Parks offer a peaceful haven for hiking, biking, or just relaxing. Don't forget the dog; many parks have special areas just for Rover.
CHARLES CITY COUNTY
Chickahominy Wildlife Management Area.
Bird-watching, hunting, fishing, shooting range, public boat access. Route 5 and Chickahominy River. 804-829-5336.
Gloucester County Parks and Recreation.
Picnic area and shelter, soccer, softball, restrooms. Next to Abingdon Elementary School, 7055 Powhatan Drive.
Soccer, basketball, softball, playground, picnic area, restrooms. Off Route 17, 7963 Number Nine Road.
1. Beaverdam Park.
Canoe, johnboat and paddle boat rentals; geocaching; playground; wildlife observation; picnic areas with grills; biking; hiking; horseback trails; exercise trail; fishing; volleyball; horseshoes; restrooms. Fishing and hunting licenses for sale. Fishing pier, picnic shelter and one lodge available for rent. 8687 Roaring Springs Road. 804-693-2107.
Recently developed, Brown Park is being constructed by volunteers. Field hockey field now open. Foster Road, off of Route 14 east of Courthouse.
Gloucester Point Beach Park.
Picnic shelter, volleyball, horseshoes, beach, swimming, playground, picnic areas with grills, concession stand. Fishing pier, outdoor shower and public boat ramp. 1255 Greate Road, Gloucester Point. 804-642-9474.
Tyndall's Point Park.
Earthworks, interpretive walk. 1376 Vernon St.
Hampton Parks and Recreation.
Air Power Park.
15-acre park displaying the air power that played a vital part in America's early space exploration and aircraft testing. Free. Open daily, sunrise to sunset. Wheelchair accessible. 413 W. Mercury Blvd. 727-8311.
Bluebird Gap Farm.
A 60-acre farm with more than 250 domesticated animals, picnic shelter, playground, nature trail. 60 Pine Chapel Road. 827-2765. hampton.gov/bbgf
3. Briarfield Park.
Softball, tennis, playground, picnic shelters, fitness trail. Wheelchair accessible. 1560 Briarfield Road. 850-5116.
Buckroe Beach and Park.
Swimming, kayak and paddle boat rentals, playground, dog park and picnic shelters by reservation. Wheelchair accessible. End of Pembroke Avenue. 850-5134.
Wooden carousel from 1920. Has 48
and two chariots. Hours vary so call ahead. Rides are $1 or 50 cents if purchased with a
ticket. 602 Settlers Landing Road.
Gosnold's Hope Park.
105-acre park has picnic facilities, trailer campsites, BMX track, boat ramp, fitness trail, athletic fields and playground. Not wheelchair accessible. 901 E. Little Back River Road. 850-5116.
9. Grandview Nature Preserve.
Marshland, beach area. Endangered birds and other wildlife. Open year round from sunrise to sunset. No wheelchair access. State Park Drive, off Beach Road in northeast Hampton.
Mill Point Park.
Hampton River waterfront. Concessions and amphitheater seating for 300. Wheelchair accessible. Open 7 a.m.-sunset. 100 Eaton St.
Open year-round from 7 a.m. to sunset daily. This 8-acre park has a picnic shelter and ducks to feed. 85 E. Mercury Blvd.
17. Sandy Bottom Nature Park.
456 acres. Nature center, camping, picnic shelters, fishing, canoe, dog park, paddle boat rentals, walking and biking nature trails, exhibits, classrooms and playground. Wheelchair accessible. 1255 Big Bethel Road. 825-4657. hampton.gov/sandybottom
ISLE OF WIGHT COUNTY
Isle of Wight Parks and Recreation.
Basketball, tennis, picnic areas, baseball, softball, walking trail and playground. 33475 Carver Road, Franklin. 569-9810
Fishing, playground, tennis, softball, basketball, trails, picnic shelters, soccer, volleyball, nature and mountain bike trails, skate park, senior citizens center and ceramics building. 13036 Nike Park Road, Carrollton.
Ragged Island Wildlife Management Area.
Interpretive walking trail, wildlife observation, fishing, hunting. Foot of James River Bridge.
Senior citizens area, picnic shelter, softball, baseball, exercise court with running/walking trail, basketball, tennis and gazebo. James Street, Smithfield.
Play fort, picnic areas. Not wheelchair accessible. Duke Street, Windsor.
7. Fort Boykin Historic Park.
Self-guided tour of military fort. Picnic shelter, gardens. 7410 Fort Boykin Trail, Smithfield. 357-0115. smithfield-
Fort Huger Historic Park.
