Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
At a Glance
Virginia has a rich and storied Experiences to Remember
history — from the Native Our parks offer programs, events and activities that allow you to
Virginians who greeted the explore nature and history every day of the year. Our 35 state parks
first settlers in 1607, through have trails, beaches, scenic picnic spots, interpretive programs, visitor
the Civil War, to the Depres-
centers, museums, gift shops and more to make your visit special.
sion-era Civilian Conserva-
With so much to see and do, Virginia State Parks are perfect for a
tion Corps creating what
short, relaxing picnic or a two-week vacation. The comfortable
would become the first six
Virginia State Parks. In many cabins, clean and safe campgrounds, and convenient meeting facili-
ways, Virginia’s long, unique ties ensure that your park experience doesn’t end at sundown.
history is America’s history, Trails
and that history can be found More than 500 miles of trails of varying difficulty crisscross Virginia’s
in or near our award-winning state parks. The trails give hikers the chance to explore hardwood
Virginia State Parks.
forests, coastal marshes and flowering meadows. Self-guided trails
This year we add another chapter to the history book as introduce visitors to the natural and cultural history of each area, and
we celebrate the 75th anniversary of our state parks — markers provide interesting and educational information. Horseback
and we intend to celebrate in style. On June 15, 1936, riders and bicyclists will find miles of bridle and bike trails in state
Virginia became the first state in the country to open an parks all across Virginia.
entire state park system on a single day. We’ll mark that
To view virtual tours of the trails, or to print trail maps, visit
occasion with a year-long celebration featuring special
natural, historical and cultural programs, as well as
contests, prizes, discounts and even cake! Boating and Fishing
Virginia State Parks offer access to the state’s four largest lakes as well
Virginia State Parks are safe, affordable and convenient
settings for you and your family to enjoy all types of as most major rivers, the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
recreation in the great outdoors. Smaller, man-made lakes in a number of parks are known for healthy
populations of smallmouth bass, trout, crappie and bream. At Douthat
With 35 parks in every region of our Commonwealth, Lake, anglers can fish for seasonally stocked trout for a daily fee.
you’ll find access to the mountains, the Chesapeake Bay,
A Virginia fishing license is required to fish in most state park waters.
the Atlantic Ocean and hundreds of miles of trails, rivers
and lakes. Annual boat launch passes offer significant savings to frequent boaters.
Hundreds of campsites and cabins provide overnight Hunting
accommodations for a few nights, or a few weeks. Open hunting is usually offered in designated areas of Grayson
Highlands, Kiptopeke, Occoneechee and Pocahontas state parks.
From concerts and festivals to canoe trips and camp- Special resource management hunts are held in Belle Isle, Caledon,
fires, there’s so much to see and do in our state parks Chippokes Plantation, Claytor Lake, Douthat, Fairy Stone, False Cape,
that it’s no surprise people come back again and again, Grayson Highlands, James River, Kiptopeke, Lake Anna, Mason Neck,
year after year. Natural Tunnel, Occoneechee, Pocahontas, Shenandoah River, Smith
Please accept my personal invitation to explore Virginia Mountain Lake, Staunton River and York River state parks. Our cabins
State Parks and experience our Commonwealth’s natural and campgrounds make excellent base camps for hunting in nearby
and cultural treasures. wildlife management areas and public forests.
— Bob McDonnell The young and young at heart enjoy taking a relaxing, summertime
Governor of Virginia dip at our parks. Beaches and pools at 16 state parks, complemented
by sunbathing areas, clean bathhouses and concession facilities, are
generally open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day
weekend. Overnight guests have free swimming privileges, except
Photographs on cover and pages 3, 4, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 19
and 20 courtesy of Bill Crabtree Jr., Virginia Tourism Corp.
group cabin visitors at Pocahontas State Park. A small fee is charged Natural and Cultural History
to day visitors. Season passes and discounted swimming tickets offer Virginia State Parks are more than beautiful; they’re educational, too.
savings for frequent visitors. Visitor centers at nearly two dozen parks help guests learn about the
Picnicking natural and cultural history of the region and Virginia.
From an impromptu picnic to a special occasion, all parks have picnic Several parks feature painstakingly restored, centuries-old build-
tables and grills for outdoor dining. Picnic shelters and gazebos are avail- ings open to the public. Tour an antebellum mansion at Chippokes
able at most parks. Shelter rental reservations can be made by calling the Plantation State Park, a 19th-century farmhouse at Sky Meadows
Reservation Center at (800) 933-PARK (7275). When not reserved, most State Park or an 1890s Victorian mansion at the Southwest Virginia
shelters are available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis. Museum State Park. Witness a Civil War living-history program at
Leesylvania, Sailor’s Creek Battlefield or Staunton River Battlefield
Camping and Cabins state parks. Discover Virginia’s frontier heritage at an authentically
Camping is available in 25 parks, and 18 parks have cabins. Overnight
recreated 1770s fort at Wilderness Road State Park. Learn about the
accommodations are perfect for family vacations, hunting and fish-
operations of a historic shot tower and visit the century-old mining
ing trips, and memorable weekend getaways.
town of Foster Falls at New River Trail State Park. Tour an 1880s gold
Virginia State Parks offer everything from primitive canoe or hike-in mine at Lake Anna State Park.
campgrounds to modern RV sites. Contact the Reservation Center for
There are few better places to observe wildlife in diverse habitats
specific information, or visit www.virginiastateparks.gov.
than Virginia State Parks, all of which are part of the Virginia Birding
Environmental Education and Wildlife Trail. Throughout spring, summer and fall, most parks
and Youth Programs offer nature and history programs for the whole family.
Virginia State Parks are premiere environmental education sites.
Adventure Programs and Festivals
Schools, scouts, other civic groups and individuals are encouraged
Learn to take wildlife photographs. Hone your skills at a fly-fishing
to come learn more about the great outdoors. Backyard Classroom
school. Pan for gold, take a wild cave tour or learn to backpack like
programs, incorporating Virginia’s Standards of Learning, promote
the experts. Many state parks offer special programs and classes
lifelong learning about Virginia’s natural wonders and historic trea-
that help participants better understand, appreciate and enjoy
sures. They also help young people enjoy, appreciate and understand
the great outdoors. The Virginia State Parks Youth Conservation Corps
offers a three-week public service program in the summer. Special programs, festivals, concerts and activities represent the best
Virginia State Parks have to offer. From traditional outdoor activities,
False Cape State Park’s Wash Woods Environmental Education Center
such as canoeing, fishing clinics or night hikes, to arts and crafts fes-
offers overnight facilities for schools and groups of up to 26. The
tivals, women’s wellness weekends and bluegrass concerts, visitors
center is ideal for those interested in coastal barrier spit ecosystems
will find something to do in a Virginia State Park. Fees are charged
or the cultural history of Virginia’s Outer Banks. Natural Tunnel’s Cove
for some programs, while others are free of charge.
Ridge Center has overnight accommodations for up to 48 guests or
students. It’s perfect for studying Southwest Virginia’s ecology, karst Up-to-the-minute, comprehensive information is available at
topography and the region’s rich cultural history. www.virginiastateparks.gov.
Civilian Conservation Corps
Between 1933 and 1941, the Civilian Conser-
Virginia Loves Campers is a partnership among Virginia State Parks, the vation Corps left an indelible imprint on the
Virginia Tourism Corp. and the Virginia Campground Association. Moun- nation’s landscape. The CCC planted trees,
tains, lakes, the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean beaches make improved beaches and roads, and created 800
Virginia one of America’s best camping destinations. This partnership state parks, including 10 in Virginia.
helps us better serve and inform campers of the unparalleled natural,
The parks built by the CCC are noted with a special logo in this publi-
cultural and recreational resources in our state parks and across Virginia.
cation. The same logo is displayed on historic buildings in the parks.
For a comprehensive list of all of Virginia’s campgrounds and camping
The CCC Museum at Pocahontas State Park celebrates the achieve-
opportunities, visit www.virginia.org/camping. Also visit www.virgini-
ments of those who served in the CCC.
acampgrounds.org for Virginia Campground Association information.
1.800.933.PARK (7275) www.virginiastateparks.gov 3
False Cape State Park First Landing State Park
Kiptopeke State Park SPECIAL EVENTS
On Virginia’s beautiful Eastern Shore, explored by Capt. APRIL Earth Day
John Smith in 1608, Kiptopeke offers recreational access to JUNE Clean the Bay Day
the Chesapeake Bay. It’s also a great place to explore Kids Fishing Clinic
unique migratory bird habitat along the Atlantic flyway. OCTOBER Eastern Shore Birding and Wildlife Festival
The park has six-bedroom cabins, RV and tent camping, a LOCATION
yurt (part cabin-part tent) and camping trailers. Guests also
3 miles north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel on U.S. Route 13,
enjoy the park’s boat ramp, lighted fishing pier, picnic then west on State Route 704.
areas, 5.1 miles of hiking and biking trails, playground,
beach bathhouse and swimming beach. Seasonal interpre-
tive and educational programs focus on natural history,
birding and bay ecology.
