Hike, Bike, or Paddle Your Way Through Virginia State Parks

virginia state parks

Fun and adventure is yours at Virginia State Parks. Each of our 40 parks offer outdoor escapes, but here are five parks where you can do it all—hike, bike and paddle.

You can hike your way through any Virginia State Parks, as they all have hiking trails, from a casual stroll through the grounds to miles of dedicated hiking. There are 626 miles of trails, with more than 160 miles strictly reserved for hiking and more than 397 miles of multi-use trails.

Bell Isle State Park (Virginia State Parks)
Bell Isle State Park

From the mountains to the bay, Virginia State Parks are a perfect place to bike. There are more than 55 miles of biking and mountain biking trails, 138 miles of hiking and biking trails and even more multiuse trails. Whether it’s an easy ride with the kids or a challenging mountain biking adventure you are looking for, we’ve got you covered.

Canoe paddling at Hungry Mother State park (Virginia State Parks)
Canoe paddling at Hungry Mother State Park

Paddle one of our serene lakes or a relaxing stretch of river. From kayaking or canoeing, to stand-up paddle boarding, our parks offer unparalleled access to water-based recreation.

  1. New River Trail State Park has a 57-mile multi-use trail that follows an old railroad bed. The gentle slopes of the trail make it great for hikers and bikers of any age. The Hoover Mountain Biking Area, which includes five loops with seven trails, is the perfect spot for those seeking extra adventure. The park parallels the scenic and historic New River for 39 miles and passes through four counties and the city of Galax. There are three boat ramps, and the park rents kayaks and canoes at the Foster Falls Boat and Bike Livery.
James River State Park (Virginia State Parks)
James River State Park
  • Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, James River State Park offers 22 miles of multi-use trails for hiking and biking. Tye River Overlook, Green Hill Pond Trail and the fishing pier are wheelchair-accessible. The parks’ livery enables guests to float up to eight miles of the river and rents kayaks and canoes. It also offers shuttles for those renting equipment and those bringing their own equipment. The park has a car-top launch and a boat launch.
Boat rentals at Douthat State Park (Virginia State Parks)
Boat rentals at Douthat State Park
  • Douthat State Park is located the Allegheny Mountains and has some of the best mountain biking trails in Virginia. There are more than 40 miles of wooded hiking trails to choose from throughout the year, ranging from easy to difficult. Douthat Lake is 50-acres of fun for swimming and paddling. Funyaks, Jon boats, paddleboats, hydrobikes, canoes and paddleboards can be rented from the park. A boat launch ramp is available for guests with their own non-gasoline powered boat.
Pocahontas State Park (Virginia State Parks)
Pocahontas State Park
  • Just 20 miles from Richmond, Pocahontas State Park has more than 90 miles of trail for users of all skill levels. There is 5.5 miles of trail for hiking only, including a paved spillway trail for those with disabilities. Pocahontas has more than 25 miles of directional mountain bike trails including traditional single-track, machine-built flow and hand-cycle friendly trails. About 33 miles of forest roads and trails help comprise the trail system for combined use by hikers and bikers. Enjoy Swift Creek Lake with boat rentals from the park that include paddleboats, stand-up paddleboards, canoes and kayaks.
Boat dock at Fairy Stone State Park (Virginia State Parks)
Boat dock at Fairy Stone State Park
  • Home of the legendary fairy stones, Fairy Stone State Park is well known for its 168-acre lake adjoining Philpott Reservoir. Boat rentals and a boat launch are available at the lake. The park has multi-use trails are for hiking and cycling. Most of the park’s Little Mountain Trail System, 10 miles, is multi-use. The remaining trails, parts of the Little Mountain system, and all of the Stuart’s Knob system are for pedestrian use only. After a day of hiking or biking, take a swim in the lake to cool off.

Bonus Parks:

Belle Isle State Park
10 miles of trails, along with a short universally accessible boardwalk that wraps around Mulberry Creek near the car-top launch. Paddle the park’s 7 miles of shoreline.

Hungry Mother State Park, Virginia State Parks
Hungry Mother State Park

Hungry Mother State Park
Hike and bike on more than 17 miles of trails. The 108-acre lake has a boat launching ramp and boat rentals for canoes, kayaks, paddleboards and paddleboats.

Smith Mountain Lake State Park
There are three hiking trails ranging from half a mile to 3 miles long. Boat rentals (canoes, kayaks, hydrobikes, paddleboats, pontoon boats, ski boats and jet skis) are available at the park.

Staunton River State Park
10 trails provide miles of hiking along the Dan and Staunton rivers, as well as Buggs Island Lake. Multi-use trails are open for hikers and bikers. Guests must bring their own boats. Boat launching ramp is available.

York River State Park
More than 30 miles of hiking and biking trails, the park has nine multi-use use trails. There are five trails for mountain-bike use only. Paddleboats, Jon boats, canoes and kayaks can be rented for use on the pond.

Ready for the adventure? Head out to one of these Virginia State Parks and hike, bike or paddle your way to fun.

All photos courtesy of Virginia State Parks

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