The News and Advance visit three popular Virginia State Parks closest to Lynchburg.
A closer look: James River State Park
1,500 acres of relaxation just an hour from Lynchburg
Tye River Overlook; James River State Park. Photo courtesy of 460 roadrunner
Just an hour away from the city, you can live out your western fantasies, sleeping under the stars next to a smoldering campfire and your trusty steed.
James River State Park near Gladstone in Buckingham County is one of only four Virginia state parks to offer stables for overnight horse camping. Three more across the state are expected to open this fall. With a newly opened horse-camping site and 15 miles of trails designed with equestrians in mind, the park is a popular destination for horseback riders.
Read this article with photos here from the News and Advance.
A closer look: Holliday Lake State Park
A "well-kept secret" in Appomattox County
Holliday Lake State Park. Photo courtesy of eodrum
Around 7:30 at night every other Saturday, nature enthusiasts slip into canoes and paddle out onto Holliday Lake in search of barred owls.
Spotting them, or getting them to reply to owl calls, can be hit-or-miss, but Holliday Lake State Park Manager Robert Chapman said the every-other-weekend excursion is one of the park’s more popular boating activities.
Nestled within the Appomattox Buckingham State Forest not far off Virginia 24, the park is secluded enough that it’s not overflowing during the week. But on popular weekends, it can experience a surge of visitors.
“I like to think of this place as a well-kept secret,” Chapman said. “On weekends, people seem to find it.”
Read this article with photoshere from the News and Advance.
A closer look: Smith Mountain Lake State Park
Smith Mountain Lake State Park beach
After lunchtime during a gorgeous summer day on the north shore of Smith Mountain Lake, “Margaritaville” by Jimmy Buffet plays in the background as roughly 100 people enjoy the beach.
They soak up the sun and festive, pool-like atmosphere in the confines of the Smith Mountain Lake State Park, which offers a rare spot for public swimming at the lake.
The park in Bedford County, approximately 40 miles from Lynchburg and Roanoke, drew close to 40,000 to its beach last year.