Kiptopeke State Park Chippokes Plantation State Park
Chippokes Plantation State Park with a gift shop. It also provides opportunities to bike, hike,
ride horseback and picnic. Chippokes Plantation also offers
Just across the James River from historic Jamestown, Chip- wedding packages and meeting facilities.
pokes Plantation is one of the oldest continually farmed
plantations in the country. A working farm since 1619, the SPECIAL EVENTS
park offers modern recreational activities and a glimpse of JUNE Steam and Gas Engine Show
life in a bygone era. Visitors tour the historic area with its JULY Pork, Peanut and Pine Festival
antebellum mansion and outbuildings, stroll through formal OCTOBER Plantation Christmas Craft Festival
gardens, and view antique equipment at the Chippokes Farm
DECEMBER Christmas Open House
and Forestry Museum. A campground and four overnight cot-
tages allow visitors to stay on the historic grounds. The park LOCATION
has an Olympic-sized swimming pool and a visitor center Access is via State Route 10 in Surry County.
4 www.virginiastateparks.gov 1.800.933.PARK (7275)
York River State Park York River State Park
False Cape State Park plants and wildlife, and maritime forest ecology. As one of
the original six state parks dedicated in 1936, First Landing
Nestled between Back Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, False Cape has a rich Civilian Conservation Corps heritage. The park is a
State Park is one of the last remaining undeveloped areas registered national landmark.
along the Atlantic coast. As the former home of Native Ameri-
cans, the historic Wash Woods community and a Coast Guard Cabins, water and electric hook-up campsites, picnic areas,
life saving station, False Cape honors the hardy souls who boat ramps and a campstore with bicycle rentals are also
made a living from the sea. available. The Chesapeake Bay Center houses historic exhib-
its, educational displays, a wet lab and aquariums operated
The park offers an opportunity to experience nature in a unique, by the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center. The new
primitive setting. Be prepared for weather conditions. Bring plen- Trail Center, outdoor courtyard, pavilion and amphitheater
ty of water, sunscreen and insect repellent. False Cape features can be rented for special events and weddings.
primitive camping, interpretive programs, hiking and biking
trails, and six miles of pristine Atlantic Ocean beach. The park is NEW Trail Center
accessible only by foot, bicycle, beach transport, tram or boat. SPECIAL EVENTS
Tram transportation through Back Bay National Wildlife Ref- JUNE Clean the Bay Day
uge is available April 1 through Oct. 31. Between Nov. 1 and JULY Dog Days of Summer
March 31, access to the park is restricted to hiking or biking OCTOBER Fall Fest
along the beach, by boat or by the park’s beach transporter. LOCATION
To make reservations for the beach transporter, call (800) U.S. 60 at Cape Henry in Virginia Beach
933-7275. The park allows no public vehicular access.
NEW Visitor center
SPECIAL EVENTS York River State Park
APRIL Spring Spruce-Up The park is known for its rare and delicate estuarine environ-
JUNE Clean the Bay Day ment, where freshwater and saltwater meet to create a rich
SEPTEMBER International Coastal Cleanup habitat for marine and plant life. It is on the York River and is
LOCATION designated as a Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research
Southeast of Virginia Beach at the south end of Sandbridge. False Cape Reserve. The pristine environment offers clues to a rich
is Virginia’s southernmost park, its southern boundary being the North natural and cultural history and hosts fossil beds and Native
Carolina line. American artifacts.
Programs, activities and visitor center displays focus on the
history, use, wildlife and preservation of the York River and
First Landing State Park its marshes. More than 25 miles of hiking, mountain biking
On April 26, 1607, about 100 English settlers from and equestrian trails allow visitors to explore the marsh, river
the Virginia Company landed here before pushing shoreline and forests. A boat ramp, fresh and saltwater fishing
up the James River to establish Jamestown and the first elective spots, a fishing pier, playgrounds, picnic shelters, and seasonal
government in English America. This event is reflected in the bike, boat and recreational equipment rentals are available.
name of Virginia’s most visited state park. A replica Chesapeake SPECIAL EVENTS
Indian longhouse on the Cape Henry walking trail provides visi-
APRIL Earth Day
tors a glimpse of pre-colonial life in the area.
SEPTEMBER Estuaries Day
With more than 19 miles of trails and 1.5 miles of Chesa- OCTOBER Harvest Day
peake Bay frontage, the park offers many recreational and
educational activities. It’s also a great place to explore
From Interstate 64, exit 231-B. Go north on State Route 607 for 1 mile,
unusual habitat featuring bald cypress trees, lagoons, rare then right on State Route 606.
1.800.933.PARK (7275) www.virginiastateparks.gov 5
Belle Isle State Park
Belle Isle has seven miles of shoreline on the Northern Neck’s
Rappahannock River and provides access to Mulberry and
Deep creeks. The park lets visitors explore a wide variety of
tidal wetlands interspersed with farmland and upland forests.
It has a campground, three picnic shelters, hiking, biking
and bridle trails, and motor boat and car-top launches. Belle
Isle also offers overnight lodging at Bel Air and the Bel Air
Lake Anna State Park
Guest House. Bicycle, canoe, kayak and motorboat rentals
are available. Guests also enjoy the park’s universal access
playground, boardwalk and fishing pier, and educational pro-
grams. The Bel Air historic area is ideal for weddings. Westmoreland State Park
On the Potomac River’s Northern Neck, this park
NEW Canoe-in campsites on the Rappahannock River
offers many opportunities for family fun. It has
an Olympic-sized swimming pool and an adjacent bath-
From Warsaw, take State Route 3 to State Route 354 and then State house, meeting area, snack bar, camp store and power-boat
Route 683 near Litwalton to the park entrance in Lancaster County.
From Kilmarnock, take State Route 3, turn left on State Route 201, ramp. You’ll also find a visitor center, campgrounds, camp-
right on State Route 354 and left at State Route 683. ing cabins, cabins, fishing pier, boat rentals and six miles of
trails. Fossil collectors enjoy hunting for ancient shark teeth
along the Potomac. Offshore breakwaters are great for fishing.
Birding enthusiasts find the park an excellent site for spotting
Caledon Natural Area American bald eagles, ospreys, kingfishers, great blue herons,
A National Natural Landmark known for its old growth forest common terns, green herons and gulls, as well as wintering
and summer home to one of the largest concentrations of waterfowl. The Potomac River Retreat is an overnight center
American bald eagles on the East Coast, Caledon attracts bird suitable for family reunions and other gatherings of up to 16.
watchers of all ages. To protect the eagles, access to marshes Its waterfront location provides docking space at a boat-
and the Potomac River is limited. However, tours of the eagle house. Murphy Hall, atop Horse Head Cliffs, offers a superb
habitat are offered seasonally. Forest trails are open year- view of the Potomac River. The hall accommodates up to 65
round. The Boyd’s Hole Trail to the Potomac River is open people for meetings and other gatherings. Amenities include
from October through March. A visitor center with bald eagle audiovisual equipment, a warming kitchen for catered events
exhibits, two picnic areas, a picnic shelter and restrooms also and a break-out room.
are available between May and September.
NEW Visitor center at Big Meadows trailhead
LOCATION Offshore breakwaters; great for fishing
From east or west, take State Route 3 to State Route 206 east for about LOCATION
7 miles to State Route 218 west for 1 mile to park entrance. 5 miles northwest of Montross, just off State Route 3.
Caledon Natural Area Caledon Natural Area
6 www.virginiastateparks.gov 1.800.933.PARK (7275)
Lake Anna State Park Mason Neck State Park
The park has a beach on one of Virginia’s most popular lakes, Just a short drive from Washington, D.C., this Northern
a fishing pond accessible to children and the disabled, a Virginia park offers many outdoor activities and programs.
bathhouse-concessions complex and a boat launch. Camping, It has hiking trails, a large picnic area, a playground, a
picnicking, six camping cabins and 10 two-bedroom cabins, car-top canoe launch and a visitor center. Canoe, kayak and
seven with views of the lake, also are available. With more bicycle rentals are also available. Bird watching, especially for
than 15 miles of trails, the park offers many hiking, biking American bald eagles, and guided canoe trips of Kane’s Creek
and horseback riding options. Visitor center exhibits trace the and Belmont Bay are favorites with park visitors. The park’s
history of the area’s gold mining and highlight the park’s nat- wetlands, forest, open water, ponds and open fields make it
ural features. Nature and gold panning programs are popular, ideal for environmental study and wildlife observation. Nearby
and the park offers guided tours of the Goodwin Gold Mine. attractions include the Elizabeth Hartwell National Wildlife
Refuge, Gunston Hall and Pohick Bay Regional Park.
