Park of the Month: Belle Isle State Park
Ushering in the Modern Era of Conservation & Recreation
From the establishment of Virginia State Parks simultaneously in 1936, the conservation and recreation movement has shaped American history.
Asenvironmental awareness raised by Rachel Carson's Silent Spring waned in the 1970s and the era of the Yuppie and "me, me, me generation" closed out the 1980s, it felt like the conservation and recreation movement was slowly fading.
We owe it to the next generation to keep up our obligation to the nature and the outdoors.
However, inthe early 1990s,Virginians spoke up and re-established their commitment to the outdoors by voting for the 1992 Parks and Recreational Facilities Bond Referendum. The funds generated by these bonds made it possible to purchase the 733 acres along the Rappahannock River that is nowBelle Isle State Park.
Renewed interest in the outdoors means that more people are RVing and camping than ever before!
Belle Isle city park in Richmond, Virginia is the Park of the Month for August and August is the perfect time to visit the park. With its coastal breezes, cool river waters, shaded coastal forests, and winding trails, the heat is not unbearable and the sunset on the river makes the day's work out so worth it.
Sunset on the river is a must-see!
here for the park's Master Plan), ithas beenagreat place to camp, kayak, hike, bike, bird, and boat for the last 20 years and continues to offer spectacular views, incredible birding and wildlife sightings, and peaceful riversidesunsets.
The park and trail system is designed to maximize water views and water access.
From the rivers and creeks thatthe border the park to the interior trails winding through coastal farmland, Belle Isle State Park is anchored in the past, but is carrying the conservation and recreation movement into the next generation.
Belle Isle has opened a new Canoe/Kayak in waterside campground that is great for people paddling the John Smith Water Trail.
One of the first five parks to be assigned a full-time Education Specialist, here for a schedule of events like the occasional Saturday Night Music by the River, guided canoe and kayak programs, Virginia Indian craft programs, and guided birding hikes.
Belle Isle State Park is a leader in environmental and education programs.
While the park's new campground haslarge pull-through sites that can accommodate 50' RVs, tent camping is also permitted. For those that prefer more comfort, the Bel Air mansion and guest house provide the comfort of historic, butmodern homes nestled on an isolated 33-acre peninsula.The Bel Air Historic Area is well suited for weddings, special events, and family reunions.
The Mansion at Bel Air and the historic area is a great place for weddings and special events.
The best thing about Belle Isle State Park is it is an "on a whim" state park and what I mean by that is that you can visit the park on a whim and not be worried about not having loaded the bikes, hooked up the trailer, brought the kayak or packed your gear bag. Belle Isle has a equipment rental area–renting bikes, boats, kayaks and canoes. They also have a pretty good camp store with snacks, gear, and apparel. So if you're out in the area scouting antique shops, tracking down the one special produce stand with the perfect ear of sweet corn, or just tooling around for a weekend drive, stop in and you might yourself staying for the day or even, the night.
Check out this "In a Day's Drive"video from television station WSLS featuring Belle Isle State Park.
For overnight reservations, call 1-800-933-PARK. Belle Isle State Park is located in Lancaster, Virginia.