Then perhaps you should check out the 17,000 acre forest hidden away in Prince William County. One of the least visited national forests on the east coast Prince William Forest Park is located about 35 miles south of DC off of I-95. Prince William Forest Park is maanged by the National Park Service.
The park was created by FDR as a recreational area for disadvantaged city kids. During WWI the park was used by the Office of Strategic Services for training. Most people do not realize that the park has cabins available for rent that can sleep 6-10 people. The cabins must be reserved but the rates are CHEAP! They aren't the Ritz but if your goal is to hike through the park and not sleep on the ground then this is the way to go. Prince William Forest Park has the largest inventory of cabins built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the entire National Park system.
With over 35 miles of hiking trails, both on road and off road biking trails, 18 miles of streams and two small lakes (also built by the CCC) the park has activities for everyone. Unlike a number of other national parks Prince William Forest Park is open year round and you can cross country ski in the winter.
If you are tired of the crowds at the National Mall or along the Potomac River Trails then head just a little bit further south and take in a hidden gem in Prince William County. With the leaves starting to change color it is a great time to enjoy a little peace and quiet just out our back door.
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