Here are some other parks in northern Virginia (or a short drive away) that you will definitely want to add to your “parks to visit” list. Virginia State Parks offer 37 parks, have thousands of campsites, hundreds of cabins, more than 600 miles of trails and convenient access to Virginia’s major waterways. Beaches, picnic shelters, family lodges, meeting facilities, festivals, concerts, nature programs, cultural happenings and more! Listed below are the parks that are local to the northern Virginia, DC Metro area. For a complete list of all Virginia State parks, please visit their website http://www.VirginiaStateParks.gov.
Lake Anna State Park: 6800 Lawyers Rd., Spotsylvania, VA 22551
The park has a beach on one of Virginia’s most popular lakes, a fishing pond accessible to children and the disabled, a bathhouse-concessions complex and a boat launch. Camping, picnicking, six camping cabins and 10 two-bedroom cabins, seven with views of the lake, also are available. With more than 15 miles of trails, the park offers many hiking, biking and horseback riding options. Visitor center exhibits trace the history of the area’s gold mining and highlight the park’s natural features. Nature and gold panning programs are popular, and the park offers guided tours of the Goodwin Gold Mine.
Leesylvania State Park: 2001 Daniel K. Ludwig Dr., Woodbridge, VA 22191
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. A 20-station fitness trail and canoe and kayak rentals also are available.
Mason Neck State Park: 7301 High Point Rd., Lorton, VA 22079
Just a short drive from Washington, D.C., this Northern Virginia park offers many outdoor activities and programs. It has hiking trails, 3 miles of paved multi-use trails, a large picnic area, a playground, a car-top canoe launch and a visitor center. Canoe, kayak and bicycle rentals are also available. Bird watching, especially for American bald eagles, and guided canoe trips of Kane’s Creek and Belmont Bay are favorites with park visitors. The park’s wetlands, forest, open water, ponds and open fields make it ideal for environmental study and wildlife observation. Nearby attractions include the Elizabeth Hartwell National Wildlife Refuge, Gunston Hall and Pohick Bay Regional Park.
Shenandoah River State Park: 350 Daughter of Stars Dr., Bentonville, VA 22610
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, picnic 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 water and electric sites, cabins, camping cabins and a group campground are available. With more than 24 miles of trails and a new zipline, the park has plenty of options for hiking, biking, horseback riding and adventure.
Sky Meadows State Park: 11012 Edmonds Ln., Delaplane, VA 20144
Rich in history, this 1,864-acre park has scenic views, woodlands and the rolling pastures of a historic farm that captures the colonial through post-Civil War life of the Crooked Run Valley. Nature and history programs are offered year-round. Hiking, picnicking, fishing and primitive hike-in camping for families and groups are favorite activities in this peaceful getaway on the eastern side of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The park has 10.5 miles of bridle trails, 24 miles of hiking trails, 9 miles of bike trials and Appalachian Trail access.
Westmoreland State Park: 145 Cliff Road, Montross, VA 22520
On the Potomac River’s Northern Neck, this park offers many opportunities for family fun. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has an Olympic-sized swimming pool and an adjacent bathhouse, meeting area, snack bar, camp store and power-boat ramp. You’ll also find a visitor center, campgrounds, camping cabins, cabins, a playground, a fishing pier, boat rentals and 6 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 American bald eagles, ospreys, kingfishers, great blue herons, common terns, green herons and gulls, as well as wintering waterfowl.