Prince William Forest Park Loop

  • Highlights: Forest and creek views
  • Distance: 7.4 mile loop
  • Elevation Change: 682 feet
  • Trail Surface: dirt with rocky sections
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate/strenuous (distance)
  • Trailhead Parking: Parking area A, B, or C, Scenic Drive, Prince William Forest Park, Triangle VA; park fee required
  • Website: AllTrails and National Park Service
  • Beer Pairings: 2 Silos Brewing Co.—Sir Alucard Black Beluga Lager & Citralicious IPA

The Hike:

We have driven by the brown park sign on Interstate 95 for Prince William Forest Park so many times, we decided it was time to visit the park and go for a hike. We were joined by Pete’s sister Nan and our niece Hannah. There are no mountain vistas in this park. This hike is just a nice walk through the woods. Spring wildflowers or fall foliage season are an added bonus.

Stop by the park visitor center and pick up a trail map. Restrooms and a camp store are located here. To reach the trailhead, drive from the visitor center to Scenic Drive and park at parking area A, B, or C. All parking areas have a short connector trail leading to the white-blazed South Valley Trail. 

This hike is a loop so you can go in either direction. We hiked clockwise. Turn right on the The South Valley Trail, the longest trail in the park. It passes beside the south fork of Quantico Creek much of the way. Several foot bridges cross the creek and the trail crosses the road twice.

Reach a trail junction and stone post at 3.4 miles. Turn right on the orange-blazed High Meadows Trail. This section of the hike leaves the creek and passes through a hardwood forest and crosses Scenic Drive. At 5.5 miles the trail joins the Old Black Top Road. Bear right on the multi-use trail walking toward Turkey Run Ridge Campground.

Follow the road past the campground and bear left on the blue-blazed Turkey Run Ridge Trail. Follow the blue trail as it winds through the forest. Cross Scenic Drive and at 7.1 miles, and bear right on the white-blazed South Valley Trail. Cross the road one last time and return to the parking areas. 

Hike Photos:

Click on an image below for an enlarged view.

Beer Pairing: 

2 Silos Brewing Co. is located about 30 minutes west of the park in Manassas. Located on the campus of Farm Brew LIVE at Innovation Park, 2 Silos has 14 taps of craft beer, food, cocktails, and live music. They have lots of indoor and outdoor seating and dogs are welcome outside.

Pete really liked Sir Alucard (4.3% ABV • 22 IBU) a black German lager or Schwarzbier. This beer is like a lager merged with a stout. It’s crisp, smooth, and very tasty. Kathy really liked Citrilicious  (6.9% ABV • 56 IBU), an American IPA brewed with with Citra and Mosaic hops. Pete didn’t care for the added tangerine purée, but Kathy really liked it.

Hike and drink responsibly. Never drink and drive. Stay safe, be responsible, and leave no trace.