Belle Isle State Park

Lancaster, Virginia

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Belle Isle State Park lies in Virginia’s Northern Neck, and its 733 acres represent a rare piece of public land on the lower Rappahannock River. (It should not be confused with the island that lies in the James River in Richmond.) The “beautiful island” itself is very spread out with large cultivated fields and coastal woodlands/swamp/ wetlands separating it from developed sections. This diverse ecology provides a fertile environment for various birds of prey, such as bald eagles, osprey, and hawks, as well as deer, wild turkeys, and reptiles and amphibians. The Bay Seafood Festival in early September is one of the park’s popular draws, but other programs capitalize on the natural and historical aspects. In addition to free monthly music concerts in summer, you’ll also be able to participate in Native Knowledge Canoe Trip, If You Lived During the Civil War, and the Full Moon Kayak Trip. The several miles of trails that crisscross Belle Isle State Park are best enjoyed on foot. Being so close to sea level, it requires a pretty healthy dry spell for these fields and trails to make cycling doable. However, I would recommend bringing bikes to ride on the park roads, which are wide, flat, and very lightly traveled.
Best Tent Camping: Virginia

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Tent Camping: Virginia

by Randy Porter (Menasha Ridge Press)

Belle Isle State Park lies in Virginia’s Northern Neck, and its 733 acres represent a rare piece of public land on the lower Rappahannock River. (It should not be confused with the island that lies in the James River in Richmond.) The “beautiful island” itself is very spread out with large cultivated fields and coastal woodlands/swamp/ wetlands separating it from developed sections. This diverse ecology provides a fertile environment for various birds of prey, such as bald eagles, osprey, and hawks, as well as deer, wild turkeys, and reptiles and amphibians.

The Bay Seafood Festival in early September is one of the park’s popular draws, but other programs capitalize on the natural and historical aspects. In addition to free monthly music concerts in summer, you’ll also be able to participate in Native Knowledge Canoe Trip, If You Lived During the Civil War, and the Full Moon Kayak Trip. The several miles of trails that crisscross Belle Isle State Park are best enjoyed on foot. Being so close to sea level, it requires a pretty healthy dry spell for these fields and trails to make cycling doable. However, I would recommend bringing bikes to ride on the park roads, which are wide, flat, and very lightly traveled.

©  Randy Porter/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Campgrounds
Nearby City: Lancaster
Season: March 1–early December
Driving Directions: Directions to Belle Isle State Park

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Apr 2018