is home to more miles of the Appalachian Trail than any other state. With 544
miles, Virginia has more than one-fourth of the famed 2175-mile footpath.
can pedal among amazing views on the 470-mile Blue Ridge Parkway, while
mountain bikers push through 3,000 feet of climbing on the epic 32-mile
Southern Traverse ride.
water lovers looking to dip their paddles, Virginia holds nearly 1,000 square
miles or surface water in its lakes, rivers and bays, 25,000 miles of rivers
a list of lakes in Virginia on this list from the
Department of Game and Inland Fisheries website:
a list of rivers and streams in Virginia on this list from the
Department of Game and Inland Fisheries website.
are over 4,000 caves in Virginia. Virginia is one of only six states in the
United States with over 2,000 known caves, according to this information
from Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.
The Chesapeake Bay watershed is the largest estuary
in the United States.
New River, the second oldest river in the world and one of the only North
flowing rivers in the world, runs through Virginia.
has portions of the East Coast Greenway, Trans America, and US Bike Route 1.
benefit from national park tourism (in 2010)
Register of Historic Places listings
historic rehabilitation projects stimulated by tax incentives (since 1995)
donated by volunteers (in 2011)
Land & Water Conservation Fund grants (since 1965) »
Facts on Virginia State Parks from The Virginia Department of Conservation and
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation manages a diversity of
120,000 total acres, mostly in state parks
500 miles of trails
(located at Bear Creek Lake, Belle Isle, Chippokes Plantation, Claytor
Lake, Douthat, Fairy Stone, First Landing, Hungry Mother, James River,
Lake Anna, Natural Tunnel, Occoneechee, Shenandoah River, Smith Mountain
Lake, Southwest Virginia Museum, Staunton River, Twin Lakes, Westmoreland)
22 five and
six-bedroom cabins (Bear Creek, Belle Isle, Claytor Lake, Douthat, Fairy
Stone, Hungry Mother, James River, Kiptopeke, Natural Tunnel, Occoneechee,
Shenandoah River, Westmoreland)
campsites in 25 different parks
restaurants; 19 snack bars
State park attendance
water everywhere Virginia
State Parks have small (50- to 170-acre) man-made lakes at Bear Creek Lake
(Cumberland County), Douthat (Clifton Forge), Fairy Stone (Patrick County),
Holliday Lake (Appomattox County), Hungry Mother (Marion), Pocahontas
(Chesterfield County) and Twin Lakes (Prince Edward County).
offers sandy swimming beaches with lifeguards from Memorial Day to Labor Day
(no swimming at Swift Creek Lake at Pocahontas) and boat rentals. Gasoline
motors are not allowed on these lakes to insure the safety and enjoyment of all
those using the lakes. All are regularly stocked by the Department of Game and Inland
Fisheries. Guarded swimming beaches are also features of Smith Mountain Lake,
Claytor Lake and Lake Anna State Parks. These lakes allow gas-powered boats.
First Landing and Kiptopeke have unguarded swimming beaches on the Chesapeake
River (Halifax County)
parks offer gas powered boating access to the following bodies of water
Island Lake (Occoneechee and Staunton River State Parks)
River (Westmoreland and Leesylvania State Parks)
Bay (Kiptopeke and First Landing State Parks)
River (Belle Isle)
is the only state in the country to have opened an entire state park system at
one time. On June 15, 1936, the Virginia State Park System opened to the public
with six parks covering 19,000 acres. The six original state parks are:
Bridge Trail State Park (Cumberland, Nottoway and Prince Edward counties)
resulted from a 2006 donation from the Norfolk Southern Corp. The first
portions of the 30-mile linear, multi-use state park were opened in 2008.
Today, about 20 miles are open. DCR also has parcels of land that will become
state parks in the future. They are Biscuit Run in Albemarle County, Mayo River
in Patrick and Henry counties, Middle Peninsula in Gloucester County, Powhatan
in Powhatan County, Seven Bends in Shenandoah County and Widewater in Stafford
Virginia Museum Historical State Park, 1.5 acres
Highlands, 5,084, feet above sea level
Cape State Park, sea level
visited - First
Landing with more than 1.7 million visitors annually
Cape (Eastern most part of mainland Virginia; is east of state's only Eastern
Shore park, Kiptopeke).
Road State Park in Lee County is farther west than Wheeling, W. Va.,
Pittsburgh, Pa., and Canton, Ohio.
Meadows State Park in Fauquier and Clarke counties is on the same latitude as
Cape State Park - Southern boundary is the North Carolina state line.
George Washington and Jefferson National Forests·
George Washington National Forest in west central Virginia and the Jefferson
National Forest in southwest Virginia were administratively combined in 1995 to
form the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests.
two national forests contain nearly 1.8 million acres; one of the largest
blocks of public land in the eastern United States.
forests include 1,664,110 acres in Virginia, 123,629 acres in West Virginia,
and 961 acres in Kentucky.
forests are primarily Appalachian hardwood and mixed pine-hardwood forest types
located within the Blue Ridge, Central Ridge and Valley, Allegheny, and
Cumberland Plateau provinces.
forests are home to:
species of shrubs and herbaceous plants,
of amphibians and reptiles,
species of mammals,
of perennial streams,
of freshwater fishes and mussels,
federally-listed Threatened or Endangered animal and plant species.
forests are managed for multiple uses and provide many products and
benefits. Developed recreation opportunities are offered at over 200
sites on the forests (including campgrounds, picnic areas and boat launches),
along with nearly 2,200 miles of trails, and 1,700 miles of open roads.
range from 5,729 feet at Mount Rogers to 515 feet along the South Fork of the
Shenandoah River. Highlights include:
of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail,
Recreation Trails totaling 143 miles,
acre Mount Rogers National Recreation Area,
Forest Scenic Byways,
million annual recreation visits,
acres of lands actively managed for the production of timber and wood
million acres classified as generally remote areas where a variety of
activities may occur.
This is the official press room for the Virginia Tourism Corporation.
This site is designed to help journalists develop news stories about travel in Virginia.
For general travel information and trip planning resources please visit www.Virginia.org