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Local comments wanted for comprehensive plan review in progress for Prince William Forest Park

The National Park Service (NPS) reports that it is developing a Comprehensive Trail Plan for Prince William Forest Park to provide guidance for enhancing the park’s trail system and visitor experience in a manner sympathetic with the natural and cultural surroundings and balances overall resource protection with intended trail uses and long-term management.

An open house to learn more about Prince William Forest Park trails and share ideas will be held by NPS trails team on April 17, 2018 at Montclair Tabernacle Church of God, 16120 Dumfries Rd, Dumfries, VA 22025 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Public participation is vital to the planning process. A scoping/public comment period is open to April 27, 2018.  There are several ways to get involved.  You may send your comments to us online or by mail, or stop by to talk with park staff at an upcoming open house. 

To provide comments online or get additional information on the proposed project, go to the NPS planning website at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/prwitrailplan  Comm.ents will be accepted through the website until April 27, 2018.

To mail comments, make sure they are postmarked by April 27, 2018 to receive consideration.  Mail comments to the following address: Superintendent, Attn: PRWI Trail Plan, National Park Service, Prince William Forest Park, 18100 Park Headquarters Road, Triangle, VA 22172

The plan will establish a framework for managing and maintaining existing trails; closing/re-aligning existing trails when needed; adding new trails and access points where appropriate; and, where feasible, creating trails that are universally accessible.

The Plan is needed to address the following concerns and on-going issues affecting the park’s trail system:

Over the years, trail segments were added incrementally, without cohesive planning.  The resulting trail system has connection issues and is difficult to maintain.

Many park trails have eroded and degraded due to poor design and alignment, resulting in safety concerns.

Due to heavy use and erosion, some trail segments are contributing to streambank failures, which increases stream sedimentation and habitat degradation.

Some trail segments do not connect features of interest within the park, which encourages visitors to go off trail, creating resource issues.

There is a lack of standardized trail signage.

The full breadth of allowable trail uses has never been comprehensively planned and assessed.

The park lacks logical connections to, and integration with, local and regional trail systems.

The park’s trail system has no direct access from Route 234. Northern neighbors must travel roughly 8-10 miles to reach the park’s main entrance.

Located in Prince William and Stafford Counties, Virginia, Prince William Forest Park is the largest protected natural area in Northern Virginia. The park features approximately 40 miles of trails, protects more than 14,000 acres of Eastern Piedmont forest and much of the Quantico Creek watershed, and maintains the largest collection of Civilian Conservation Corps structures available for public use in the National Park System. 

This forested oasis along Virginia’s I-95 corridor, allows people to explore nature and history from trails, historic cabin camps, RV campgrounds, backcountry campsites, and an 8-mile scenic drive.  For more information, visit http://www.nps.gov/prwi and on Facebook @prwinps.

Thank you for your interest and participation in this process.  NPS appreciates your feedback!  Contact Tammy Stidham at 202-619-7474 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with questions about the project or public scoping meeting.

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