Prince William County
Prince William County is a county located on the Potomac River in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 402,002, in 2013, the population was estimated to be 431,258, making it the second-most populous county in Virginia. Its county seat is the independent city of Manassas.
A part of Northern Virginia, Prince William County is included in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area and is one of the highest-income counties in the United States.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 348 square miles, of which 336 square miles is land and 12 square miles (3.5%) is water. It is bounded on the north by Loudoun and Fairfax counties; on the west by Fauquier County; on the south by Stafford County; and on the east by the Potomac River (Charles County, Maryland lies across the river).
National protected areas in Prince William County include:
- Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge
- Manassas National Battlefield Park
- Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge
- Prince William Forest Park
Prince William County Public Schools is the second largest school system in Virginia (having recently overtaken Virginia Beach City Public Schools). The system consists of 57 elementary, 16 middle, and 12 high schools, as well as a virtual high school, two traditional schools, three special education schools, and two alternative schools.
Two National Park Service parks lie within the county. Prince William Forest Park was established as Chopawamsic Recreational Demonstration Area in 1936 and is located in eastern Prince William County, Virginia. The park is the largest protected natural area in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region at over 15,000 acres. Manassas National Battlefield Park, located north of Manassas in Prince William County, Virginia, preserves the site of two major American Civil War battles: the First Battle of Manassas on July 21, 1861, and the Second Battle of Manassas which was fought between August 28 and August 30, 1862. These battles are commonly referred to as the first and second battles of Bull Run outside the South.
The Prince William County Department of Parks & Recreation operates fifty parks, two water parks, two recreation centers (Birchdale Recreation Center and Sharron Baucom Dale City Recreation Center), two community centers, six sports complexes, and an ice skating rink.
Manassas Regional Airport lies near its namesake city; for commercial passengers, both Dulles Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport are located nearby.
Public busing in the county is provided by the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission. Services provided by PRTC include OmniRide, OmniLink, and OmniMatch.
The county is served by both Virginia Railway Express (VRE) lines. The Manassas line has the Manassas Park, Manassas, and Broad Run/Airport stations. The Fredericksburg line has the Woodbridge, Rippon, and Quantico stations. The Manassas, Quantico and Woodbridge stations are also served by Amtrak.
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