Pocahontas State Park | Outdoorsy

Pocahontas State Park
Guide

Introduction

Pocahontas State Park in eastern Virginia is made up of 7,925 acres of lush and natural land. This overwhelmingly beautiful state park offers over 64 miles of trails and plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation including biking, swimming, and boating. You can fish on the three lakes located at the park or splash in the water at the Aquatic Center, which features several pools and water slides. You can enjoy a concert at the amphitheater or visit the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum. The summer is the peak time of year to visit the park, bringing warm, sunny days, typically in the 80s. An RV trip to the park during the colder months is also pleasant as winters are relatively mild, with temperatures in the 40s or 50s.

The park was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and during World War II, it served as a recreational area for soldiers. When the National Park Service donated the area to Virginia State Parks, it became the largest state park in Virginia. But you’re probably wondering where this park got its name. It was actually based on a contest where teens from the local high schools made name suggestions for a $25 war bond prize. The winner, Nancy Roberts from Thomas Dale High School, suggested Pocahontas Memorial State Park and won, although they dropped the “memorial” part of the name. This park is the perfect place to bring your RV for an awesome family vacation. You’ll never get bored here, and you’ll definitely want to come back again.

RV Rentals in Pocahontas State Park

Transportation

Driving

Getting to Pocahontas State Park is easy, and you can reach it by taking either Interstate 95, VA-288, or VA-655 to VA-780, depending on which direction you’re coming from. Only 23 miles from Richmond, which is the capital of Virginia, you can visit the city where the Founding Father Patrick Henry said, “Give me liberty or give me death.” Less than 20 miles to the southeast, you can also visit Fort Clifton Park in Colonial Heights, where you can enjoy the 24 acres that overlook Appomattox River.

If you enjoy history, check out the Pamplin Historical Park 20 miles to the southeast, which lets you experience America’s Civil War heritage. They have custom tours, a Civil War Adventure Camp, and special events all year long. And 14 miles to the east, Battery Dantzler Park is another historical site, but this one has archaeological sites as well as trails along the James River.

Parking

Pocahontas State Park is very RV-friendly, so you should have no problems navigating even the largest of RVs through the park. You should have no problem finding available parking here as well, so you can make your way through the park all in your RV if you wish. If parking is limited, there is always overflow parking available for your RV to use, so you won’t have to worry at all.

Public Transportation

Campgrounds and parking in Pocahontas State Park

Campsites in Pocahontas State Park

Reservations camping

The Campground at Pocahontas State Park

Pocahontas State Park has the perfect campground for RV campers. There are over 100 sites to choose from, and each site offers 20- and 30-amp electrical hookups and water hookups. Some sites even have 50-amp hookups. All sites also allow RVs up to 40 feet in length. If your RV is over 40 feet, you can stay at what is referred to as a buddy site. These buddy sites are designed for larger groups, but they can accommodate RVs up to 50 feet long. You can bring Fido along for the fun since pets are welcome. However, bring a leash or kennel to keep your pet restrained and supervised at all times while you are here.

Keep in mind that at all of these sites, there are no sewer hookups. There are hot showers and bathrooms located nearby though, and you’ll also have some other amenities right at your site. This includes a picnic table, grill, and lantern holder at each site. A camp store is also located nearby.

You’ll have everything you need for an amazing RV camping trip when you come to stay at Pocahontas State Park. Keep in mind that sites are either paved or have gravel ground. Most sites are pretty level, so you shouldn't run into trouble parking your rig. You can choose between an open, shaded, or partially shaded site. Reservations can be made from one day to 11 months in advance.

Yurts and Cabins

If you’re looking for something a little different or nicer than your usual RV camp setup, you can stay at one of the four yurts or six cabins located here at Pocahontas State Park. Yurts are like a cross between staying in a tent and a cabin. Both the yurts and cabins are fairly primitive with no heating and air. You’ll also need to bring your own linens and use the campground bathrooms and showers when staying here.

When deciding how you want to camp, keep in mind that in order to make reservations to stay in a cabin or yurt, you’ll need to reserve at least two nights. Yurts can be rented from March until December. You can bring up to two vehicles to the cabins and yurts, which can be really convenient. The yurts also have a nice patio deck furnished with a table and chairs, making for the perfect spot to enjoy the tranquility of being secluded and one with nature. Pets are welcome in the cabins but not in the yurts, so if you are bringing your pup, a cabin is the better choice for you.