From east or west, take State Route 3 to State Route 206 east for about SPECIAL EVENTS
7 miles to State Route 218 west for one mile to park entrance. SPRING Eagle Festival
7 miles northeast of Woodbridge. Take U.S. 1, then east on State Route
Leesylvania State Park 242 (Gunston Road) for about 4 miles.
Leesylvania is nestled along the tidal shores of the historic
Potomac River. Native Americans lived on this land for
thousands of years. Capt. John Smith visited the area in 1608
on his voyage of discovery. It’s also the ancestral home of
Virginia’s legendary Lee and Fairfax families. Listed on the
National Register of Historic Landmarks, Leesylvania offers
many land and water activities, including hiking, picnicking,
fishing and boating. A universally accessible fishing pier,
playground, boat launch, boat storage area, snack bar and
store, visitor center and gift shop are available.
SUMMER Marina Concert Series
SEPTEMBER Anniversary of Freestone Battery
OCTOBER Haunted History Hike
25 miles south of Washington, D.C. From U.S. 1, take State Route 610
(Neabsco Road) east 2 miles.
Leesylvania State Park
Westmoreland State Park Mason Neck State Park Lake Anna State Park
1.800.933.PARK (7275) www.virginiastateparks.gov 7
James River State Park Bear Creek Lake State Park Smith Mountain Lake State Park
Bear Creek Lake State Park Holliday Lake State Park
Nestled in the heart of the Cumberland State Forest Deep in the Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest, Hol-
in central Virginia, Bear Creek Lake is less than liday Lake is a paradise for the outdoor enthusiast. Fish-
an hour west of Richmond. It’s the perfect getaway for an ing for largemouth bass, crappie and bluegill is popular. A nearby
outdoor enthusiast. Activities center on the 40-acre lake with a Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries delayed-harvest
boat launch, fishing pier, boat rentals and a swimming beach. trout stream allows anglers to fish for brown and rainbow trout.
Other attractions include a meeting facility, cabins, camping,
Swimming at the park’s guarded beach and the “Critter Hole”
picnicking, an archery range and playgrounds. Guests also take
play area are visitor favorites. The park has several hiking,
advantage of the park’s trails and access to a state forest’s 14-
biking and equestrian trails. Visitors enjoy its campground,
mile multi-use trail, which is popular with equestrians.
picnic shelters, playgrounds, seasonal concession stand,
LOCATION gift shop and boat ramp. The park rents canoes, kayaks and
From U.S. 60 at Cumberland Courthouse, north on State Route 622 and paddleboats. Holliday Lake is just minutes from the famous
then west on State Route 629. Appomattox Court House National Historical Park where Gen.
Robert E. Lee surrendered to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in 1865.
High Bridge Trail State Park Accessible via State Route 24 between Appomattox and U.S. 60 and
from state routes 626, 640 and 692.
High Bridge Trail State Park
is a multi-use trail ideally
suited for hiking, bicycling
and horseback riding. The James River State Park
centerpiece is the majestic
Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the park
High Bridge, which is more
features rolling grasslands, quiet forests and beautiful views,
than 2,400 feet long and
as well as three miles of shoreline along the James River. Visi-
160 feet above the Appomat-
tors can hike, bike, canoe, kayak, fish or camp on the banks of
tox River. The bridge was
the historic river or at Branch Pond. Facilities include cabins, a
built in 1853 as part of the
nature center, a gift shop, picnic shelters, multi-use trails, boat
South Side Railroad.
launches, campgrounds and equestrian camping. The park also
Except for High Bridge itself, all 30 miles of this linear park’s has a universally accessible fishing pier and a quarter-mile-
trails are open. Work on access to the bridge continues, but long wheelchair accessible trail around Green Hill Pond. James
the bridge can be seen from certain sections of the trail. The River State Park Outdoor Adventures, a full-service canoe livery,
bridge is slated to be open to the public in late 2011. Develop- provides canoe, kayak, tube and bicycle rentals as well as shuttle
ment of other park facilities also continues. services. For more information about the livery, call (434) 933-
8682 (open seasonally). The park is also a great place to view
Visitors should bring plenty of drinking water. No drinking
the annual James River Batteau Festival. A replica of one of the
water is available on the trail.
unusual vessels is on display near Green Hill Pond.
NEW Equestrian campground and visitor center
JUNE National Trails Day
JULY Summer Festival
There are multiple access points along the trail. Use municipal parking
lots in Farmville. Others are at River Road in Cumberland County; OCTOBER Fall Festival
Osborne Road in Farmville; Heights School Road in Prince Edward County; LOCATION
and at Rice, Tuggle and Prospect. Horse trailer parking is available at
From State Route 60 West in Buckingham County, turn right on State
Prospect, Osborne Road and Heights School Road.
Route 605 at the James River Bridge. Go 7 miles and turn left onto
State Route 606.
8 www.virginiastateparks.gov 1.800.933.PARK (7275)
Sailor’s Creek Battlefield Historical State Park York River State Park Pocahontas State Park
Pocahontas State Park Smith Mountain Lake State Park
Just 20 miles from downtown Richmond, Pocahon- On the second largest freshwater lake in the state, this pic-
tas offers boating, picnicking, camping, camping turesque park is the water enthusiast’s paradise. There are
cabins, hiking, and interpretive and environmental education numerous water activities, including swimming, boat rentals,
programs. The Aquatic Center offers seasonal water-based a boat ramp and a universally accessible fishing pier. Families
activities for the entire family. It has a kiddie pool, fountain can also enjoy picnicking, a visitor center, an amphitheater,
wet deck, three-foot and five-foot-deep leisure pools, an activ- special programs, camping, miles of trails and cabins with
ity pool and two tubular water slides. Rowboat, paddleboat, boat docks.
kayak and canoe rentals also are available at the 200-acre
NEW Visitor center
Swift Creek Lake during the summer. The park’s two fishing
lakes have crappie, largemouth bass, bluegill and catfish. The SPECIAL EVENTS
park has more than 80 miles of trails throughout 7,925 acres MAY & SEPTEMBER Triathlons
open to hiking, bicycling and horseback riding. The Civilian JUNE Aspiring Anglers Junior Fishing Tournament
Conservation Corps Museum, dedicated to the Depression-era LOCATION
workers who helped build the state park system, is one of a From U.S. 460 in Bedford County, take State Route 122 south to Route
handful in the nation. The park’s Heritage Center is available 608 east to Route 626 south.
for meetings, events and seasonal performances. Group facili-
ties with meeting space and primitive overnight cabins also
Twin Lakes State Park
NEW Bright Hope Equestrian Facility
In the heart of central Virginia, this historic park
SPECIAL EVENTS offers many cultural, environmental and rec-
IN SEASON Pocahontas Amphitheater Performing Arts Series reational activities. Overnight accommodations include a
LOCATION campground and climate-controlled cabins. Visitors enjoy
Interstate 95 to State Route 288 north in Chesterfield County, then swimming, fishing, boating and lakefront picnicking at Good-
State Route 10 east to State Route 655 (Beach Road) west. Travel 3 win Lake. Hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians can use
miles, and the park is on the right. a neighboring multi-use trail in Prince Edward-Gallion State
Forest. Cedar Crest Conference Center on Prince Edward Lake
is available for family reunions, business meetings, wedding
Sailor’s Creek Battlefield Historical State Park receptions and other gatherings.
On April 6, 1865, nearly a quarter of Confederate Gen. Robert LOCATION
E. Lee’s army, more than 7,700 men, were killed, wounded or From U.S. 360 west of Burkeville to Route 613 and east on Route 629.
captured here. Lee surrendered 72 hours later at Appomattox
Court House. Costumed volunteers present various interpre-
tive programs throughout the year. Living history events take
place every April. Motorists traveling along Lee’s Retreat
can learn more about the battle by tuning their radios to AM
1610. For more information about seasonal tours of the Hills-
man House, call (434) 315-0349.
NEW Visitor center
10 miles east of Farmville. Take State Route 307 (the connecting
highway between U.S. 360 and U.S. 460 at Farmville) to State Route 617
north and follow the signs.
Pocahontas State Park
1.800.933.PARK (7275) www.virginiastateparks.gov 9
Fairy Stone State Park Staunton River Battlefield State Park
Home of the legendary fairy stones, Fairy Stone is This park is a 300-acre Civil War historic site where a ragtag
well-known for its 168-acre lake adjoining Philpott group of 700 Confederate old men and young boys beat the
Reservoir just minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway. Park odds and held off an assault by 5,000 Union cavalry on a
attractions include cabins, a campground, group camping, bridge of strategic importance to Gen. Lee’s army, then under
a conference center, hiking trails, lake swimming, rowboats, siege in Petersburg. Visit the Confederate earthworks or walk
canoes, paddle boats, kayaks, picnicking and two play- the historic bridge trail. Two visitor centers feature 2,300
grounds, including one in the water. square feet of exhibits on the area’s rich Civil War heritage,
Native American archaeological investigations and electric en-
NEW Equestrian camping
ergy production. The park includes a 1.2-mile self-guided trail
LOCATION through the battlefield and a three-quarter-mile nature trail
Near Martinsville. Access by Route 57 from Bassett or from the Blue with two wildlife observation towers overlooking wetlands.
