Tucked away in the Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest in Virginia, Holliday Lake State Park offers a tranquil escape spanning 560 acres and featuring a 119-acre lake. With opportunities for fishing, boating, swimming, hiking, biking, and horseback riding, Holliday Lake State Park is an excellent choice for your next RV adventure.
Fishing is one of the most popular activities at this Virginia state park, as Holliday Lake offers great opportunities for catching largemouth bass, crappie, and bluegill. Boaters will also have plenty to keep them busy, as the park features a boat ramp, an aquatic trail, and rentals of kayaks, canoes, jon boats, stand-up paddle boards, and paddle boats. Hikers can meanwhile enjoy several hiking trails and interpretive trails throughout the park, and bicyclists and horseback riders can enjoy the 10-mile multi-use Carter Taylor Trail. Wildlife enthusiasts can look out for a wide range of animals from the park’s five observation areas, and swimmers can go for a swim at the park’s guarded beach. Beyond these extensive recreation options, Holliday Lake State Park also boasts a rich history worth exploring, as the park sits just 12 miles from the famous Appomattox Court House National Park, where General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant in 1865, ending the American Civil War in Virginia.
Holliday Lake State Park offers 35 total drive-in sites spread across two campgrounds and featuring water and electric hookups. This Virginia state park experiences cold winters and hot summers, so visitors hoping to enjoy swimming and boating at the park should plan to visit in the warmer months. While the park is open year-round, the camping season runs from early March through early December, so visitors hoping to camp at Holliday Lake State Park should make sure to plan their visit accordingly.
Located a few miles from the town of Appomattox deep within the Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest, Holliday Lake State Park can be accessed from State Route 24 between Appomattox and US 60, and from Routes 626, 640, and 692. The park sits about two hours west of Richmond, one hour east of Lynchburg, and one and a half hours south of Charlottesville.
Visitors heading to Holliday Lake State Park from Buckingham County on Route 636 should consider avoiding Routes 614 and 640, which have gravel, and instead go west to Route 24 for easier driving conditions. The roadway into the park is also very narrow, so visitors should be prepared to drive cautiously as they near the park. Once inside the park, visitors can plan to park their rig either at their campsite, in the designated campground overflow parking area, or in various parking areas throughout the park such as near the park office and near Dogwood Ridge Trail. Inside the campground, visitors can enjoy paved roadways and sites that can accommodate rigs of up to 38 feet long.
For supplies inside the park, visitors can purchase gifts and souvenirs from the park office year-round, beach supplies at the boat house during the summer, and snacks from the concession stand during the summer season. For more extensive needs, visitors can find restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, and other shops just 14 miles away in the nearby town of Appomattox.
Holliday Lake State Park offers 35 total RV sites spread across two campgrounds. Laurel Ridge Campground is home to six sites, which can accommodate RVs up to 38 feet long. These sites offer water and 20, 30, and 50-amp electric hookups and are designed for larger RVs, so visitors with larger rigs should plan to stay in this campground rather than Redbud. These sites are back-in only, and they do not offer sewer hookups, but visitors can make use of the dump station located just up the road from the campground entrance. Each site has a grill, picnic table, and lantern post, and offers easy access to a bathhouse with showers in the campground. Campers also enjoy free boat launching and one day of guarded swimming for each night of their stay. The sites in Laurel Ridge can be specifically reserved, so guests eager to snag a larger campsite should make sure to reserve ahead of time. The camping season stretches from early March through early December.
Redbud Campground is home to an additional 29 drive-in sites, which can accommodate rigs of up to 30 feet in length. These sites offer water and 20 and 30-amp electric hookups. As with the sites in Laurel Ridge, these sites do not offer sewer hookups, so guests will have to make use of the dump station located just up the road from the campground entrance. Most of these sites are back-in, but a handful are pull-through for easier access. All of these sites feature a grill, lantern post, and picnic table, and offer easy access to a bathhouse with showers located within the campground. Overnight campers also get free boat launching and one day of guarded swimming for each night of their stay. About half of the sites at Redbud Campground can be specifically reserved, while the rest can be claimed on arrival. Redbud Campground is open from early March until early December.
One of the biggest draws to Holliday Lake State Park is the stellar fishing it offers on scenic Holliday Lake. Anglers can try their luck at catching largemouth bass, chain pickerel, crappie, and yellow perch. Visitors will need a valid Virginia fishing license in order to fish at the park, but licenses are conveniently sold at the park office on weekdays. Anglers can make use of the boat launch inside the park located north of the swimming area, but visitors should note that only human-powered and electric motor boats are allowed, no gas-powered boats are permitted.
Another popular way to enjoy Holliday Lake State Park in the warmer months is through swimming at the park’s guarded beach. Visitors can enjoy cooling off in the refreshing waters of Holliday Lake, playing at the “Critter Hole” play area, and capping off the day with a burger from the snack bar or a picnic in the picnic area. Visitors can also make use of the bathhouse and the nearby boathouse, where they can purchase beach merchandise. Guarded beach swimming is available for a fee from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend; when guarded swimming is not available, guests can swim at the designated buoyed area at the beach, at their own risk.
Holliday Lake State Park offers a ton of options for boating on its 119-acre lake. Visitors can make use of the boat ramp located north of the swimming area, and can even rent canoes, kayaks, jon boats, stand-up paddleboards, and paddle boats from the park itself. Boat rentals are available from the first weekend in April through the last weekend in October, so visitors hoping to rent a boat at Holliday Lake State Park should plan their trip accordingly. Paddlers can also take advantage of the park’s one aquatic trail, the Sunfish Aquatic Trail, by grabbing a free trail brochure and paddling to the lake’s numbered stops. The trail will allow visitors to learn more about the lake and environment while paddling around its edges.
Any time of year, visitors can take advantage of the miles of hiking and biking trails within Holliday Lake State Park. The park has seven hiking trails, including a connector trail to the 10-mile Carter Taylor Multi-use Trail open to hikers, bikers, and horseback riders. For a long hike, hikers can hop on the six-mile Lakeshore Trail, which loops around Holliday Lake and passes through a pine plantation, wetlands, and hardwood forest. Bikers can meanwhile hop on Dogwood Ridge Trail, which stretches for about a mile starting near the Butterfly Garden, and then explore Carter Taylor Trail.
Holliday Lake State Park and the surrounding area boast a very rich history worth exploring on any visit. Visitors making the trip to Holliday Lake State Park should consider stopping by Appomattox Court House National Historical Park just minutes away from the park, which is where General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant in 1865, ending the Civil War in Virginia. History buffs eager to learn even more about the cultural and natural history of the park and its surrounding area can also take advantage of the many nature and history programs put on by the park; visitors can check the park’s events page online for the latest updates.
Visitors who would prefer to explore the 560 acres of Holliday Lake State Park on horseback will be excited to hear that there are plenty of opportunities for horseback riding at the park. Visitors can bring their horses on the Carter Taylor Connector Trail, which stretches for about a mile, and then onto Carter Taylor Trail, which winds for over 10 miles in the Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest. The park does not offer horse rentals or equestrian camping, so visitors hoping to enjoy horseback riding at Holliday Lake State Park should plan to bring their own horses and can take advantage of nearby equestrian camping at James River State Park. All visitors are required to carry a copy of a current negative Coggins report for each horse brought into the park.