Remnants of an abandoned Civil War fort used by Confederate soldiers. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday-Sunday and by appointment. 15080 Talcott Terrace, Smithfield. 357-0115
JAMES CITY COUNTY
James City County Parks and Recreation.
Chickahominy Riverfront Park.
140-acre facility on the Chickahominy River. Includes two outdoor swimming pools, playground, boat ramp and rentals, fishing pier, campsites. 1350
Open for boating access and fishing. Public boat landing hours: one hour before sunrise and one hour after sunset. 9551 Diascund Reservoir Park Road, off Route 60, Lanexa.
8. Freedom Park.
689 acres including the Williamsburg Botanical "Ellipse Garden." Hiking and biking trails. Open daily 7:00 a.m. to sunset. 5535 Centerville Road. 259-5360
Little Creek Reservoir Park.
Fishing pier, boat launch, ramp and dock, picnic shelters, playground, concessions, boat and motor rentals. 180 Lakeview Drive, Toano. 566-1702.
12. Mid County Park.
Picnic shelters, Kidsburg playground, softball, tennis, basketball, baseball, volleyball and fitness trails. 3793 Ironbound Road. 229-1232 (during summer).
Powhatan Creek Park and Blueway.
Part of the Chesapeake Gateways Network; provides access to Jamestown Island and the James River. Small boat/canoe launch with parking for 20 vehicles. Open sunrise to sunset. 1831 Jamestown Road. 259-5360.
20. Upper County Park.
Outdoor swimming pool, volleyball, basketball, multiuse trails, mountain bike trail, horseshoe pits, picnic shelters and playground. 180 Leisure Road, Toano. 566-1451.
14. Newport News Parks and Recreation.
Anderson Park and Peterson's Yacht Basin.
Athletic field, beach, biking, interpretive programs, saltwater fishing, picnic shelters, basketball, tennis, public boat ramp and restrooms. Not wheelchair accessible. 16th Street and Oak Avenue.
Basketball, freshwater fishing, playground and hiking trails. End of Longmeadow Drive. 886-7912.
Christopher Newport Park.
Floral gardens, greenspace, interpretive programs, views of the shipyard and coal piers. No restrooms. 29th Street and West Avenue.
Athletic fields, basketball, playground, interpretive programs, freshwater fishing, gardens, freshwater lake, shelters, hiking trails, picnic shelters and restrooms. 11523 Jefferson Ave. 886-7912.
Denbigh Park and Boat Ramp.
Boat ramp, saltwater fishing pier, nature trail, overlooks Warwick River. Launch permit required. Wheelchair accessible. End of Denbigh Boulevard.
Virginia War Museum, Fort Fun playground, fishing pier, beach, public boat ramp, volleyball, tennis, rose garden, C&O steam locomotive, lighted athletic fields, snacks, restrooms. Wheelchair accessible. Off West Mercury Boulevard near James River Bridge. 886-7912; special events, 888-3333.
James River Bridge Fishing Pier.
At .9 miles, this is one of the longest fishing piers on the East Coast. Open April-November. Bait shop, tackle, snacks. No permit required; fees apply. 9 a.m.-11 p.m. daily. Foot of James River Bridge.
. Beach, shelters, saltwater fishing pier, playground, stage, tennis, athletic field, basketball, interpretive center and restrooms. 600 Jefferson Ave. 886-7912.
More than 550 acres featuring Lake Maury, Lion's Bridge, paddle boat rentals and the 5-mile Noland Trail. 100 Museum Drive. 596-2222.marinersmuseum.org/visitor-information/park-lake
Newport News Park.
8,000-acre park offers arboretum, archery, bike rentals and trails, campgrounds, boat ramp, boat, canoe and paddle boat rentals, pier, disc golf, horseback riding, freshwater fishing, picnic shelters, aeromodelers flying field, playgrounds, volleyball, floral gardens, stages, trails, golf course, driving range, eateries and restrooms. Discovery Center. 13560 Jefferson Ave.
Riverview Farm Park.
Soccer fields, visitors center, dog park, nature trail, picnic shelters, gymnastics center, Fantasy Farm playground, concession stand, wheelchair accessible and restrooms. 105 City Farm Road, across from Menchville High School. Open sunrise to sunset. 886-7912.
19. Town Point Park.
City park with outdoor amphitheater that hosts many weekend festivals. Waterside Drive. 441-2345. Festeventsva.org
Poquoson Parks and Recreation.
Messick Point Boat Ramp.
Two double boat ramps, 50 vehicle/trailer parking spaces. Handicapped-accessible. At the end of Messick Road.
Park Street Little League Softball/Baseball Complex.
