When our family finally gets away for a weekend we are looking for things to do, not just a place to go. Sometimes generic articles are not enough, I need to name names!
It is easy for me to be lackadaisical about our state parks, telling you how you need to get away from it all…go and do nothing…relax…kick back, etc. I thought it might be nice to actually list some specific things to do:
Go to four primitive campgrounds (this means no electric). You can call Foster Falls Livery, (276) 699-2460, for rates and reservations.
Rates were very reasonable, and the horses were in beautiful shape
You can also fish, trail ride and hike at the wonderful New River Trail State Park
We got you covered on this one! If you already fish then you already know where to go, but what if you don't already fish? What if you want to bring the kids and toss a worm off a dock or shoreline and reel something in? Well I suggest Claytor Lake State Park! If your kids are Virginia Residents and under 16 then they can fish without a license at the lake.
Bass, catfish, muskie, walleye and striped bass are among the popular sport fish found in the lake. A valid Virginia freshwater-fishing license is required for anyone aged 16 and older. Licenses may be purchased at the Water's Edge gift shop when it's open or at the park office during off-season.
There are plenty of cabins and campgrounds here, if you want to stay overnight!
Teach them to bait their own hook
Fishing is family fun!
Rent a kayak or canoe at Mason Neck State Park.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.
Mason Neck is a day-use park, so pack a picnic lunch and come out for the day! But don't miss the sunset on the water before you head home!
Paddling is fun for all ages – just make sure you have on your life preserver!
Look for fossilized sharks teeth at Westmoreland State Park on the Potomac River. If you are one of the lucky few, you may end up finding a Megalodon!
Westmoreland has plenty of Megalodon.
This is the trail you take to get to the fossil beach at Westmoreland
You can borrow this sieve at the park office to use to find fossilized sharks teeth
There is so much in this category it would take an entire article. Wilderness Road State Parkimmediately jumps to mind with itsreconstructed Martin's Station, an outdoor living history museum depicting life on Virginia's 1775 frontier. Guests also enjoy the park's picnic shelters, an ADA-certified playground, a sand volleyball court and horseshoe pits. Visitors can hike, bike or horseback ride on the eight-mile Wilderness Road Trail linking the park with 50 miles of trails in Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. The 1870s era Karlan Mansion is available for weddings and meetings. It has a solarium that's perfect for showers, birthdays and other special functions (if you want to reserve something historic for your next special occasion!)
Sailor's Creek Battlefield State Park is another worth seeing! On April 6, 1865, nearly a quarter of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's army, more than 7,700 men, were killed, wounded or captured here. Lee surrendered 72 hours later at Appomattox Court House. Costumed volunteers present various interpretive 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 Hillsman House, call 804-561-7510.
Visit the Virginia's Civil War Trails website or call 888-CIVIL-WAR to learn more about this.
Hunter's Cabin at Wilderness Road State Park
Hillsman Farm House Museum at Sailor's Creek Historical Battlefield State Park
You can rent a yurt. How cool is that! If you go to here. I am thinking that renting an RV trailer is a great way to see how we like it, and if we want to buy one later on!
Family Lodges with 6 bedrooms
Rent an RV Trailer
What sort of things can you expect to do at Kiptopeke State Park?
Kiptopeke is for the birds!
Kiptopeke Birding Areas – Since 1963, Kiptopeke has been the site of bird population studies. Sponsored by the Coastal Virginia Wildlife Observatory and licensed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, volunteers capture, examine, weigh, band and release resident and migratory birds each year from mid-August through November. In the raptor research area, hawks, kestrels, osprey and other birds of prey are observed and banded from September through November. Kiptopeke's hawk observatory is among the top 15 nationwide.
Located on the eastern shore of Virginia, this park offers recreational access to the Chesapeake Bay and the chance to explore a unique coastal habitat featuring a major flyway for migratory birds.
How am I doing so far? Other than "Special events and programs" which are held at all Virginia State Parks, has anything on my list jumped out at you? Have you read this article and thought, "Hey we might go do that!"
If so, here is the number to call to make reservations Monday-Friday business hours 1-800-933-PARK (7275). You can check availability and reserve a cabin or campground online here.