Virginia State Parks

There Are Thirty Three Wonderful State Parks In Virginia

The Virginia State Parks system began on the 15th of June 1936 when six parks were opened to the public. The original six were Douthat State Park, Hungry Mother State Park, Fairy Stone State Park, Staunton River State Park, Westmoreland State Park and what is now First Landing State Park.

The last named was called Seashore State Park when it opened but its name was changed in 1997.

Since that auspicious day in 1936 the number of state parks in Virginia has grown to thirty three with a number of other areas and a few state parks which are unfortunately closed.

The colonial history of Virginia dates back to 1607 when the London Company established it as the first colony in the New World.

The Fall Colors In Virginia Are Unbelievable

Before the Europeans arrived it is believed that Native Americans had inhabited the area for 12,000 years. By the time the white man appeared the major tribes were the Iroquoians, the Siouan and the Algonquian who later came to be led by a powerful chief by the name of Powhatan.

Early life in the colony was extremely harsh. For example, the year 1609 came to be known as the "starving time" when many settlers died of hunger. There was also wars against the Native Americans, especially the Algonquin tribes led by Powhatan. Many more settlers died during these clashes notably during a notorious massacre in 1622. Indeed by 1624 only just over half of the original 6,000 settlers still survived.

Stormclouds Gather Over The Beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains In Virginia

Virginia has been at the center of events in much of American history and Virginians have played a major part in shaping the country, indeed there have been eight U.S. Presidents who were born in Virginia.

During the development of America as a country Virginia has witnessed a great deal of warfare. As well as being the scen of conflict during the French and Indian Wars, the Revolutionary War brought much bloodshed to the area. However, the defeat of British troops, under the infamous General Cornwallis, at the siege of Yorktown in 1781 would eventually lead to the independence of the colonies and the start of the United States. Virginia became the 10th state to join the Union on the 25th of June 1788.

However, that was not to be the end of the fighting on Virginia soil. With the coming of the Civil War, Virginia voted to secede from the United States in April 1861. This event led to forty eight counties in the north-west of the state seperating from Virginia and forming the new state of West Virgina.

The Statue Of "Stonewall" Jackson At The Manassas Battlefield In Virginia

The newly formed Confederate States Of America chose Richmond in Virginia as their capital and a long and bloody war ensued against the forces of the north. During the war more battles were fought in Virginia than any other state. Two of the Virginia State Parks remember the battles fought on Virginian soil. They are Sailor`s Creek Battlefield State Park and Staunton River Battlefield State Park. However, after the war Virginia was restored to the United States in 1870 and has thrived ever since.

The state parks in Virginia also include one of only two parks in the entire country which cover parts of two different states. This is the Breaks Interstate Park which is located partly in southwestern Virginia and partly in southeastern Kentucky. The Breaks Canyon is five miles long and in places, up to 1,600 feet deep. The famous frontiersman, Daniel Boone is thought to have been the first European to have set eyes on it.

The Canyon At Breaks Interstate Park

The original six Virginia State Parks were all built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression years and many of the facilities they created in the 1930`s are still in use today.

Other interesting Virginia State Parks include one that has a naturally formed cave now used as a tunnel, this is the Natural Tunnel State Park. Another, Hungry Mother State Park, is named after the legend of a mother and child captured by Indians and eventually escaping to wander starving in the wilderness.

However, in their individual way, all thirty three state parks in Virginia are interesting and with their outstanding facilities and beautiful locations, well worth visiting.

This is a list of Virginia State Parks -

  • Bear Creek Lake State Park
  • Belle Isle State Park
  • Breaks Interstate Park
  • Chippokes Plantation State Park
  • Claytor Lake State Park
  • Douthat State Park
  • Fairy Stone State Park
  • False Cape State Park
  • First Lamding State Park
  • Grayson Highlands State Park
  • High Bridge Trail State Park
  • Holliday Lake State Park
  • Hungry Mother State Park
  • James River State Park
  • Kiptopeke State Park
  • Lake Anna State Park
  • Leesylvania State Park
  • Mason Neck State Park
  • Natural Tunnel State Park
  • New River Trail State Park
  • Occoneechee State Park
  • Pocahontas State Park
  • Sailor`s Creek Battlefield State Park
  • Shenandoah River Raymond R."Andy" Guest Jr. State Park
  • Sky Meadows State Park
  • Smith Mountain Lake State Park
  • Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park
  • Staunton River State Park
  • Staunton River Battlefield State Park
  • Twin Lakes State Park
  • Westmoreland State Park
  • Wilderness Road State Park
  • York River State Park

Return From Virginia State Parks to American-State-Parks Home

position of virginia