James River State Park
Route 1, Box 787, Gladstone, VA 24553
One of Virginia’s newest state parks, James River Park, (434) 933-4355, is nestled in a crook of the James River east of Amherst and north of Appomanox. Visitors can hike, canoe, fish or camp along the banks of the historic James River or scenic Branch Pond. The park features 1,500 acres of rolling grasslands, quiet forest and beautiful vistas, as well as three miles along the banks of the James River. Facilities include an Environmental Education Center, three picnic areas with six large shelters, two boat launches, two primitive campgrounds, equestrian camping and a universally accessible fishing pier. <p> The James was used by Indians and early settlers for transportation and commerce. You can learn about this culture during an annual Batteau Festival which presents a moving re-creation of life aboard the flat bottomed boats the settlers used. Join the interpretive guide at James River State Park and learn the background and history of the Cabell family that settled this piece of rich bottom-land. <p>You can then explore by mountain bike the old roadbed now known as the Cabell Trail. Altogether there are 20 miles of multi-use nail within the park and many miles of gravel road looping out and back. The seven miles of pavement into the park from Rte. 60 are a living postcard of farm pastures and river vistas. Best of all, this park is still relatively undiscovered. Park Ranger John Dixon says, "From Monday through Thursday, you'll have the park virtually to yourself" The facilities are new and thoroughly up-to- date. Bike rentals, primitive camping and boat landings are available. <p>Park is open for day use and overnight camping. Honor parking at posted daily rate. Hiking trails, picnic shelters, comfort stations and boat launch. The primitive aspect of the camping must be considered. But if you like to fish, like a more primitive and less crowded setting, like to canoe or like river activities, make note of this new camping opportunity. While it’s not for those who bring hair dryers and fans, if you don’t mind roughing it, you’ll love the park. Overnight Facilities: Primitive camping - no potable water or electricity is available in the campground. Potable water is, however, available at restrooms and shelters. Walk-ins are highly discouraged. Reserved sites are marked by park staff by 4 p.m. Those sites not marked may be used by walk-ins (i.e., those who've not reserved a space) who must rent their site using honor camping envelopes, which are at the park entrance and canoe landing campground. For information on availability of overnight accommodations, particular park amenities or to make a reservation, you can call 1-800-933- PARK.
- Child Friendly:
- Handicapped Accessible: