York River State Park

Williamsburg, Virginia 23187

York River State Park

York River State Park Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The worm-eating warbler, common to Virginia’s Blue Ridge province, is also found in the coastal environment of York River State Park. After walking through the park’s forests, thick with mountain laurel and holly, shaded by chestnut oaks and American beech, hikers will agree with the songbird: This park feels a lot like Virginia’s mountain regions.

Most paths here lead through mature hardwood forests to overlooks onto the York River. Land underfoot holds evidence—pottery shards, arrowheads—of settlement dating from tens of thousands of years ago. Perhaps the park’s most interesting story is still being recorded—that of the Taskinas Creek Estuary, a vital marsh and hardwood swamp monitored by scientists as a gauge of the Chesapeake Bay’s health."

More York River State Park Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Richmond: Including Petersburg, Williamsburg, and Fredericksburg (Menasha Ridge Press)
Nathan Lott
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"At 2,550 acres, York River State Park encompasses a great diversity of terrain and ecosystems. Visitors likewise enjoy numerous options for exploring the park’s estuarine marshes, the sandy shoreline of the tidal York, and the wooded ridges overlooking both. This balloon hike can be extended to the east or west. Prior to English colonization, Mattaponi and Pamunkey Indians inhabited the York River shoreline. As settlers converted former hunting grounds to crop fields, the tribes withdrew inland and upriver along their namesake tributaries, which converge to form the York 10 miles northwest of the park."
Mountain Biking Virginia: An Atlas of Virginia's Greatest Off-Road Bicycle Rides (Falcon Guides)
Martín Fernández
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"York River State Park, just west of Williamsburg, is located on a fertile coastal plain and offers beginner to advanced cyclists over 20 miles of challenging singletrack trails. The trails are divided into two distinct loops, the Marl Ravine Trail (approximately 7 miles), and the newer John Blair trails (approximately 15 miles). Each loop can be ridden independently or combined to craft a much longer loop. The Marl Ravine Trail is the more challenging of the two loops, while the John Blair Trail is more “flowy” and offers riders multiple bailout points."

York River State Park Trip Reports

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8/14/2017
York River State Park is a great place for hiking enthusiasts. The park is home to several well-maintained and scenic trails of varying lengths and difficulty levels. Some of the park’s trails are less than a mile, while others are more than two miles. So, it’s a great spot to go on a short hike or to combine multiple trails for longer hikes. Dogs are welcome as long as they are leashed. (Note: There is a 4.5 mile trail in the park that is designated for horseback riding only. It is designated as a bridle trail, so be sure to avoid it when deciding where to hike.)
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7/20/2008
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9/1/2007
Nice trail 5 minutes from downtown Richmond. Half of the hike is on a wide gravel path/road used heavily by mountain bikers. Other half is on a dirt path through the woods. The woods section is beautiful. It is hard to imagine you are that close to the city. The hike is easy and fast. When at the northwestern part of the circuit, you can take a path across a small inlet to the 42nd Street Island. When you come out the other side of the path, you will behold beatiful views of the James River (with loads of rocks to lounge on) and a view of the Richmond skyline.
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8/1/2007
The Marle Ravine is an absolute blast. The York River State Park does an outstanding job here, and this is the best riding in the Hampton Roads area. It is difficult, but you are rewarded with a lot of fun riding (drops, moguls, jumps). Make sure you wear a helmet and are a good technical rider, the trail is narrow and requires a lot of attention, especially around difficult turns after drops. This is a must ride for bikers in the area!
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1/13/2007
I had set out for a day hike on a warm winter day. The trail left from a populated state park. All trails were clearly marked, wide, and relatively flat. Perfect for family's with children as the trails were easy enough for children and strollers. I started the hike down Backbone trail. This route didn't offer much seclusion since it mirrored the road coming into the park. I then took short routes down Whitetail trail and Riverview. Riverview offered a spectacular view of The York river, this was a perfect place for a lunch picnic.
Overall it was a good day hike for a quick getaway.
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6/10/2006
Great trail, a lot of fun. I would have to say one of the best in the Hampton Roads area.
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8/21/2005
This trail requires the wearing of a helmet, and for a good reason. It starts of like it's going to be simple than it all hits you at once with steep hill climbs, fast descents ,and quick switch backs. This is a awesome trail witch i would go back to all the time now
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Trail Information

Williamsburg
Nearby City
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly, Stroller/Wheelchair Accessible
Accessibility
7.7
Distance
Loop/Lollipop
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
1-4 hours
Duration
Open daily year-round, 8 a.m. to dusk.
Season
Boat Launch/Ramp, Boating, Fishing, Hiking, Biking
Additional Use
York River State Park, 5526 Riverview Rd., Williamsburg (757) 566-3036 dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/york-river
Local Contacts
DeLorme: Virginia Atlas & Gazetteer: Page 50, A1
Local Maps

Trail Log