York River State Park is on my list of top outdoor recreational locations in our state. Why? It is a day use only park, it is a very special place to find solitude and experience nature without crowds. Although it is very near a large metropolis, you will find wildlife habitat along the York River truly inspiring!
Along Taskinas (click here for more info about this creek)Photo by John Gresham
The Mergansers saw that I wasn't a part of the pier. Photo by John Gresham
Egret on a hunt. Photo by John Gresham
A winter visit to York River State Park is magnificant!
Eleven miles west of Williamsburg, York River State Park served as a role model for all of Virginia’s state parks in developing resource management plans. The park’s natural resources make it a significant place for environmental education at all levels.
TRAILS:Hiking, bicycle and bridle trails. More than 25 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails provide access to the park’s beautiful and diverse natural areas. There are six bicycle trails, some of which share use with equestrians and hikers. Two are exclusively mountain bike – a six mile single track mountain bike trail (Marl Ravine Trail), which is for advanced riders. Laurel Glen Trail is a 2-mile beginner/intermediate mountain bike trail. The half-mile Black Bear Run Trail connects the other two mountain bike trails.
Motorboats are allowed only on the river. Rental boats have no motors. Guided canoe and kayak trips begin at the visitor center. Park guests learn about salt-marsh ecology on the Taskinas Creek canoe trip or about the natural and cultural history of the York River on the kayak trip. Paddleboats, jonboats, canoes and kayaks can be rented for use on the pond. Rental equipment is available for use on the creek and the pond from April 1 through the end of October.
WILDLIFE:Virginia State Parks are great places to discover and reconnect with the wild world. Bring a camera and share your captures with the world. But please don't disturb or get too close to the animals. The park is, after all, their home. Here are a few recent natural encounters others have had at York River.
PARKS CALENDAR OF EVENTS:Click hereto view park events, festivals, workshops and interpretive programs.
NATURE, HISTORY PROGRAMS:Canoe trips on Taskinas Creek; kayak trips on the York River; fossil hikes; nature hikes/games; wildlife observations; marine life; night canoe trips; ghost trail hayrides; seine netting and estuarine life studies; fishing clinics; children’s programs;Virginia’s State Parks: Your Backyard Classrooms;various workshops.
Each month from May through October, moonlight canoe trips are offered on evenings with a full moon and starlight canoe trips are offered on evenings with a new moon. Call the park for current fees. Some interpretive offerings have a fee and require reservations – call the park for an up-to-date program guide.
Note: From May through October, two-hour guided canoe trips on Taskinas Creek may be arranged on weekdays and on some weekends for groups of 10 or more.
Estuaries Day: September. Held in coordination with the Chesapeake Bay National Estuaries Research Reserve System in Virginia, Estuaries Day is an annual celebration of estuaries or tidal rivers. Activities include displays, children’s activities, boat trips on the York River and guided canoe trips.
Estuaries Day, September. Harvest Day, mid-October.Click hereto view park events, festivals, workshops and interpretive programs.
LOCATION:From I-64, take the Croaker Exit 231B. Go north on Route 607 (Croaker Rd.) for one mile, then right on Route 606 (Riverview Rd.) about one and a half miles to the park entrance. Take a left turn into the park.
Drive Time : Northern Virginia, two to three hours; Richmond, one hour; Tidewater/Norfolk/Virginia Beach, one hour; Fredericksburg, two hours; Roanoke, five hours.
Click herefor a Google map. Latitude, 37.405520. Longitude, -76.714323.
York River State Park, 5526 Riverview Road, Williamsburg, Va. 23188-6732; phone: (757) 566-3036; email:yorkriver.