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Prince William Forest – Oak Ridge Campground – NPS Camping Near Washington DC


Oak Ridge Campground is nestled within Prince William Forest Park, a designated NPS park. The park requires an entry fee and is conveniently located about 35 miles south of Washington DC, just off Interstate 95 near Dumfries, VA. This park is an ideal base if you plan to tour the Washington DC area and prefer camping, or if you wish to explore Prince William Forest Park’s trails and attractions.

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Quick Tips

• You will need to pay a $20 per car entry fee (cash not accepted) in addition to your campsite reservation. The America the Beautiful National Parks passes are accepted here and can be purchased at the entrance, offering 1-year access to all National Park sites in the country.

• Firewood is not sold inside the park; make sure to bring your own.

• The campground is a 20-minute drive from the park entrance, so factor that into your activity planning.

• Showers are only located at the B loop comfort station, which may not be convenient for all campsites.

• Other camping options include a small backpacking area, a few cabins, and a group camp area. Some of these areas might be closed for construction during 2022/23.

Prince William Forest Entrance Sign
Prince Willliam Forest Entrance Station

Oak Ridge Campground

You can see a full drive around all the campground loops in our YouTube video. Feel free to pause it anytime to see a specific campsite location you are interested in. If you found it helpful please like and hit the subscribe button as it really helps us grow our sites.

We stayed at site A36 and would recommend it due to its proximity to the restrooms, amphitheater, water, and the general layout. The campground has approximately 100 sites distributed in three loops (A, B, and C), with the C loop designated for tents only. The A loop has 42 sites, B loop has 25, and C loop has 33. During our stay, most of the sites were large, flat, well-shaded, and provided adequate privacy. Please note, RVs are welcome but there are no utility hook-ups or dump stations available.

Oak Ridge Campground Map

Each campsite features standard NPS outfitting: a picnic table, campfire ring with cooking grate, and a pole with a hanger. The sites do not have designated tent pads but are large enough for various tent sizes. All sites were well wooded, providing several options for stringing up a tarp or hammock.

Site A-36 Setup
Site A-36 from back of site looking toward road

During our one-night stay, we brought minimal supplies and small gear. A forecasted downpour prompted us to have a tarp ready, which proved useful!

You can enjoy several activities within walking distance in the campground: an amphitheater, a large grassy field for games, and several trails leading to other park areas. If you bring bikes, there’s a 3-mile paved bike lane along the scenic drive leading from the campground entrance.

Scenic Drive Road and Designated Bike Lane
Oak Ridge Ampitheater

Firewood is NOT AVAILABLE within the park. Be sure to purchase this outside the park ahead of time, as the one-way drive from the campground to the park entrance takes about 20 minutes. Two 7-11 stores near the park entrance in Dumfries sell firewood for approximately $8.00 per bundle. Remember, collecting and processing dead and downed wood up to 6 inches in diameter for your campfire is allowed, but cutting or destroying live wood in a National Park Unit is illegal.

Site A-36 Camp Fire
James Processing Wood

Bathrooms and Water: Water is available at each comfort station. We usually bring a 3-gallon collapsible container with a spout to cover all our water needs during the trip, including handwashing.

B Loop Comfort Station
B Loop Utility Sink

There are three comfort stations, one at each loop, with shower facilities at loop B. Utility sink is available for dishes. Bathrooms and showers are standard NPS quality, offering ample privacy, shelf space, and towel hooks. We’ve recorded a quick walkthrough here.

Prince William Forest Park:

We recommend starting at the park Visitor Center for maps and current trail conditions. The park offers about 37 miles of hiking trails, a scenic drive, some historical mine sites, and approximately 15 miles of biking trails.


Just 35 miles south of Washington DC, this park is a great campground to use as a base for visiting Washington DC. I recommend using public transportation like VRE or Metrorail to avoid the hassle of driving and parking in the city.

For VRE, use the Fredericksburg line from Rippon or Woodbridge stations, which are about 15-20 minutes from the park entrance. VRE can drop you off at two different stations within DC, L’Enfant or Union Station, both providing easy access to various city attractions and enabling easy Metro transfers. However, this option is primarily for weekdays as it runs in the morning to the city and out in the evenings.

Metrorail runs 7 days a week and offers late-night service. You can park at the Springfield station and take Metro anywhere in DC. If it’s your first time in DC, you might prefer to exit at the Smithsonian station, which is located directly on the National Mall and is within easy walking distance to most area attractions.

Metrorail – Underground Station
VRE – Inside Train
VRE – Crystal City Station

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