick bit of local activity/trail-running. Versatile, with plenty of scenic vistas/wildlife. It can be as strenuous as you want it to be--great little areas to traverse and explore. Wonderful for kids--it's how I introduced my son to the world of hiking. It's close by my place, making it ideal for my use. A real gem!

Friday, February 27, 2015

This is one of the most interesting trails in PW Nat'l Forrest--with many off-shoots that will catch your interest. I usually access the trail from the 1.5mi. road leading in from the parking lot near the bike trail. You can custom fit this trail to your fancy very easily. The trail from the Laurel Loop through the Pyrite Mine is my favorite way to go. It's a great way to check out the origins of some the area's industries from days gone by. On the lower-end of the moderate spectrum. A real beaut!

Friday, February 27, 2015

My son and I have hiked this trail at least 6 times, winter-time being our favorite time to check it out. Very well marked/maintained. It's a great mix of beauty and moderate to easy activity. Almost all of the trails in the PW Nat'l Forrest are great for trail-running as well as day-hikes.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Had many trails that could be taken to lengthen or shorten the hike but it offered well shaded paths, nice scenery, clear trails, some wild life spotting, some challenges (for you adventure types), and there's a paved bike trail as well. You will need a map to assist in navigating the routes you want, but that is obtained at the ranger station near the visitors center.

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