Seasonal activities in Pocahontas State Park

Off-Season

Hiking

There are miles and miles of trails here at Pocahontas State Park for you to discover. Many of these are multi-use trails for mountain bikers and horseback riders as well, but there are 5.5 miles set aside for hikers only. There are even trails that are ADA-accessible, so there is something for everyone to enjoy here.

For an easy trek, check out the 2.3-mile Beaver Lake Trail, which meanders along the banks of Beaver Lake. For a longer and more difficult trail, the 13.6-mile Fendley Station Trail loops around the border of the park and along the river.

Touring the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum

The Civilian Conservation Corps was the first one to work in Pocahontas State Park, so there is a lot of history to discover. The museum here is dedicated to them and all the hard work they’ve gone through to help others out and provide the United States with a wonderful state park system that we all get to enjoy. This is a great way to be able to learn a thing or two about how the park came to be.

Visiting the Environmental Education Center

The Environmental Education Center is made up of the Nature Center and Discovery Center. Here, you can learn about the wildlife of the park and see various plant and animal displays. You and the kids can check out the live animals like turtles, snakes, and other critters, as well as the skeletons and furs of other native wildlife. There is even an interactive playground for kids and a virtual reality ride that you can check out when you visit.

Horseback Riding

You are more than welcome to bring your horse with you to the park for the day, and there are over 13 miles of trails that you can ride on. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to keep your horse overnight. You can enjoy scenic views of the lakes all from horseback. You can find a couple of full-service horse facilities nearby though, where you can keep your four-legged friend while you visit.

Biking

Make sure you have that bike rack hooked up to the RV before heading out to the park. There is an abundance of biking trails here so you can get out of the camper and coast along the majestic scenery on your bike. Biking is very popular at this park, but if you come during the off-season, you’ll be more likely to be able to enjoy it all to yourself. This is a great way to get some exercise and enjoy the fresh air. One of the easiest and most popular trails is the Bell Lap, which is less than a mile but meets up with other trails so you can increase the length and difficulty as you choose.

In-Season

Seeing a Show

Pocahontas State Park has an incredible amphitheater that seats 350 people but holds 2,000 by allowing people to find a spot on the grassy hill. It’s called the Heritage Amphitheater, and there’s always something amazing going on here. The amphitheater was built in the late 1930s and has concessions, restrooms, and vendors often have displays and activities nearby. From concerts to plays, there’s entertainment for the whole family to enjoy. Check with the rangers for what events are going on during your stay.

Picnicking

If you’re looking for a great spot to have a celebration or maybe even a family reunion, you’ll find it here at Pocahontas State Park. There are seven pavilions to choose from, and they are divided by size. There are small pavilions and big ones and you can rent out whichever one you think will work best for your group. You can also enjoy a quiet picnic at the many picnic tables located around the park.

Boating

If you’ve brought your own boat, you can get into Beaver Lake with the concrete boat ramp that is provided. Just make sure that your boat is electric and not gas-powered. You can also rent smaller boats like canoes, kayaks, paddleboats, rowboats, and even stand-up paddleboards from the park if you want to try them. You'll love getting out of the camper and onto the waters of the scenic lakes at the park.

Fishing

Make sure you pack those fishing poles and your tackle box in the rig before you head to Pocahontas State Park. There are two great places where you can fish in the park: Swift Creek and Beaver Lake. Bait your hook for largemouth bass, yellow perch, pickerel, sunfish, and bluegill. You’ll need a fishing license from the state of Virginia before heading out, but luckily you can get this from the park. Fishing can be a great way to sit back, relax, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.

Swimming

This park has an Aquatic Recreation Center that is filled with all kinds of fun water activities. There’s so much more here than your ordinary swimming pool. There are multiple swimming pools - one is even for toddlers and another is for certain activities. If you're RVing with the kids, they will love slipping and sliding down the water slides. There is also a fountain deck for kids to play in. The fun is never-ending here. Those who are camping enjoy free swimming for each night you stay.

Find the perfect campsite.