Across Virginia

Belle Isle State Park

Stored in Recreation and tagged ,
Belle Isle
Photo Credit: Virginia Dept. Conservation & Recreation

One of the great things about Virginia state parks is that many of them have a unique feature that makes them worth a visit. Belle Isle is no exception.

The special draw of this state park is the Bel Air House, a colonial reproduction that features replicas of period furnishings and is available for rent.

This large house offers a chance to step back in time, all in the beautiful setting of the park.

Of course, the more typical state park accommodations, such as tent sites and a camping lodge, are also available. The camping lodge is available from March through early December. Reservations for the lodge open up in January.

The park sits along seven miles of the Rappahannock River. Kayaking, fishing and boating are available, but there is no swimming area located within the park. Hiking, horseback riding and cycling are some of the other activities that are popular in the park.

Belle Isle State Park is home to several types of wetlands, making it a haven for many species of birds. Blue Herons, Osprey and even Bald Eagles are often seen here. Other types of wildlife such as deer and turkey are also found in the park. Those interested in bird or wildlife spotting can participate in guided excursions or explore on their own.

Several special events such as canoe tours, a seafood festival and guided nature tours are offered throughout the year. Many attractions are located within a short distance of the park, making this a wonderful spot to visit for several days.

Visitors can enjoy all the park has to offer and then take a short drive to attractions such as the Steamboat Era Museum, Reedville Fisherman Museum and the Mary Ball Washington Museum.

Gorgeous scenery, abundant wildlife, endless activities and the chance to get a glimpse of life in Colonial times are just a few of the reasons to add Belle Isle State Park to the list of must-see state parks.

Belle Isle State Park Basics

  • Parking: $2 weekdays, $3 weekends
  • Boat launch fee: $3
  • Cabin/House Prices: Varies by cabin type and season, call 1-804-462-5030 for more information
  • Handicap accessible: Much of the park is handicap accessible, but some areas, such as the Bel Air House are not. Plans are in the works to update the house to be more accessible.
  • Pet-friendly: Yes, but pets must be kept on a leash at all times.
  • Public bathrooms: Yes
  • Located in Lancaster County along the Rappahannock River
  • Available equipment rental includes: kayaks, motorboats and bicycles

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