Explore the best of Mother Nature on your next trip to Virginia.
Virginia offers endless opportunities to explore its art and culture. But if your ideal vacation involves spending time amidst the beauty of Mother Nature, the best Virginia state parks offer the perfect escapade.
Top 10 State Parks in Virginia
Check out the ten most fantastic State Parks in Virginia with the family and make memories for a lifetime.
Grayson Highlands State Park
Located close to Whitetop Mountain and Mount Rogers, the two highest peaks in Virginia, Grayson Highlands State Park offers some of the best views of the peaks measuring 5,000-feet.
Check out the visitor center, campgrounds, and hiking trails leading up to the waterfalls. The park also has scenic horse trails and a horse camping ground with stables, water hookups, and parking space for trailers. The park also offers year-round access to the Virginia Highlands Horse Trail and the Appalachian Trail.
Hungry Mother State Park
Hungry Mother State Park is a family-favorite haunt for locals. The scenic woodlands and placid 108-acre lake in the heart of the mountains are a sight to behold. The area’s highlights include a sandy beach with a bathhouse, a universally accessible fishing pier, and boat rentals, including kayaks, canoes, fishing boats, and paddle boats.
You can also spend time at the camping grounds, yurts, cabins, visitor center or spend the night at the six-bedroom family lodge that can accommodate up to 15 people. Grab a healthy local meal at the restaurant or spend your day hiking or exploring the bike trails. Nature-based Park programs are regularly hosted near the campground, and the events draw visitors by the hundreds.
Smith Mountain Lake State Park
Smith Mountain Lake State Park is located on the shores of the second-largest freshwater lake in Virginia and is an aquatic enthusiast’s paradise. Some of the most amazing aquatic adventures nearby include swimming, boat rentals, a fishing pier, and a boat ramp.
You can also spend quality time with the family at the visitor center, attending special programs, visiting the amphitheater, exploring miles of hiking and biking trails, or picnicking with the young ones.
York River State Park
York River State Park is renowned for its delicate estuarine environment, where saltwater and freshwater ecosystems meet to create a rich habitat for local flora and fauna. From mountain bike races to exploring the hiking trails, the area is fabulous for day trips.
Several activities and programs are periodically hosted to stress the importance of preserving the York River and its marshes. Guests can hike the entire 30-mile stretch of land next to the shoreline to explore the wetlands.
You could also spend a relaxing day fishing, picnicking, or boating. There is a boat ramp, a fishing pier, and a local shop selling and renting recreational gear and other essential equipment in the area.
Pocahontas State Park
Another excellent spot for boating, picnicking, camping, or spending time amidst nature, Pocahontas State Park offers all these and much more. Home to over 64-miles of trails, the park provides hours of fun and frolic for the entire family.
The Aquatic Center hosts water-based seasonal activities, offering an excellent way for people to cool down when the temperature soars. The parks hosts several exciting summertime activities, including live performances by the Pocahontas Premieres and other notable performers from across the state.
The three lakes offer excellent recreational opportunities like swimming, fishing, boating, and more. Rent a paddleboard, kayak, canoe, or rowboat and explore the waterways. Keep your camera handy as the park presents excellent opportunities for wildlife photography.
Chippokes Plantation State Park
One of the oldest continuously farmed estates in the country, CHippokes Plantation State Park has been operational since 1619. Guests must visit the antebellum mansion, outbuildings, and the historic area. You can also stroll around the formal gardens and check out the antique equipment at the Farm and Forestry Museum.
Visitors can spend the night camping or in the cabins along the historic grounds. There is also an Olympic-sized swimming pool and a visitor center for you to check out. The Park has direct access to the historic James River. Spend the day kayaking, wildlife spotting, or beachcombing for fossils.
Natural Tunnel State Park
Natural Tunnel State Park is a cave system that’s more than 850 feet long and as tall as a 10-story building. The cave was naturally carved out of a limestone ridge over thousands of years and is a sight to behold.
Facilities include picnic areas, campgrounds, cabins, a visitor center, an amphitheater, a gift shop, and a camp store. Other attractions include a swimming pool with a 100-foot slide, a seasonal chairlift to the tunnel floor, and the Wilderness Road Historic Area.
Lake Lawson Loop Trail
Located on Virginia’s beautiful eastern shoreline, Kiptopeke offers unrestricted access to the Chesapeake Bay area. The concrete ships located off the park’s waterfront offer some of the region’s best views and are a prime spot for fishing and bird-watching.
Located close to the park are newer cabins, a picnic area, a campground, and a yurt. The State Park is an excellent place to watch migratory birds. Fly away along the Atlantic. Several education programs are organized here that focus on birding, natural history, and bay ecology.
High Bridge Trail State Park
Once a rail bed, High Bridge Trail State Park is a 31-mile trail ideal for hiking, horseback riding, or biking. The trail is level, wide, and flat at most places. Visitors must check out the park’s centerpiece, the 2,400-feet long High Bridge located approximately 125 meters above the Appomattox River.
It’s one of the longest recreational bridges in the USA. Visitors can rent bikes at the nearby Farmville. There is a convenient parking facility available near the bridge.
First Landing State Park
First Landing State Park is the hub of recreational and educational activities. It offers several unusual habitats like bald cypress swamps, maritime forests, lagoons, and local plants and wildlife.
The park is an oasis with Virginia Beach’s urban setting that visitors can use to escape the hustle and bustle of the urban lifestyle. Check out the numerous trails along the 20-mile stretch, or spend the day picnicking, camping, fishing, or boating.
Gear Up for an Exciting Vacation Amidst Nature
Virginia is home to several exciting natural escapades. We compiled the top State parks to help you plan your vacation. If you’re looking for outdoor activities in the heart of town, we recommend spending a day at Escape2Win, Virginia’s #1 escape room.
If you’re in the area looking for “escape rooms near me,” we highly recommend dropping by. First-time visitors should also read our blogs to familiarize themselves with the top attractions near Virginia Beach.
If you’ve never played an escape game before, this is the ideal opportunity. Pick your ideal room, inform your friends and drop by for an amazing experience. So, what are you waiting for? Book your slots now!