Ridge Parkway via Routes 58, 8 and 57.
18 miles east of South Boston. Take State Route 92 to Clover.
Go about 5 miles to State Route 600 and turn left. Go approximately
Occoneechee State Park 3 miles and turn right on State Route 855.
Named for Native Americans who lived in the area for hun-
dreds of years, Occoneechee is on the John H. Kerr Reservoir,
better known as Buggs Island Lake, and is popular with Staunton River State Park
anglers and boaters. Facilities include cabins, campsites,
equestrian camping, picnic shelters, an amphitheater, a play- Tucked neatly into the heart of Virginia, about 25
ground, boat ramps, and a private concession offering fishing miles from the North Carolina border, Staunton
and pontoon boat rentals as well as snacks. The park also River offers much to families and outdoor enthusiasts. The
has a 15-mile round trip (seven-mile linear) multipurpose 2,400-acre park comprises woodlands, meadows and shore-
trail for hiking, biking and horseback riding. The visitor cen- line along the Dan and Staunton rivers. Cabins built in the
ter and museum introduce visitors to Native American culture 1930s by the CCC and a campground offer overnight lodging.
and the indigenous Occoneechee people. Access to Virginia’s largest lake, Buggs Island Lake, offers
freshwater fishing and boating, along with water skiing and
SPECIAL EVENTS many other aquatic activities. The park also has Olympic-
MAY Native American Heritage Festival sized and wading pools, picnic shelters, a large playground,
Jazz Festival by the Lake tennis and volleyball courts, several boat launches and more
than 11 miles of multi-use trails. River Traders, just outside
the park entrance, rents canoes, kayaks, jonboats and pon-
Near Clarksville, 1.5 miles east on U.S. 58 east, just east of the U.S. 15
and 58 intersection. toon boats.
NEW Equestrian camping
18 miles east of South Boston. Take U.S. 360, then State Route 344 for
Occoneechee State Park Staunton River State Park
10 www.virginiastateparks.gov 1.800.933.PARK (7275)
75 Days of Summer
June 15 – Sept. 5 – Participate in the 75 Days of Summer contest. Visit a Virginia State Park Diamond
and enter a grand prize drawing for a pop-up trailer from Coastal RV. Beginning June 15,
enter daily online contests and sweepstakes with daily winners of a variety of prizes. Weekly
prizes include a camping trip with a fully furnished camper trailer from Road Trip Rentals.
Details about the contest, prizes and requirements will be published this summer at www. ROAD TRIP RENTALS
Thanks to our generous sponsors
Win a three, five or seven-night
stay in one of Road Trip Rentals
beautiful campers at an award-
Ashland Wal-Mart Bay Creek Resort Golf Course winning Virginia State Park.
Giant Food Store Corp. of Virginia Beach
Natural Bridge of Virginia Aramark Shenandoah
National Park Lodging
Science Museum of Virginia
Bass Pro Shops
Richmond Flying Squirrels Outdoor World of Ashland
Richmond International Raceway Meg Groat Watercolors
Virginia Tech Martin’s Food Store of Glen Allen
Colonial National Bank of Marion
Lifetime Wellness Center of Marion
Rosewood Florist of Marion
Virginia Tourism Corp.
Donna’s Alterations of Marion
Radio Rock 102.5 of Marion
Mullen Army & Navy Store
University of Virginia of Marion
Virginia Museum Empire Vending Co. of Marion COASTAL RV
of Natural History www.coastalrv.net
Highlands Union Bank of Marion
Martinsville Speedway Win this 2011 Palomino Pony-280
Missy’s Sun Salon of Marion
Coleman Co. Camper. Sponsored by Coastal RV
Francis Brothers Inc. of Marion of Carrollton, Va.
and Marine Science Center R & R Station of Marion
Jungle Golf of Virginia Beach McDonald’s of Marion
Contemporary Art Center Carnival Cruise Line
of Virginia Beach Bruster’s Real Ice Cream
of New Town Williamsburg
Harry and David Premium Outlets
1.800.933.PARK (7275) www.virginiastateparks.gov 11
Family. Friends. Fun.
Nearly 100 years ago, as more and On June 15, 1936, Virginia became the
more Americans could afford automobiles, first state to open an entire statewide
they looked for places to drive. When park system on the same day. Built by the
they drove, to escape the noise and young men of the Civilian Conservation
congestion of the cities and towns, they Corps, the new parks offered modern
needed affordable, comfortable overnight outdoor recreational conveniences while
accommodations combined with outdoor protecting significant natural resources.
recreation. It’s no surprise that as Americans The original six-park system has grown to
became more mobile, and the quality of 35 parks and hosts more than 8 million
roads improved, the nation’s campgrounds visitors a year.
This year, Virginia celebrates the 75th
In the Old Dominion, this growing demand anniversary of the state park system with
for reasonably priced, convenient facilities special programs, contests, activities,
was answered by the construction of souvenirs and even birthday cake!
Virginia State Parks.
12 www.virginiastateparks.gov 1.800.933.PARK (7275)
Sept. 5 – Oct. 31 – Submit
digital photographs electronically
to www.virginiaoutdoors.com for
a special photography contest.
There will be four categories—
flora, fauna, seasons, and people
and nature—with adult and
15-and-under divisions. Start
taking photos now. Pictures
must be taken in a Virginia State
Park in 2011. Prizes include
Virginia State Park cabin and
June 13 – 19 – Celebrate
our birthday week with free
parking and admission to all
Virginia State Parks.
June 18 – Join us for the 75th
the n C esta
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cake at all 35 state parks.
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the Virginia State Parks
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www.a be among the best in
the nation. Virginia
iSBn -13 978-0-
-10 0- 73 m
State Parks will soon
-8718- 9 $21.
April 5 – The Virginia Lottery will introduce 9 7
be published by
a Virginia State Parks Virginia’s Riches Arcadia Publishing
lottery scratcher game. The game features as part of the Im-
a $75,000 cash prize and exciting second- ages of America
chance prizes. series. In the
F o re ro n B . E
w o rd w
b y Jo in g
e E lt
book, author on
Sharon B. Ewing
celebrates 75 years of the
park system and beyond, sharing archival
photographs and stories of Virginia’s treasures. The
book can be found in every Virginia State Park and
online at www.virginiastateparks.gov.
1.800.933.PARK (7275) www.virginiastateparks.gov 13
A summer vacation
full of adventures
By ANDY THOMPSON | TIMES-DISPATCH COLUMNIST and July. Their record for a single day was five
Published: Aug. 20, 2010 parks. This past weekend, they found their last
Reprinted courtesy the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
cache at Sailor’s Creek Battlefield Historical
At the beginning of the summer, camping State Park in Rice.
was a vague concept to Abigail Lamb. She Christy Lamb is an admitted goal-oriented,
knew about it only from watching TV. And it organization nut, so a vacation without a
must have been very vague, indeed, as Lamb purpose was not really her thing, anyway.
isn’t allowed to watch much TV.
“When you go to the beach you just sit there,”
“We are outdoors people,” Abigail’s mom, she said. “That’s fun, but take it one step
Christy, said of the entire Lamb family. further: Let’s go find stuff.”
So it surprised Christy when her 6-year-old The geocaching aspect really was a means to
declared, unequivocally, that she wanted to an end. If you really want to get her excited,
go camping. Christy realized that even though ask Christy about the experiences she shared
she and her husband, Jeremiah, camped all with her husband and three daughters during
the time growing up, they had never taken all those days and nights together in some of
their kids for a night in the woods. Virginia’s most beautiful places.
“I said let’s try it for a weekend,” she remem- The second-grade science teacher said she
bered thinking. and her husband made sure each trek for
But the Lambs, who make their home in geocaching glory also involved some kind of
Grottoes, near Harrisonburg, didn’t just pitch educational experience for the kids.
a tent in the nearest park. They embarked “My 6-year-old will tell you it wasn’t just
on a summer of adventure none of them will camping to her,” Christy said. “At every state
ever forget; the kind that makes you realize park, we’d make sure that she either did a
kids weren’t born with video game controllers learning activity with one of the interpreters
strapped to their hands. there, or, if they didn’t have something avail-
“After the first weekend, the kids were able, we’d find something to learn about so it
hooked,” she said. was a discovery as we went.”
