Some of the most beautiful scenery in the Richmond area
can be found at Pocahontas State Park
The park is filled with vibrant colors, the yellows, orange and red leaves of fall
Today I did it I decided to spend my thirty minutes allotted for lunch in the woods rather than eating another ham and cheese sandwich. The best decision I made all day. I haven’t walked the trails ofPocahontas State Park in a while. So when the noon hour came around, I told myself to get out of my office chair and go for a hike. And I did. It never ceases to amaze me the beauty that I see when I’m out in nature especially this time of year with the all the vibrant colors, the yellow, orange and red leaves of the trees framed against a cobalt blue sky that makes me feel spiritual and part of something so much larger. The park is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the Richmond area. For those of you who haven’t had the opportunity to visit the park yet or it’s been a while since your last visit, I want to share with you some of my favorite spots, places special to me for many reasons and where the wonders of nature can be found everywhere.
One of the first places where the natural beauty of the park is apparent is its entrance
As you enter the park you are greeted by a canopy of trees that invites you to come in like a green tree cave that during this time of year is sprinkled with the colors of the forest getting ready to go to sleep for winter. You are no longer in an urban neighborhood of Chesterfield County but in a wondrous land where your imagination is your only boundaries.
The pedestrian bridge on Powhatan Trail is a beautiful place to stop, relax and enjoy nature
I would recommend you start your park adventure with a charming and easy hike on the Powhatan Trail
Its wooden pedestrian bridge arches gracefully over Swift Creek and is a beautiful place to stop, relax and drink in the beauty of the river and woods before heading to the day use area of the park or to the campground. This 2 mile trail is shared and used for hiking and mountain biking. It’s a great cut through for campers who want to ride their bikes or walk to the pool during the warm summer months.
Beaver Lake is home to cottontails and other native greenery
My personal favorite trail, because of its gorgeous views, is Beaver Lake Trail
The trail surrounds the beautiful Beaver Lake. The lake shimmers in the bright sunlight and is framed by cottontails and other native greenery that makes it also home to diverse species of wildlife. The trail is 2.56 miles and has an observation deck where hikers can pause and drink in the view the whole lake. For the birdwatchers there are plenty of locations along the trail to see the many types of birds that call Pocahontas their home. Great blue herons walking slowly in the reeds, red-shouldered hawks, bald eagles soaring majestically overhead and the noisy red-winged black birds nest in the trees along the lake singing their caws to anyone who will listen to their personal song
A pedestrian bridge over Swift Creek Lake leads hikers to the Forest Exploration Trail
The alluring Forest Exploration Trail is a favorite to hikers and mountain bikers
The trail is 2.28 miles long and educational signs line the trail with information on the history of the park and wildlife habitats. It’s also home to the split rock, one of the natural wonders of the park.
Pocahontas State Park is located in Chesterfield County just 20 miles from Richmond
It's easily accessible from Interstate 95, Route 288 and Route 360. Its address is 10301 State Park Road, Chesterfield, VA. To find out more about Pocahontas State Park, call the park office at 804-796-4255 or email park staff.
Drive Time: Northern Virginia, two hours; Richmond, half an hour; Tidewater/Norfolk/Virginia Beach, two hours; Roanoke, three hours. Click here for a Google Map.
They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and what is beautiful to me may not be the same for you. Take the time to make a trip out to the park to see if you agree.