Another delightful post from the Hayes family as they work on their goal to visit all of our York River State Park.
Well if you have been following our first cluster trip adventure, we have finally reached the last of the Chippokes Plantation State Park (or at least I thought you could). When we docked we were off the boat again in record time and off to see Jamestown.
My son requested this stop when he heard how close we were and since it was a national park we decided to check that one off our national list. After a couple of hours exploring Jamestown we left for York River State Park (of course we had to stop for a quick cache and grab on our way out). York River State Park is approximately 30 minutes from Jamestown. The rural roads to the park were lovely and our crazy GPS brought us in on the wrong road, but my husband’s navigational skills saved the day and got us to the park.
If you have ever visited any of the York River State Park took a different approach and its gates are all the way back near the visitor center. There is only a small portion of parking compared to many of the other parks, but the park was not crowded so it didn’t pose a problem for us.
Our first order of business, after potty breaks and diaper changes, was to locate the 75th anniversary cache. Let just say that this was one of the most educational caches we have done. Once you find the cache listed on the website you get a piece of paper, and you have to head into the visitor center to answer all the questions in order to get the next coordinates. This cache had us reading articles about the people who used to live there as well as counting nails and such. The good thing was the center had a few display geared toward little ones so at least they were entertained as we figured out the puzzle.
Finally we were off to the coordinates and FYI they do not quite make sense with the initial coordinates but trust them they will lead you to the right location. As we headed off down the trail we noticed that this park has a really nice pond with a little bench for fishing. The playground was nice and there was a family reunion using the facility and appeared to be having a great time. My favorite thing was the random slide along one of the trails. There was no playground or anything else nearby, just a slide. My kids darted off to go slide down and it took a couple of minutes to get them to come back.
After finding our cache we headed back towards the visitor center, taking a detour to a trail down a hill that ran along the river. Once we finished looking at the river and letting the kids run along the sandy portion we continued on. My husband decided that he wanted to find one more cache before we left so I settled down with the kids as he went in search of it. After a couple of minutes he returned handed me the gps and said no good. My two oldest decided they had to go with me to look and needless to say after a couple of minutes and a hill climb later we found it along with the nice clear direct path to it.
There were several benches that have wonderful overlooks of the river and multiple historic building foundations and such down the trails. This was a nice little park. We expected this to be a short visit but ended up spending a quite a few hours exploring, after we decided that everyone was tired and loaded up to go home.
The one problem I found with visiting multiple parks in a short time period is you do not get to spend a lot of time enjoying all each park has a story to tell. You learn the simple stories of a family or a town that makes the history of this country some much more real.