by Kate Vinnedge
Continuing on from last time, we’re going over five more state parks that you can make a day trip out of!
We’re going north - but not too far. Located in Spotsylvania off Route 208, Lake Anna State Park is just a one hour drive from Richmond. Offering everything from boating and fishing to tent and cabin campsites, as well as an accessible beach, the park is a massive 16,000 acres (including both the lake and surrounding park). Boat ramps open at 5:30 a.m., and trails are available for hiking, biking, and horseback riding - there’s even a bathhouse!
Only an hour southwest of Richmond is Twin Lakes State Park - this historic land offers gorgeous scenic trails, beautiful waterfronts, and cultural, recreational, and environmental activities and programs. Enjoy swimming, hiking, boating, and a beautiful picnic area - there’s 33 campsites and 11 cabins as well, so don't be afraid to stay the night!
A tad bit more far-flung from Richmond than our previous two state parks, Natural Bridge is a two hour drive northwest from our city - but it is one hundred percent worth the extra mileage. Previously owned by founding Father Thomas Jefferson, as well as being listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this park got its name from the 215-foot-tall limestone natural bridge that spans Cedar Creek. Formed by the water it spans, the bridge itself is surrounded by beautiful park and six miles of hiking.
If you’re willing to get up a little earlier than normal, you can get yourself over to Smith Mountain Lake State Park - home to the second largest freshwater lake in the state of Virginia. Swim, rent a boat, bring your own, or fish from the pier - every water sport is available here. There’s picnic grounds, camp grounds, miles of hiking trails, and even cabins with private boat docks!
Right on the southeastern coast of Virginia, False Cape State Park is a straight shot down 64. The park itself offers miles of hiking trails, six miles of Atlantic beachfront, kayaking, primitive camping, and is only accessible by foot, bike, beach transport, tram, or boat - making it feel truly secluded from the rest of the world.
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