Already into geocaching, a kind of treasure Something tells me Abigail won’t soon forget
hunt where participants use handheld GPS the concept of camouflage, which her parents
devices to search for “caches” hidden just explained to her when the family came across
about anywhere, the Lambs decided to take a whitetail fawn curled up on the forest floor.
on the Virginia State Parks Geocaching Wild- “The most memorable moment for me,”
life Adventure. Christy said, “was when Bailey got up at 5:30
Nearly every state park has its own multi- in the morning saying, ‘Let’s go. Let’s go. Find
cache (where multiple points lead to the final more boxes. Find more boxes.’
cache), and a prize is given to the person or “We got smart after the second camping
group who can collect the card in every cache night. We would put our air mattress right up
box before the end of the year. against the tent door, because she would try
Of course, that meant going to every state to get out and go on her own and find boxes.”
park with a cache — all 34 of them. And since The summer geocaching adventure has
Christy is a school teacher, the family, which barely been over a week, and Christy and Jer-
included Christy’s mom, Sandra Kelley, figured emiah already have had to plan a September
they’d have to do it during the summer. trip to placate their camping-obsessed kids.
Ambitious, right? Not only did they complete “I feel like we’re closer as a family after this,”
the statewide treasure hunt this summer, she said.
they did most of it in a 15-day span in June
14 www.virginiastateparks.gov 1.800.933.PARK (7275)
Douthat State Park NEW Cabins, visitor center and campground
A traditional family park for 75 years, Douthat is LOCATION
listed on the National Register of Historic Places for the role its Warren County, just off U.S. 340 between Front Royal and Luray. Some
design played in the development of parks nationwide. Amid of the park borders U.S. 340 on the east and the South Fork of the
Shenandoah River on the west.
some of Virginia’s most breathtaking mountain scenery,
visitors enjoy interpretive programs, two miles of stream fish-
ing, a 50-acre lake stocked with trout, a sandy swimming
Sky Meadows State Park
beach with snack bar, boat rentals, a gift shop and camp store, Rich in history, this 1,862-acre park has scenic views, rolling
cabins, and more than 43 miles of hiking, mountain biking and pastures and woodlands. Look into a bygone era by touring
bridle trails. Plus, there are playgrounds, an amphitheater, picnic the Mount Bleak House to see how a middle-class farm family
areas, tent and trailer camping, and a restaurant overlooking the of the 1860s lived. Nature and history programs are offered
lake. The park also has three cabins that accommodate 15, 16 during the spring, summer and fall. Hiking, picnicking, fish-
and 18 guests each. ing, and primitive hike-in camping for families and groups
are favorite activities in this peaceful getaway on the eastern
NEW Equestrian campground, Royal Canin playground side of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The park has six miles of
SPECIAL EVENTS bridle trails and 14 miles of hiking trails, which access the
MAY Douthat Lake Run Car Show Appalachian Trail.
JULY Arts and crafts fair
AUGUST Big Country 101 Back to School Bash
MAY Delaplane Strawberry Festival
OCTOBER Apple Day – A Celebration of Appalachian Heritage
OCTOBER Family Farm Festival weekends
NOVEMBER Country Christmas
Northeast of Clifton Forge. Interstate 64 to exit 27, to State Route 629,
then 5 miles north.
2 miles south of Paris. Take U.S. 50 to State Route 17 south or, from
I-66, take State Route 17 north at exit 23. The park entrance is on State
Route 710 west.
Raymond R. “Andy” Guest Jr.
Shenandoah River State Park
This park is on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River and has
more than 1,600 acres along 5.2 miles of shoreline. The park
opened in June 1999. In addition to meandering river frontage,
the park offers scenic views of Massanutten Mountain to the
west and Shenandoah National Park to the east. A large riverside
picnic area with shelters, trails, river access and a car-top boat
launch make this a popular destination for families, anglers and
canoeists. Ten riverfront tent campsites, a campground with wa-
ter and electric sites, cabins, camping cabins and a group camp-
ground are available. With more than 15 miles of trails, the park
has plenty of options for hiking, biking and horseback riding.
Douthat State Park
Sky Meadows State Park Douthat State Park
1.800.933.PARK (7275) www.virginiastateparks.gov 15
Grayson Highlands State Park Hungry Mother State Park New River Trail State Park
Claytor Lake State Park SPECIAL EVENTS
Ideal for swimming, camping, hiking and picnicking, Claytor APRIL Mountain Do Triathlon
Lake is known for sport fishing and boating. The park has a JULY Hungry Mother Arts and Crafts Festival
full-service marina with docking slips, supplies, fuel, boat rentals OCTOBER Fall Fear Mountain Bike Race
and refreshments. The Water’s Edge Meeting Facility is perfect for LOCATION
weddings and reunions. There’s also a gift shop. Several cabins 4 miles north of Marion on State Route 16.
overlook the 4,500-acre lake, offering visitors a scenic retreat. The
historic Howe House has interactive exhibits describing the ecol-
ogy of the lake and the surrounding areas.
New River Trail State Park
New River Trail is a 57-mile linear park that follows an
JUNE Celebration of Summer Festival abandoned railroad right-of-way. The park parallels the scenic
AUGUST Back to School Beach Bash and historic New River for 40 miles and passes through four
LOCATION counties. The trail’s gentle slope makes it great for visitors
Interstate 81 to exit 101 near Dublin in Pulaski County. of all ages to hike, bike and ride horseback. Several places in
the park provide horse, canoe and bike rentals, boat launches
and gift shops. Fishing is popular, and primitive camping
sites dot the trail. The Foster Falls village is home to genuine
Grayson Highlands State Park mustangs. Guided horseback trips are available.
Near Mount Rogers and Whitetop Mountain, Virginia’s two
highest mountains, Grayson Highlands offers scenic views of SPECIAL EVENTS
alpine-like peaks more than 5,000 feet high. Facilities include APRIL Spring Senior Van Tours
a visitor center, campgrounds, and hiking trails leading to wa- JULY Civil War Encampment
terfalls and overlooks. Scenic horse trails and a horse camping OCTOBER Fall Senior Van Tours
area with electric and water hookups, stables and parking for DECEMBER Foster Falls Festival of Lights
trailers are available. The park provides year-round access to
the Appalachian Trail and the Virginia Highlands Horse Trail.
SPECIAL EVENTS There are access points to the trail at Allisonia, Cliffview, Draper, Foster
JUNE Wayne C. Henderson Music Festival and Guitar Competition Falls, Fries, Galax, Ivanhoe and Xaloy (near Pulaski). Horse Trailer Park-
ing: Allisonia, Cliffview, Draper, Fries, Foster Falls and Xaloy.
SEPTEMBER Grayson Highlands Fall Festival
Interstate 81 to exit 45 in Marion, then State Route 16 to Volney and
west on U.S. 58. Shot Tower Historic State Park
Overlooking the New River, adjacent to New River Trail State
Park, the shot tower was built more than 200 years ago to
Hungry Mother State Park make ammunition for firearms of the early settlers. Lead from
the nearby Austinville Mines was melted in a kettle atop a 75-
Long a family favorite known for beautiful woodlands foot tower and poured through a sieve. It then fell through a
and a placid 108-acre lake in the heart of the moun- shaft into a vat of water beneath the tower. The shot tower is
tains, Hungry Mother has a sandy beach with bathhouse, boats a National Historic Landmark. Picnic facilities, restrooms and
(fishing, canoe, kayak and paddle) and a boat launch, and a uni- a hiking trail are available. Shot Tower grounds are closed
versally accessible fishing pier. Guests also enjoy its campgrounds, from mid-October through April.
cabins, gift shop, visitor center, six-bedroom family lodge that sleeps
15, hiking and biking trails, and restaurant. Hungry Mother is LOCATION
also home to the Hemlock Haven Conference Center, available for Interstate 77 to exit 24 and go north on State Route 52 for 2 miles.
retreats, conferences and special events. Catering is available.
16 www.virginiastateparks.gov 1.800.933.PARK (7275)
Natural Tunnel State Park Wilderness Road State Park Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park
Breaks Interstate Park Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park
Straddling the Virginia-Kentucky border, the park features the A National Historic Landmark, the Southwest Virginia Mu-
hEart oF appalaChIa
largest canyon east of the Mississippi. Sometimes called the seum is in an 1890s Victorian stone mansion with original
“Grand Canyon of the South,” the park’s spectacular beauty can oak interior. The museum’s collection includes more than
be seen along its hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding 25,000 pieces and state of the art exhibits telling the story of
trails, and while boating and fishing on Laurel Lake. In October, the exploration and development of Southwest Virginia from
water is released from Flannagan Reservoir, creating world-class the pioneer era of the 1700s to the mining “boom and bust”
whitewater that draws people from around the world to the Rus- era of the late 1800s.
sell Fork River. The park has a restaurant and conference center
The museum also offers many interpretive and special events.
near the rim of the canyon as well as camping. There are 82 lodge
The gift shop features unique items representative of the
rooms, four cottages and five lakefront luxury cabins. For informa-
area’s history. The park offers facilities for meetings, wed-
tion or reservations, call (276) 865-4413.
dings and other special occasions, and the charming Poplar
SPECIAL EVENTS Hill Cottage is available for overnight guests.
