NOTE: The forest will be closed to the public on November 25 and December 2, 2013 for scheduled deer hunts.
This 444-acre forest is a mixture of pine and old growth hardwood stands in Prince William County, adjacent to Manassas National Battlefield and Route 29.
In addition to serving as a wildlife and wildflower sanctuary, the forest is used for environmental education, hiking, mountain biking, preservation of historic sites, watershed protection and timber production. The state forest's posted hours of access are “7am to 7pm.” The Conway Robinson State Forest has adopted a Leave No Trace ethic regarding trash: “Pack it in. Pack it out.”
The Conway Robinson State Forest is “an urban oasis” – a beautiful forest in the midst of the most developed urban/suburban area in Virginia. In fact, the 444 acres of pine plantation, mixed pine and old-growth hardwoods that comprise the CRSF make it one of the largest tracts of undeveloped land owned by the Commonwealth in all of Northern Virginia. And with more than two million people living within 30 miles of this State Forest, its importance as a research and educational tool demonstrating the value of forests to the community is sure to increase. Many people come to walk, hike, mountain bike or ride horses on the Forest’s trails. Others come to learn about forest management or observe the birds, animals and trees that thrive here.
While the land became a State Forest in February 1938, its history is long and distinguished. It’s important to note the role this land played in the turbulent Civil War years. Due to the strategic importance of the Manassas Gap Railroad, which linked the Shenandoah Valley to the rest of Virginia, Confederate soldiers were assigned to protect it. The presence of those soldiers attracted the attention of the Union Army in 1861 and led to the Battle of First Manassas (First Bull Run). While the Manassas Gap Railroad Independent Line was never completed, the unfinished roadbed was used by Stonewall Jackson’s troops in 1862 during and after the Battle of Second
The Forest’s namesake was a 19th century lawyer, historian and author who argued approximately 100 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Born in 1805, he became a court clerk apprentice at the age of 14; published his first book at 21; help found the Virginia Historical Society at 26; led the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad when he was 31; was elected to the Richmond City Council at 44, and served in the House of Delegates when he was 47. Robinson died in 1884 and is buried in Richmond’s historic Hollywood Cemetery. The Conway Robinson Park Memorial Association sought to perpetuate the memory of this distinguished Virginian through the development of a state forest.
When the Conway Robinson State Forest was acquired in 1938, it was approximately 50 percent open land and 50 percent mixed upland hardwoods. Since that time, the upland hardwoods have been managed through passive silviculture techniques, and the open fields have been planted primarily with loblolly and white pine. Our management regime is guided by terms of the original deed from 1938, which states, “land as is now woodland shall be preserved so far as possible in its natural state and that no trees or timber shall be cut there except such as it may be desirable to cut for the purposes of eliminating fire hazards, improving the growth and development of other nearby trees or vegetation, or elimination of dead, decayed or unsightly growth.” We accomplish these goals through the implementation of management plans updated every 10 years.
A State Forest Use Permit may be required for visitors to the state forests.
The State Forests of Virginia are self-supporting and receive no taxpayer funds for operation. Operating funds are generated from the sale of forest products. In addition, up to 25 percent of the revenue received from the sale of forest products is returned to the counties in which the forests are located. You can support educational programs on your State Forests by donating a portion of your state tax refund to Virginia’s State Forests Fund.
For a complete listing of State Forest Regulations, go to www.dof.virginia.gov.
To ensure your safety, read our state forest regulations before visiting a forest.
Motorized vehicles of any type are prohibited on all of the state forests.
Camping is not allowed.
A Deer Management Program reduces damage to the trees on the forest - read the reports.
State Forests provide a working demonstration of forests and forest management techniques. The Virginia State Forest System follows these forest management guidelines:
Last modified: Wednesday, 23-Apr-2014 16:26:05 EDT