Old Colchester Park and Preserve along the Occoquan River contains some of the most significant archaeological and natural resources in Fairfax County’s park network. There is no parking, there are no facilities, and there are no marked trails. Archaeological investigations began in 2010 and have been supremely productive. The site has been recommended for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
A Natural Resource Management Plan emphasizes water and vegetation protection. The NRMP also identifies problems the park faces, in particular non-native invasive species, deer overpopulation, and human impacts. The Park Authority has monitored and enhanced vernal pools, treated non-native invasive species, and documented sensitive animals and plants in the park.
The Colchester Archaeological Research Team (CART) has explored more than ten sites that have revealed artifacts dating back approximately 10,000 years through 18th century housing for slaves. The park contains about one-quarter of the historic town of Colchester, which originally was surveyed in 1754 and was a major social, cultural and economic center until the mid-1800s.