FATHER’S DAY WEEKEND Annual Gospel Event SPECIAL EVENTS
JUNE-JULY Outdoor Bluegrass Events APRIL Stitch in Time Quilt Show
OCTOBER Halloween campground events, JULY Gathering in the Gap Music Festival
Homemaking in the Mountains
MID-NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 31 Festival of Trees
Interstate 77 to exit 24 and go north on State Route 52 for 2 miles.
Wood Avenue, Big Stone Gap
Natural Tunnel State Park Wilderness Road State Park
More than 850 feet long and as tall as a 10-story building,
Wilderness Road offers picnicking, hiking and living history
Natural Tunnel was naturally carved through a limestone
programs. Visitors can enjoy the visitor center, home to a theater
ridge over thousands of years. William Jennings Bryan called
showing an award-winning docudrama, Wilderness Road, Spirit
it the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” Other scenic features
of a Nation. The center also has a frontier museum and a gift shop
include a wide chasm between steep stone walls surrounded
with unique regional gifts. The park features the reconstructed
by several pinnacles, or “chimneys.”
Martin’s Station, an outdoor living history museum depicting life on
Facilities include two campgrounds, cabins, picnic areas, an Virginia’s 1775 frontier. Guests also enjoy the park’s picnic shelters,
amphitheater, a visitor center and a gift shop. You’ll also find the an ADA-certified playground, a sand volleyball court and horseshoe
Wilderness Road blockhouse and visitor center, a swimming pool pits. Visitors can hike, bike or horseback ride on the eight-
with a 100-foot slide and a chairlift to the tunnel floor. Guests mile Wilderness Road Trail linking the park with 50 miles of
enjoy cave tours and canoe trips on the Clinch River, as well as trails in Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. The 1870s era
the Cove Ridge Center, which offers environmental education, mansion is available for weddings and meetings. It has a solarium
conference facilities and overnight dorm accommodations. that’s perfect for showers, birthdays and other special functions.
NEW Campgrounds and cabins SPECIAL EVENTS
SPECIAL EVENTS APRIL Easter at Karlan
JANUARY-APRIL Candlelight Series MAY Raid at Martin’s Station
SUMMER Pickin’ in the Park, Lighting of the Tunnel OCTOBER Wilderness Road Heritage Festival
SEPTEMBER Papa Joe Smiddy Mountain Music Festival Pumpkins in the Park
DECEMBER Lighting of the Tunnel DECEMBER Christmas Past and Present
North from Gate City via U.S. 23, then 1 mile east on State Route 871. 5 miles west of Ewing, on U.S. 58.
The park turn-off is at mile marker 17.4.
1.800.933.PARK (7275) www.virginiastateparks.gov 17
Cabin at James River State Park
Cabin at James River State Park Six-bedroom cabin at Bear Creek Lake State Park
climate-controlled cabins. Bear Creek Lake, Chippokes Planta- In addition to cabins, special facilities include:
tion, Claytor Lake, Douthat, Fairy Stone, First Landing, Hungry Bel Air and Guest House. These upscale, overnight facilities in
Mother, James River, Lake Anna, Natural Tunnel, Occoneechee, Belle Isle State Park are perfect for family reunions or picturesque
Shenandoah River, Staunton River, Smith Mountain Lake, Twin weddings. Furnished with antique reproductions, the mansion
Lakes and Westmoreland state parks. Cabin sizes and sleeping comfortably sleeps six. The simply furnished guest house sleeps
arrangements vary by park. eight.
All cabins have kitchens and bathrooms with a shower. Cabin cove ridge center at natural tunnel State park. Available for
furnishings and equipment include rustic furniture, microwave, reunions, conferences or business meetings, the two attached
refrigerator, oven, dishes, cooking utensils, silverware, kitchen dormitories accommodate up to 30 each. Overnight guests have
towels and glassware. Bath towels and bedroom linens, including free use of the adjacent swimming pool during normal operating
mattress covers, pillows, blankets, sheets and pillow cases, also hours. Reservations are handled by the park at (276) 940-2696.
are included. Except for cabins at Chippokes Plantation and the
poplar Hill cottage at the Southwest Virginia Museum. This
Martin Cottage at Twin Lakes, all cabins have fireplaces. Cabins
quaint, garden-themed cottage is the perfect getaway in the
at Smith Mountain Lake have wood stoves. Between Memorial
mountains. Furnished with reproduction furniture, the cottage
Day and Labor Day, the standard cabin rental period is one week.
is in the historic Poplar Hill neighborhood, adjacent to other fine
Rentals for less than a week during this period can be made only
homes. It comfortably sleeps six and has two full baths.
within a month prior to desired occupancy based on availability.
There is a two-night minimum stay. camping opportunities. Camping lodges are available at Bear
Creek Lake, Belle Isle, Claytor Lake, Fairy Stone, Grayson Highlands,
For larger groups and retreats, five and six-bedroom cabins are
Holliday Lake, James River, Kiptopeke, Lake Anna, Occoneechee,
available at Bear Creek Lake, Claytor Lake, Douthat, Fairy Stone,
Smith Mountain Lake and Staunton River state parks.
Hungry Mother, James River, Kiptopeke, Natural Tunnel, Occo-
neechee, Shenandoah River and Westmoreland. They are rented camping cabins are available at Lake Anna, Pocahontas,
as a whole, not by individual rooms. Shenandoah River and Westmoreland state parks. Kiptopeke
State Park offers a unique yurt as well as camping trailers.
check-in is 3 p.m.; check-out is 10 a.m. check-in days dur-
ing the week-long requirement vary, so contact the reser- Developed and group campsites have picnic tables, grills and ac-
vation center. All reservations are subject to availability. cess to bathhouses. Primitive campsites generally have fire grills,
cabins cannot be reserved for more than 14 days in a row. picnic tables, vault toilets and non-potable water.
18 www.virginiastateparks.gov 1.800.933.PARK (7275)
Cabin at Bear Creek Lake State Park
Primitive hike-in camping is available at False Cape, New River
Trail and Sky Meadows. False Cape prohibits open fires and pro-
vides pit toilets and picnic tables. Water is available only at False
Cape’s Barbour Hill area.
Primitive drive-in camping is available at James River, and hike-in
and canoe-in sites are available at James River, New River Trail
and Raymond R. “Andy” Guest Jr. Shenandoah River state parks.
Equestrian campsites are available at Douthat (opening late
2011), Grayson Highlands, James River, New River Trail and
Occoneechee state parks.
the maximum camping period is 14 days in a row in any
single park. Campers cannot be assured of access to their
reserved sites before the reservation start time of 4 p.m. on the
scheduled day of arrival. Check-out is 3 p.m. Cabin at Douthat State Park
reservations for summer weekend camping should be
made as early as possible. To best meet the needs of the
camping public, specific campsites are assigned upon arrival
at the park, not when the reservation is made, except at False Note: False Cape State Park requires reservations. Campers
Cape and New River Trail. Unreserved campsites are available must receive information about camping at the park by mail,
on a first-come, first-served basis, but reservations are e-mail or fax before their stay. Conditions are primitive. False
strongly recommended. Cape is recommended for experienced campers only. Please
call the Reservation Center for details.
