Bear Creek Lake State Park is located outside of Cumberland State Park in the middle of Virginia, less than an hour west of the capital, Richmond, providing an easy RV vacation even for those in the city. Bear Creek Lake is the major feature of the state park, with activities around it such as boating and fishing. Hiking trails abound for outdoor enthusiasts, and there's even an archery range for you to practice on.
Bear Creek Lake State Park offers camping in a variety of forms. You can bring your RV and park it at a campsite or pitch a tent. Cabins and lodges are also available, as well as a bunkhouse. Swimming in the lake is an amenity included in your overnight stay. There are also playgrounds near the campsite.
While you're staying in the park, there are plenty of things to keep you busy. The nearby historical sites at Appomattox Court House and Monticello provide lots for history buffs to learn about. If you haven't gotten enough of the great outdoors, there are several other state parks nearby, including Powhatan State Park.
RV Rentals in Bear Creek Lake State Park
Transportation in Bear Creek Lake State Park
Bear Creek Lake State Park is located northwest of the town of Cumberland, Virginia. It is accessible from U.S. Route 60 and Route 622. GPS units may navigate you to a gravel road section of the nearby Oak Hill Road, but the main entrance is reachable by Route 622, Trents Mill Road.
After you check in, you'll want to travel carefully to your campsite as there are several loops. Camping is available on either side of Bear Creek Lake, but not all campsites have good telephone signal. As such, emergency phones are available within the Acorn Campground loop and the linen building near the cabins. WiFi is also available within the state park allowing you to e-mail pictures to your loved ones of all of your adventures.
The maximum total length for RVs and trailers is 35 feet. This includes the towing vehicle. Some campsites are only large enough for vehicles up to 20 feet. Two vehicles can park at each campsite, although some do not have enough space for two vehicles. In that case, the second vehicle should park at the office parking area in the campground.
Campgrounds and parking in Bear Creek Lake State Park
Campsites in Bear Creek Lake State Park
Bear Creek Lake State Park Campground
Bear Creek Lake State Park offers camping at close to 50 sites within three camping loops: the Acorn, Black Oak, and Chestnut loops. The Acorn loop has sites by the lakeside. Reservations are strongly recommended for the campsites or cabins.
Each campsite allows two vehicles to park, in addition to the trailer or camping unit. Limited parking is available at the sites, however. You'll find a picnic table and fire pit at your site no matter which loop you stay in.
The Acorn loop does not have water or electrical hookups and is only big enough for RVs or trailers that are up to 20 feet in length, including the driving vehicle. The Black Oak loop has room for RVs up to 35 feet long and has sites with electrical and water hookups. The Chestnut loop also has water and electrical hookups.
The Lakeside Diner is a nearby dining facility located a short distance away from the campgrounds. Playground areas are also available within the park. Although there is limited cellular service within the park, there are emergency phones available within the Acorn loop. In addition, Wi-Fi service is available within several areas of the park, including the Lakeside Diner and campgrounds.
Seasonal activities in Bear Creek Lake State Park
Bear Creek Lake is a prime destination to beat that hot Virginian sun during your RV camping trip. Swimming in Bear Creek Lake State Park is allowed in the lake but only in designated areas. Lifeguards are often stationed in the park between Memorial Day and Labor Day but may not be present at times such as during inclement weather. Swimming is allowed when lifeguards are not present but the swimmer assumes the risk. There are restrooms at the swimming beach, as well as a restaurant, the Lakeside Diner, that serves sandwiches and drinks.
Boating is available in Bear Creek Lake if you have a canoe or a small boat. You can bring your own boat and launch non-gasoline powered boats from the boat ramp within the park. You can also rent boats from Memorial Day to Labor Day within the park. The available boats include kayaks, paddleboats, trolling motors, and paddleboards. In the adjacent Cumberland State Forest, there are two canoe launches with access to the Willis River.
Fishing is available within Bear Creek Lake, as well as the Willis River. A fishing pier is also present within the park with universal access. A variety of fish live in the lake, including bass, bream, and channel catfish. A Virginia fishing license is needed to fish in the park and can be obtained from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Department. There are also nearby lakes within Cumberland State Forest, which also require a State Forest Use Permit.
You can picnic within Bear Creek Lake State Park, especially around the lake. During peak season, you can reserve one of the picnic shelters, including a shelter that can accommodate up to forty people. If you didn't pack your picnic basket but still want to enjoy eating by the lake's shore, there's the Lakeside Diner, which offers snacks, sandwiches, and drinks for purchase. The shelter area features restrooms for public use, as well as drinking water and grills.
Each of Bear Creek Lake State Park's trails is strictly for the use of hikers, so you won't have to worry about sharing the trails with horses or mountain bikers. In addition to the miles of trails within the state park, there is a 16-mile trail known as Willis River Trail that runs through Cumberland State Forest. If you're looking to spend some time on the trails on your bike, you will need to go to Cumberland State Forest, where the Cumberland Multi-Use Trail can be accessed. Don't forget to pack a sturdy pair of hiking boots in your camper so you can easily hit the trail.
There is an archery range at Bear Creek Lake State Park that you can practice on. Archery equipment rentals are not available within the park, however. The facilities include a ten lane range with 3D targets and excelsior bales. The range is open for most of the year, from the first weekend of March through the first weekend in December. The range is maintained by both the park and the Friends of Bear Creek Lake State Park.