Learn more about the amazing outdoor destinations in the Chesapeake region of Virginia by clicking the links below:
- Belle Isle State Park
Located in the rural Northern Neck of Virginia, Belle Isle is the first state park to be purchased with funds from the $95 million 1992 Parks and Recreational Facilities Bond Referendum. The 733-acre site is a window to the beautiful lower Rappahannock River in Lancaster County. The park has seven miles of frontage on the north shore of the Rappahannock, and it borders Deep and Mulberry creeks. It features diverse tidal and nontidal wetlands, lowland marshes, tidal coves and upland forests. Overnight accommodations are available at the Bel Air mansion and guest house, and in the campground. The park also offers fishing, a boat launch, a car-top canoe and kayak launch area, and a picnic area with playground overlooking the Rappahannock River. Ranger-led canoe and educational programs are available. Powerboat, canoe, kayak, and bicycle rentals (seasonal restrictions may apply).
- Caledon State Park
Caledon State Park is situated on 2579 acres of mature forest along the Potomac river. Originally established in 1659, this area was owned and farmed for centuries by the Alexander family. It was donated to the state of Virginia by Mrs. Ann Hopewell Hewitt Smoot in 1974 and now is an important site for conservation. In 1974 Caledon State Park was designated a National Natural Landmark by the Secretary of the Interior because it is one of the best examples of an old, undisturbed, oak-tulip poplar-dominated virgin upland forest in the country. This park offers one of the few areas where bald eagles, a recently endangered bird, can nest peacefully. While enjoying the park please stay within designated open areas on the shoreline. On July 14, 2012 Caledon Natural Area was renamed Caledon State Park.
- Westmoreland State Park
Westmoreland State Park lies within Westmoreland County, from which it takes its name. The park extends about one and a half miles along the Potomac River, and its 1,299 acres neighbor the former homes of both George Washington and Robert E. Lee. The park's Horsehead Cliffs provide visitors with a spectacular view of the Potomac River. In addition to the scenic beauty at Westmoreland, the park offers hiking, camping, cabins, fishing, boating and swimming. Visitors can enjoy the park's vacation cabins as well. The discovery center, open during summer, gives an informative historical and ecological perspective to an important natural area on the coastal plain. Westmoreland also offers the Potomac River Retreat.
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