1.800.933.PARK (7275) www.virginiastateparks.gov 19
An Important Part
of a Healthy Lifestyle
Virginia State Parks are a tonic for the Monday in December, primitive Virginia Association
mind, body and spirit. Museums, visitor campsites are available year-round. For Parks
centers and nearby historic sites make Camping at Shenandoah River is also The VAFP promotes volunteerism
state parks cultural treasures. Recre- available year-round. in Virginia’s state and national parks.
ational opportunities in state parks are For more information or to show
endless and easy to see. From swim- your support by signing up for a
Many parks rent canoes, rowboats,
ming and boating to horseshoes and free Associate Membership, visit
paddleboats, kayaks, hydro-bikes and
hiking, there’s always something to do www.virginiaparks.org.
mountain bikes. Guided horseback
in a state park.
riding trips are available at New River
Parents play a big role in helping kids Trail State Park.
get up and get moving. Be a role model
for your children. If they see you being Reservations
physically active and having fun, they Camping, cabin and picnic shelter
are more likely to be active and stay reservations can be made by calling
active throughout their lives. Take the the Virginia State Parks Reservation
whole family hiking, biking, canoeing or Center weekdays at (800) 933-PARK
swimming. Focus on fun. By providing a (7275). Reservations can be made up
safe and attractive environment for physi- to 11 months in advance. Left Johnny Finch, VAFP president, right Joe Elton
The center takes same-day camping Virginia State Parks director
cal activity, Virginia State Parks can play an
essential part in your healthy lifestyle. reservations until 2 p.m. Cabin, campsite
and picnic shelter reservations can
Special Discounts also be made online at www.virgini-
With everything we offer, Virginia State
astateparks.gov. Online reservations
in Virginia State Parks
Parks are still among the most economi- Park rangers are needed across the state.
must be made a day in advance.
cal vacation destinations around. Special As we build parks and facilities, the need
Availability can be checked online.
discount passes and annual passes for for qualified rangers is growing. Rangers
parking, boat launching and swimming Contribute routinely work outside, serve millions of
are for sale at parks statewide. Senior Virginians can make a tax-deductible visitors, and preserve and protect Virginia’s
discount passes are also available. donation to their parks, both state and natural resources. Other positions in state
Virginia residents get 10 percent off local, and to their natural areas by parks focus on environmental education,
non-resident cabin rates. contributing all or part of their state tax maintenance, law enforcement, natural
refund to the Open Space Recreation resource management, sales and man-
Park Accessibility and Conservation Fund. See your state agement. For information about a career
Virginia State Parks strive to make
tax return form for more information. in Virginia State Parks, visit the Virginia De-
each park as barrier-free as possible.
Be a Volunteer partment of Conservation and Recreation
Contact the Reservation Center or
We value the commitment and website at www.dcr.virginia.gov.
individual parks for more information
before your trip. enthusiasm of volunteers and work to Pets
find a position to fit their interests, Pets are welcome in Virginia State Parks
Cabins and Campsites schedule and experience. Thousands of but must be on a leash no longer than
Virginia State Parks provide comfortable
volunteers contributed more than six feet or in an enclosed area at all
and economical overnight accommoda-
235,000 hours last year. The opportuni- times. Check our online fee guides for
tions. There are more than 300 climate-
ties for volunteering in a park are many overnight pet fees in campgrounds and
controlled cabins and more than 1,800
and the rewards are great. For more cabins. Pets aren’t allowed in the yurt at
campsites, ranging from primitive sites
information, e-mail the volunteer Kiptopeke State Park. Pets are denied ac-
to developed sites with electric and
coordinator at: vspvolunteer@dcr. cess through Back Bay National Wildlife
water hookups. Many cabins are
virginia.gov, contact any state park or Refuge to False Cape State Park April 1
available all year. While most camp-
call (800) 933-PARK (7275). through Sept. 30.
grounds are open March 1 to the first
20 www.virginiastateparks.gov 1.800.933.PARK (7275)
Campsites NATURAL AREA PRESERVES
Cancellations may be made by calling the Res-
ervation Center during operating hours or the
park when the Reservation Center is closed. A
Canoe / Kayak Landing
$10 per site cancellation fee will be deducted
from paid fees. Cancellation fees also apply to
horse stalls. Group camping areas and buddy
sites have a $30 cancellation fee. Reservation
changes must be made through the Reserva-
tion Center before the start of the reserved
stay. Once a stay has begun, those departing SHENANDOAH VALLEY
early will be charged a penalty of one night.
We also retain the nonrefundable overnight
1 Goshen Pass, Rockbridge County • • •
transaction fee of $5 per reservation. 2 Poor Mountain, Roanoke • • • •
Cabins, Yurts and
Camping Trailers 3 Bull Run Mountains, Fauquier and Prince • • •
Before the scheduled check-in time, cancel-
lations may be made by calling the Reserva- CHESAPEAKE BAY
tion Center or the park when the Reservation 4 Bethel Beach, Mathews County • •
Center is closed. For cabins with up to three 5 Bush Mill Stream, Northumberland County • • • • •
bedrooms, $20 will be charged for cancel-
lations made at least a month before the
6 Dameron Marsh, Northumberland County • • • • •
scheduled arrival date. For cabins with more 7 Hickory Hollow, Lancaster County* • • • •
than three bedrooms, that fee is $50. The 8 Hughlett Point, Northumberland County • • • • • •
cancellation fee within a month is $20 per
night for cabins with up to three bedrooms
9 New Point Comfort, Mathews County** • • • •
and $50 per night for larger facilities. The fee HAMPTON ROADS
also applies to early departures and reduc- 10 North Landing River, Virginia Beach • • • • • • •
ing the number of nights of the reservation. 11 Cumberland Marsh, New Kent County** • • • • • •
The two-night minimum is not refunded.
There is no charge to move a stay to another EASTERN SHORE
time or park, but this must be done through 12 Cape Charles, Northampton County • • • •
the Reservation Center and before 5 p.m. on 13 Savage Neck Dunes, Northampton County • • • • • •
the Monday prior to the scheduled arrival.
Contact the Reservation Center for a com-
plete description of the refund policy. A $5 14 Chub Sandhill, Sussex County • • •
transaction fee charged when reservations BLUE RIDGE
are made also will not be refunded. 15 Buffalo Mountain, Floyd County • • •
16 Grassy Hill, Franklin County • • • •
HEART OF APPALACHIA
17 Pinnacle, Russell County • • • • •
* Owned by Northern Neck Audubon Society *** Owned by Virginia Outdoors Foundation
** Owned by The Nature Conservancy
In 1990 DCR began managing a system of special lands known as Natural Area Preserves.
These lands provide suitable habitat for rare or declining plant and animal species and natural
communities, some of which are found nowhere else on Earth. The preserves serve as a link
between our busy, modern world and the natural wilderness of the past.
DCR works hard to restore and maintain these special places and protect them from inappropriate
human disturbance. Still, there is much to be learned and enjoyed in these exceptional natural
settings. That’s why 17 of the system’s preserves have public access facilities of some type (see
chart above for details). Learn more about Natural Area Preserves by visiting www.dcr.virginia.
gov/natural_heritage/ or call DCR’s Natural Heritage Program at (804) 786-7951.
1.800.933.PARK (7275) www.virginiastateparks.gov 21
Weddings, reunions, meetings, conferences, retreats – Virginia State
Parks are perfect for your next event.
A state parks reservation counselor
The nationally acclaimed Hemlock Haven conference center at Hungry can help you plan a special event in
Mother State Park in southwestern Virginia offers overnight accommoda- a state park. Call the Reservation
tions, special amenities and meeting space for up to 375 people. Center weekdays at (800) 933-PARK
cedar crest conference center at Twin Lakes State Park in central Virginia (7275) or contact the park directly.
offers meeting space for up to 90 in a picturesque setting. To make confer-
ence center reservations at Cedar Crest, call (434) 767-2398. A certified
meeting professional can help plan your special events.
mEEtING aNd EVENt FaCIlItIEs
The cove ridge center at natural tunnel is ideal for training work-
shops, meetings and retreats. Its auditorium accommodates up to 100,
and two other rooms can each be reserved for groups of up to 24. Two
six-room dormitories sleep up to 48 overnight guests and are just a few
feet from the swimming pool. The park’s new cabins provide additional
lodging for larger groups.
The Water’s edge Meeting Facility at Claytor Lake State Park offers a
beautiful setting for weddings, reunions or other special events. A large
meeting room accommodates 72 to 125 people, depending on the seating
arrangement. The room overlooks the lake and provides a scenic view of
the water’s edge.
At Westmoreland State Park, Murphy Hall accommodates up to 65 people. Chippokes Mansion at Chippokes Plantation State Park
It’s perfect for meetings or receptions. Audiovisual equipment, a warming
kitchen for catered events and a break-out room are available.
The Bear creek lake Meeting Hall accommodates up to 65 people for
meetings, wedding receptions and other gatherings.
Fairy Stone, pocahontas and the Southwest Virginia Museum also have
The Jones-Stewart Mansion at Chippokes Plantation State Park, Bel Air at
Belle Isle State Park and Karlan Mansion at Wilderness Road State Park are
historic, picturesque locations for weddings and family reunions.
