The virtue of being in Central Virginia is the perk of being central to most of Virginia. Not far from these Virginia State Parks are cities, small towns, mountains, and yes, even beaches to explore.
Be sure to check out the green pins on the map at the end for locations.
— JAMES RIVER STATE PARK | GLADSTONE —
James River State Park
Aptly named for the river that flows along its three-mile western edge, James River State Park is 1,500 acres of meadows and woods with 13 riverfront primitive camping sites. Guests here will also have the choice of cabins, lodges, and water and electric camp sites. There are 15 miles of hiking, biking, and bridle trails, some of which are wheelchair accessible.
A variety of picnic shelters can be found for day-use visitors, and a canoe livery offers kayak, canoe and tube rentals and shuttle service for those who’d like to spend time on the water. Learn More
ALSO SEE: 11 State Parks for Those Who LOVE the Mountains
— HOLLIDAY LAKE STATE PARK | APPOMATTOX —
This state park is popular for both swimming and fishing, with a large lake complete with a sandy beach area and stocked with bluegill, largemouth bass, and crappie. Rent a canoe, kayak, or paddle boat to enjoy the fun on top of the water. In fact, the Sunfish Aquatic Trail will introduce you to points along the lake from the lake. Pick up a brochure at the park office.
Camping for a variety of rigs is available, as is a group camping area and a bunkhouse. Learn More
— HIGH BRIDGE TRAIL STATE PARK | FARMVILLE —
High Bridge Trail State Park
This day-use state park is a 31-mile long multi-use rail trail coursing through three counties with the 1853 railroad bridge as its centerpiece. There is no camping at this park, but others nearby make this a great day trip. Learn More
ALSO SEE: Three Southern Virginia State Parks for Water & History
— TWIN LAKES STATE PARK | GREEN BAY —
Twin Lakes State Park is just that, a park with two lakes, perfect for fishing, swimming, and lakeside picnics. Waterfront and wooded cabins are available, as are camp sites for tents and campers.RVs up to 36-feet long can be accommodated at this park. Lakeside and wooded trails are perfect for wildlife watching and exercise. Learn More
— SAILOR’S CREEK BATTLEFIELD HISTORIC STATE PARK | RICE —
A day-use historic park, Sailor’s Creek Battlefield was the site of the April 6, 1865 battle in which Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia suffered the death, wounding, and capture of 7,700 men. Just days later, Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House.
Pack a picnic to enjoy while you take in the history. Two trails allow you to experience the lay of the land. Learn More
— BEAR CREEK LAKE STATE PARK | CUMBERLAND —
Bear Creek Lake State Park
The 40-acre lake is the highlight of this 329-acre park. Wooded, Bear Creek is a great destination to chill out in Central Virginia. The beach area has nearby shade with a playground and concessions making it a great all-day place for families. Various watercraft are available for rent as well.
Tent campers will enjoy lakeside sites. Group campsites, sites for larger campers, and cabins are available as well. Learn More
ALSO SEE: Six Coastal & Bay State Parks You Need to Make a Beeline For
— POWHATAN STATE PARK | POWHATAN —
The Virginia State Park system’s newest park is the 1,565-acre Powhatan State Park on the James River. At this time, the park offers picnicking, trails, a playground, and boat launches along the 2.5-miles of river frontage. There are no overnight accommodations at this park. Learn More
— POCAHONTAS STATE PARK | CHESTERFIELD —
Pocahontas State Park
Pocahontas is a premier mountain biking state park with more than 50 miles of trails of varying difficulty across its 8,115 acres. Two lakes are great for fishing and boating. Watercraft are available for rent. There is no lake swimming at Pocahontas, but rather, a family-fun Aquatic Center that includes several pools, toddler area, and water slides.
Camping at Pocahontas is available for tents, groups, and RVs up to 65-feet in length. There are unequipped camping cabins, meaning you will need to bring everything with you. The cabins do not have a kitchen or bathroom. Learn More
James River is my absolute favorite park! I’m right in the heart of Virginia and near all of these, and they’re great.
I’ve visited 7 of 8 (Sorry Powhatan) and enjoyed my time at all of them! My group had one fantastic owl prowl and evening canoe at Twin Lakes with Joey and Max!
High Bridge tour with Bob was fascinating!
The aquatic center at Pocahontas made 2 100+ degree afternoons pleasant and enjoyable.
A great tour of Sailors Creek and the House with Amanda and Craig (Americorps)!
Peaceful camping and glowworms at Bear Creek and a nice relaxing evening and canoe trip at Holliday Lake!
A great canoe trip on the river at James River!