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Central Region
Prince Edward State Forest
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The Prince Edward State Forest is a picturesque landscape characterized by its dense woodlands, tranquil atmosphere, and abundant wildlife. Spanning over thousands of acres, it offers a sanctuary for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers alike. The forest is home to various hiking and biking trails, providing opportunities for exploration and connecting with nature. The towering trees, vibrant foliage, and the soothing sounds of birds singing create a serene environment where visitors can immerse themselves in the beauty of Virginia's natural heritage.
History of the Area
In the early 1900s, much of the land that now encompasses the state forest was severely degraded due to extensive agricultural practices, including tobacco farming. The poor soil quality and erosion caused a decline in the land's productivity, leading to the abandonment of many farms.

During the Great Depression in the 1930s, the federal government implemented several programs aimed at conserving natural resources and providing employment opportunities. One of these programs was the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which was responsible for carrying out reforestation projects across the United States.

In 1933, the CCC established a camp in Farmville, Prince Edward County, known as Camp SP-2-VA. Around 200 young men served in this camp, working on various conservation projects in the region. Over the course of several years, the CCC workers planted thousands of trees and restored large areas of degraded land in the area.

The success of the CCC projects led to the establishment of Prince Edward State Forest in 1936. The 3,017-acre forest was officially dedicated on November 6, 1937. The state forest was created to provide a sustainable timber resource in a region that had suffered from soil depletion and degradation.
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1. The Prince Edward-Gallion State Forest Hiking Trail: A 19-mile trail offering a variety of terrains, including forests and wetlands.

2. Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest Loop: This is an easy-to-moderate difficulty level loop that spans approximately 3 miles through mixed hardwood forest.

3. Cumberland Multi-Use Trail System: Offers over 14 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding in the heartland region.

4. High Bridge Rail to Trails Pathway: An accessible flat surface pathway spanning about 31 miles from Pamplin City to Farmville along the old Norfolk Southern rail line.

5. Sailor's Creek Battlefield Historic State Park Trails: Three short interpretive trails totaling less than two miles provide insights into Civil War history amidst natural beauty.

6. The Willis River Tract has several unmarked footpaths leading down towards its namesake river; these are not official maintained paths but can be used by hikers seeking solitude or fishing spots.

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1. Start by heading west on E Broad St toward N 8th St.
2. Turn right onto the Interstate 95 S ramp to Petersburg.
3. Merge with I:95 S and continue for about three miles.
4. Take exit 67B to merge onto VA:150 N/Chippenham Pkwy towards US-60/US-360 W.
5. Continue straight until you reach Powhite Parkway (toll road).
6. Take the State Route 288 South Exit towards Chesterfield/Iron Bridge Rd/Courthouse Road.
7. Merge into VA:76S/Powhite parkway then take state route south exit.
8. Continue driving till you see signs of Prince Edward County or Farmville town.
9. Exit at US:460 Business /Prince Edward Highway, turn left here.
10. Finally after few minutes drive look out for sign boards indicating entrance of Prince Edward State Forest.

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Virginia State Parks