Gazebo at Twin Lakes State Park
Water’s Edge meeting facility at Claytor Lake State Park
22 www.virginiastateparks.gov 1.800.933.PARK (7275)
(KP) Kiptopeke • (757) 331-2267
(CP) Chippokes Plantation • (757) 294-3625
(FC) False Cape • (757) 426-7128
(FL) First Landing • (757) 412-2300
(YR) York River • (757) 566-3036
VIrGINIa statE parKs
(BI) Belle Isle • (804) 462-5030
(CA) Caledon Natural Area • (540) 663-3861
(WE) Westmoreland • (804) 493-8821
(LA) Lake Anna • (540) 854-5503
(LE) Leesylvania • (703) 730-8205
Virginia State Parks Nature/
(MN) Mason Neck • (703) 339-2385
Kiptopeke (KP) • • •FP • • • • • • H/U/B
Chippokes Plantation (CP) • • • • • • P B/E/H/U (BC) Bear Creek Lake • (804) 492-4410
(HB) High Bridge Trail • (434) 315-0457
False Cape (FC) • PC • • • B/H
First Landing (FL) • • • • • • • • B/H/U (HL) Holliday Lake • (434) 248-6308
York River (YR) • • •FP • • • B/E/H/U (JR) James River • (434) 933-4355
(PO) Pocahontas • (804) 796-4255
Belle Isle (BI) • • •FP • • • • • B/E/H/U
(SC) Sailor’s Creek Battlefield • (804) 561-7510
Caledon Natural Area (CA) • • • H
Westmoreland (WE) • • •FP • • • • • P B/H/U (SM) Smith Mountain Lake • (540) 297-6066
Lake Anna (LA) • • • • • • • • B/E/H/U (TL) Twin Lakes • (434) 392-3435
Leeslyvania (LE) • • •FP • • • H/U Cedar Crest Conference Center
Mason Neck (MN) CT • • • • • B/H/U • (434) 767-2398
Bear Creek Lake (BC) T • • • • • • • • B/E/H
High Bridge Trail (HB) • B/E/H/U
(FS) Fairy Stone • (276) 930-2424
Holliday Lake (HL) T • • • • • • • B/E/H
(OC) Occoneechee • (434) 374-2210
James River (JR) CT • • • • • • B/E/H/U
(SR) Staunton River • (434) 572-4623
Pocahontas (PO) T • • • • • • P B/E/H/U
(SB) Staunton River Battlefield • (434) 454-4312
Sailor’s Creek Battlefield (SC) • • H
Smith Mountain Lake (SM) • • •FP • • • • • • H/B
Twin Lakes (TL) T • • • • • • • • B/E/H (DO) Douthat • (540) 862-8100
Fairy Stone (FS) T • • • • • • • • B/E/H/U (SH) Raymond R. “Andy” Guest Jr.
Occoneechee (OC) • • • • • • • • B/E/H Shenandoah River • (540) 622-6840
Staunton River Battlefield (SB) • • • B/H/U (SK) Sky Meadows • (540) 592-3556
Staunton River (SR) • • • • • • • P B/E/H
Douthat (DO) T • •FP • • • • • • B/H/E
(CL) Claytor Lake • (540) 643-2500
Raymond R. “Andy” Guest Jr. CT • • • • • B/E/H
Shenandoah River (SH)
(GH) Grayson Highlands • (276) 579-7092
Sky Meadows (SK) • PC • • E/H/U
(HM) Hungry Mother • (276) 781-7400
Claytor Lake (CL) • • •FP • • • • • • H/U
Hemlock Haven Conference Center
Grayson Highlands (GH) • • • • • B/E/H • (276) 781-7425
Hungry Mother (HM) T • • • • • • • • B/H/U (NR) New River Trail • (276) 699-6778
New River Trail (NR) CT • • PC • • • B/E/H/U (ST) Shot Tower • (276) 699-6778
Shot Tower (ST) • • H
Breaks Interstate (BR) T • • • • • • • P B/E/H Heart of Appalachia
(BR) Breaks Interstate • (276) 865-4413
Natural Tunnel (NT) • • • • • • P B/H/U
Southwest Virginia • • • H/U (NT) Natural Tunnel • (276) 940-2674
Cove Ridge Center • (276) 940-2696
Wilderness Road (WR) G • • • B/E/H
(SW) Southwest Virginia Museum
TABLE LEGEND: (B) Biking (CT) Car-top Boat Launch (E) Equestrian (FP) Fishing Pier (G) Group Camping by Permit • (276) 523-1322
(H) Hiking (P) Pool Swimming (PC) Primitive Camping (T) Electric Motors Only (U) Universally Accessible (WR) Wilderness Road • (276) 445-3065
* EASTERN SHORE
1.800.933.PARK (7275) www.virginiastateparks.gov 23
Things to see and do
in Virginia State Parks
Relax at the Tye River Spend some all-around quality Tackle “The Avalanche” ice Fish from a campsite at Bear
Overlook at James River family time in the yurt at Kipto- cream treat served at Twin Lakes Creek Lake State Park
State Park peke State Park State Park Experience the feeling of sand
Ride a chairlift to the tunnel floor Enjoy fall foliage from the moun- Listen to the sounds at sunset as you walk across the beach
at Natural Tunnel State Park tains to the coast through an open cabin window Rent a boat and ski at Smith
Go night-fishing at Kiptopeke Try the strawberry shortcake at Marvel at the colors of the Mountain Lake State Park
State Park’s pier the Delaplane Strawberry Festi- sunset Hike the lakefront trail at
Relive the past at Chippokes val at Sky Meadows State Park Launch from the marinas at Holliday Lake State Park
Mansion at Chippokes Planta- Inhale the smell of freshly Claytor Lake and Leesylvania Chase fireflies
tion State Park fallen rain state parks
Get married in the gazebo at
Make a bull’s-eye at the Hear traditional music at the Geo-cache in any Virginia Claytor Lake State Park
archery range at Bear Creek Gathering in the Gap at the State Park
Lake State Park Southwest Virginia Museum Hike the boardwalk through
View parts of three states the cypress swamps at First
Encourage a young person Try peanut pie at the Pork, at Grayson Highlands State Park Landing State Park
to participate in the Junior Peanut and Pine Festival Go stargazing at the astronomy
Ranger Program at Chippokes Plantation Make and sample apple butter
programs at Sky Meadows at Douthat State Park’s Apple
Stay at the Poplar Hill Cottage at State Park State Park Day Festival
Southwest Virginia Museum Have more campfire s’mores Canoe under the stars at York Hike to the trailside waterfalls at
Witness an Indian raid at Tour the Mount Bleak House River State Park Grayson Highlands State Park
Martin’s Station at Wilderness decorated for the holidays at Explore a different world on
Road State Park Sky Meadows State Park Study our heritage at the Civilian
night hikes led by park rangers Conservation Corps Museum at
Admire the workmanship of Photograph Falling Springs Falls Hike through railroad tunnels on Pocahontas State Park
the unique “double dam” at near Douthat State Park New River Trail State Park
Douthat State Park Relive the day’s events at sunset
Take your horse to the 20 parks Ride “The Terragator” or tram over the Chesapeake Bay at
Photograph wild ponies at with equestrian trails at False Cape State Park Kiptopeke State Park
Grayson Highlands State Park Indulge in Women’s Wellness View Lake Douthat from the Relax before a crackling
Marvel at the bridge at High Weekends at Douthat and Natu- Douthat Lodge at Douthat fireplace in a warm cabin
Bridge Trail State Park ral Tunnel state parks State Park Fish for trout at Douthat
Splash with the kids at the Meet the extended family at the Take pleasure in blooming State Park
Aquatic Center at Pocahontas 1930s Hungry Mother Lodge at rhododendrons, dogwood and
State Park Hungry Mother State Park Catch a largemouth bass at
redbud trees Lake Anna State Park
Access the Appalachian Trail Take the kids swimming at “The Bicycle through Farmville on
at Grayson Highlands and Sky Critter Hole” swimming area at Eat Sunday brunch at The
High Bridge Trail State Park Restaurant at Hungry Mother
Meadows state parks Holliday Lake State Park
See the lighting of the tunnel at State Park
Take in a concert at the amphi- Experience “The Moccasin” water Natural Tunnel State Park
theater at Pocahontas State Park slide at Staunton River State Park Tap your toes at the Wayne C.
Hike Molly’s Knob Trail at Hungry Henderson Music Festival at
Find fairy stones at Fairy Stone Learn about bird-banding at Mother State Park Grayson Highlands State Park
State Park Kiptopeke State Park
Pick pumpkins at Sky Meadows Walk on hallowed ground at
Learn about another culture at Tube the James River at James State Park Sailor’s Creek or Staunton
the Native American Festival at River State Park River battlefields
Occoneechee State Park Watch the sunset reflect off the
Find shark teeth on the beach at cliffs at Westmoreland State Park Experience the view from Culler’s
Sleep near your horse at one of Westmoreland State Park Overlook at Shenandoah River
nearly 100 equestrian campsites Pan for gold at Lake Anna
Experience fall festivals, includ- State Park State Park
in seven parks ing the granddaddy of them
Do some serious bird-watching Take an eagle tour to see
Return to the frontier at the all, the Grayson Highlands Fall America’s symbol in its own
block-house at Natural Tunnel Festival at Grayson Highlands at the Heron Rookery at Mason
Neck State Park environment at Caledon
State Park State Park Natural Area
Virginia State Parks | 1.800.933.PARK (7275) | www.virginiastateparks.gov