Five Local Parks You Can’t Miss!
Virginia has over 50 state and national parks, forests, and monuments. Many of these are sites that have been pivotal to American history. Others are beautiful reminders of American wilderness and outdoor havens. Here are 5 local Virginia state and national parks that you need to see. (This list is in no particular order.)
- Petersburg National Battlefield: Petersburg, VA. This is one of the most beautiful Civil War battlefields I’ve ever visited, and I’ve been to quite a few. Boasting incredible monuments, wonderfully preserved trenches, a giant cannon called The Dictator, a crater with a great story behind it, and a great museum packed with artifacts from the war. If you want to witness both the honor and horror of the American Civil War, this is one of the few places that you can get a true sense of both.
- Pocahontas State Park: Chesterfield County, VA. Pocahontas State Park is one of the most inclusive parks in the state. It includes hiking, biking, and horseback trails, fishing, boating, a beach, a water park, and great picnic areas.
- First Landing State Park: Virginia Beach, VA. This is the MOST popular park in the state of VA! However, if that isn’t enough, it includes biking and hiking trails, fishing, swimming, kayaking, amazing views and it is the site where the very first 100 English settlers landed in 1607 (over 400 year ago!) before moving to Jamestown. You can witness history and have a great time doing it!
- Smith Mountain Lake State Park: Huddleston, VA. This state park has cabins for rental, campsites, hiking trails, a beach for swimming, some of the state’s best fishing, boating, and great picnic areas. This is a great park for a weekend family getaway!
- Grayson Highlands State Park: Mouth of Wilson, VA. Ever want to see wild ponies?!? This park has them. I repeat… THIS PARK HAS WILD PONIES WALKING AROUND! That should be enough, but if it’s not: Virginia’s highest peak, Mount Rogers, incredible views of the Shenandoah Valley, camping, backpacking, horseback riding, hiking trails, waterfalls, scenic overlooks, fishing, and canoe tours. It’s also frequently listed as one of the best mountain parks in the entire country.
Get out there, explore and spend some time with family or friends!