Prince William County boasts the largest protected natural area in the Greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan region with over 16,000 acres. The County recognizes the integral role outdoor pursuits, recreation, wildlife and nature conservation play in the community by enriching the quality of life, influencing leisure time and contributing to the quality of clean air, water and natural beauty of the environment. As a community of choice, the County provides an oasis of outdoor sports, wildlife and nature conservation, with golf, camping, hiking, horseback riding, fishing and boating as the most popular leisure time activities.
Collectively, the County is home to some 24,000 acres of parkland with 70 County parks, 33 miles of maintained trails, two state parks –Conway Robinson Memorial State Forest and Leesylvania State Park, one state Wildlife Management Area (Merrimac Farm), two National Park Service (NPS)-managed parks – Prince William Forest and National Battlefield Park (Manassas), as well as the NPS-managed Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail. There are two National Wildlife Refuges (NWR) along the Potomac River - Occoquan Bay NWR and Featherstone NWR, both managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
With some 20 golf courses, which includes the first publicly accessible Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course at the new Potomac Shores Golf Club (Dumfries), it is estimated that the local golf industry alone generates some $36 million in sales annually and employs over 700 people. In 2015 Prince William County hosted the Tiger Woods Foundation Quicken Loans National PGA Tour Golf Tournament.
More than 34,000 adults and youth participate in organized sports leagues every year. Within the County Parks & Recreation system, there are 2 fitness centers, 1 community center, 4 outdoor community pools, 1 water-park and 2 indoor pools and 6 miles of trails. The County owns and operates 301 active sports fields, 1 marina on the Occoquan Reservoir, 1 9-hole par 3 golf courses, 1 community skate park and 1 neighborhood skate park.
The County promotes the protection of cultural resources, as well as the tourism opportunities these sites present and offers additional recreation-related destinations, such as Elite Shooting Sports, one of the largest and most advanced indoor shooting ranges in the country, and the DC region’s only Cabelas, outdoor sports retail store. According to the United States Travel Association (USTA) the top tourist attractions in Prince William County continue to be the Manassas National Battle Field Park, Leesylvania State Park, the National Museum of the Marine Corps, Jiffy Lube Live, Potomac Mills and Prince William Forest Park.
As a result, citizens and visitors have an enhanced awareness of the important links of present day Prince William County with its rich heritage and significant cultural resources – historic buildings, archaeological sites, historical sites and districts.