Thanks to the unusually warm winter, it seems that our Virginia State Parks have already hit high attendance this year. But, the parks along the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay area know that the months of May thru September are just around the corner.
The staff of Belle Isle, Chippokes Plantation, False Cape, First Landing, Kiptopeke, and York River State Parks came together for the District One Peak Season Kick-Off Meeting on Thursday, April 19th. at First Landing.
A sweet kick-off
We were welcomed by our District Manager, Fred Hazelwood, and by members of the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitor's Bureau. Central office staff members Nancy Heltman, Craig Seaver, and Chuck Wyatt gave remarks thanking us for the work we do and encouraging us on the value of our efforts.
Customer service is a hallmark of the Virginia State Parks staff
Various members led discussions on a range of topics concerning park functions and safety. Some topics, such as heat related illnesses and missing persons, were obvious in their seriousness. But, the more mundane task of proper bed making is something that should not be overlooked. Our mission is to provide our guest with an enjoyable and memorable experience. So, even "minor" details are treated with importance.
No one is too important to provide comfort for our guest
This annual meeting is also an opportunity for us to catch up with old friends and make new ones. We especially welcomed the staff from Belle Isle as they have been added to our district this year. A delicious potluck lunch was enjoyed by us all with barbecued chicken cooked by First Landing volunteer John Graham.
Shared friendship and goals for the season
The peak season of Virginia State Park visitation is just around the corner. The staff of the parks in District One are ready to provide guest with enjoyable, memorable, and safe experiences this year.
Rappahannock River dawn at Belle Isle
Directions to Belle Isle State Park: Lancaster County on the Rappahannock River. From Warsaw, take State Route 3 East to SR 354. Turn right and follow for three miles. Turn right onto SR 683 at Somers to the park entrance. From Kilmarnock, take Route 3 West to Lively, then left on SR 201 for three miles, then right on SR 354 for three miles and left onto 683 to the park entrance.
Experience heritage at Chippokes Plantation
Directions to Chippokes Plantation State Park: Surry County. From I-95 and I-295, take Route 10 towards Hopewell. Follow Route 10 East for approximately 40 miles to Surry. Turn left at the intersection of routes 10 and 31 (this continues on Route 10). Turn right at the stop light. Turn left at Route 634 (Alliance Road), and the park entrance is four miles on the left.
False Cape's unspoiled beach on the Atlantic Ocean
Directions to False Cape State Park: From Interstate 64, exit on to Indian River Road East. Go 13 miles, then turn left onto Newbridge Road, then right onto Sandbridge Road. Next, turn right onto Sandpiper Road to Little Island City Park. Parking fees required Memorial Day to Labor Day. Day use only parking also is available at Back Bay Wildlife Refuge.
Admire Bald Cypress and beaches at First Landing
Directions to First Landing State Park: From I-64, take Northampton Blvd.-U.S. 13 North (Exit 282). Go through eight lights, then turn right at the Shore Drive/U.S. 60 exit (last exit before the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel). Take a right on Shore Drive and go four and a half miles to the park entrance. To reach the Chesapeake Bay Center, park office, camping or cabins, turn left off U.S. Rt. 60 at the stoplight and check in at the contact station. For the Trail Center, picnic area and trails, turn right instead.
Take a walk to the Bay at Kiptopeke
Directions to Kiptopeke State Park: 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. Kiptopeke is three miles from the northern terminus of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, which has a substantial each-way toll charge, on Route 13. Turn west on Route 704; the park entrance is within a half mile. The park has an area for swimming Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Explore the marshes and waters at York River
Directions to York River State Park: 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.
We're ready for the peak season, so come on out we look forward to your visit!