Lighted baseball and softball fields. Park Street.
Kid's Island Playground (check website for playground status), soccer and baseball fields and tennis courts. 51 Odd Road.
16. Poquoson Municipal Park and Pool.
Pool, walking trail, picnic shelter, playground, soccer field, baseball field. 830 Poquoson Ave.
Rens Road Boat Ramp.
Public boat ramp. Rens Road.
South Lawson Park.
Fishing, playground, soccer fields. South Lawson Road.
Suffolk Parks and Recreation.
2. Bennett's Creek Park.
Fishing, crabbing, boat ramps, a playground, nature trail, tennis courts, shelters and restrooms. Off Shoulders Hill Road, Route 659.
Lone Star Lakes.
Wilderness park, 11 lakes. Crabbing, freshwater fishing piers, playground, horse and hiking trails, picnic area, model-airplane flying field, archery range. 1 Bob House Parkway, Chuckatuck. 255-4308.
18. Sleepy Hole Park.
Twelve picnic shelters, horseshoes, playground, trails and restrooms. 4700 Sleepy Hole Road.
5. Chippokes Plantation State Park.
1,683 acres. Two miles of James River frontage. Picnic areas, pool, walking and biking trails, visitors center, gardens, farm and forestry museum, and mansion tours. Campground and cabins. Rentals available for weddings, etc. Route 634, off Route 10. 294-3625. dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/chi.shtml
Hog Island Wildlife Management Area.
Seasonal hunting. Fishing. Trails, ponds, bird watching and hiking. Public boat ramp. End of Route 650. 804-829-6580.
6. First Landing State Park.
2,888 acres. Indoor aquariums, water sports rentals, boat ramp and small beach for boating, fishing and crabbing on Broad Bay, hiking and biking trails, cabin rentals and a campground. Beach restricted to campers. Picnic shelter and conference room rentals, visitors center. Park office in the
Center. Fee for parking. 2500 Shore Drive. 412-2300.
13. Mount Trashmore.
165 acres. Former landfill turned recreation hill. Kids playgrounds, fishing, picnic shelters, basketball, volleyball and skate park. 310 Edwin Drive. 473-5237.
Williamsburg Parks and Recreation.
Greenspace. Near the National Center for State Courts on Court Street.
College Landing Park.
Scenic park with picnic areas, lookout tower, marsh and boardwalk. South Henry Street.
Highland Park Community Park.
Two acres. Picnic areas, playground, half-court basketball court, picnic shelter and grill. North Henry Street.
Kiwanis Municipal Park.
27 acres. Baseball, tennis, playground and a large picnic shelter. Longhill Road.
23 acres. Recreation center, softball, tennis, basketball, aerobics and dance rooms, pool, playground, three lighted softball fields. Quarterpath Road, off Route 60 East.
Dedicated on May 5, 2007, to celebrate the 145th anniversary of the Battle of Williamsburg. Two redoubts, historic interpretation and scenic views. Quarterpath Road.
21. Waller Mill Park.
Lake, pier, boat and canoe rentals, fishing, nature and fitness trails, playground, lookout-tower trail, observation tower, senior citizens walking trail, picnic tables, play fields, shelters. Separate dog park. Airport Road. 259-3778.
York County Parks and Recreation.
Back Creek Park.
Tennis courts, free boat launching, picnic areas and restrooms. Goodwin Neck Road, Seaford.
Charles E. Brown Park.
basketball, baseball, playground, community service center, picnic shelter and restrooms. Wheelchair accessible. Off Route 238, Lackey.
Chisman Creek Park.
13 acres. Reserved for group activities. Softball and soccer. Wheelchair accessible. Wolf Trap Road, Grafton.
10. Harwood's Mill.
Boat ramp, boat and canoe rentals (weekends from Memorial Day to October), mountain bike trail, freshwater fishing pier, shelters and trails. Oriana Road.
Kiln Creek Park.
21 acres. Soccer field, baseball field, basketball court, picnic shelter, picnic tables, playground and restrooms. Located in Kiln Creek subdivision, 2901 Kiln Creek Parkway.
15. New Quarter Park.
545 acres. Picnic pavilions, hiking, biking, basketball, boat ramps, piers, fishing, disc golf, playground, wildflower meadow, horseshoes, volleyball and restrooms. Wheelchair accessible. End of Lakeshead Drive, off Colonial Parkway.
22. York River State Park.
The 2,550-acre park offers boat ramps, picnicking, visitors center, hiking, biking and horse trails, guided canoe trips, fossil hikes, "ghost night" hikes, wildlife observations. 5526 Riverview Road. 566-3036. dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/yor.shtml