Department of Conservation and Recreation with four spring hikes at Virginia State Parks in Central Virginia
Hiking, central region parks
Virginia State Parks offer hiking trails that enable visitors enjoy this diverse scenery. From difficult trails for experienced fans of the outdoors to trails for beginners, state park trails are as diverse as the parks. From a hike through the woods along the shoreline of a river or lake to more rocky and difficult terrain, you’ll find a trail just right for you.
Popular central Virginia hikes
- Rolling Meadows Trail – Sky Meadows State Park has 10 hiking trails covering 13 miles. The park also accesses the Appalachian Trail. Rolling Meadows Trail is a moderate, 2.5-mile family trail along a grassy path. For a tougher trek, detour onto the 2.2-miles Lost Mountain Trail before completing Rolling Meadows.
- Beaver Lake Trail – A half hour from the state capital, Pocahontas State Park has 11 hiking-only trails totaling about 10 miles. The largest state park in Virginia, Pocahontas offers eight trails of less than 1 mile. At 2.3-miles, Beaver Lake Trail is a moderately difficult loop with only slight elevation changes. For an additional challenge, head over to the 4 miles-long Co-op Trail. With views of Swift Creek Lake, it’s no surprise that this trail is fast becoming a favorite. Your four-legged pals can come along on both trails but must be on a leash.
- Lost Barr Loop – Bear Creek Lake State Park has 21 miles of hiking trails including the difficult Willis River Trail, which meanders into the nearby state forest. Both Lost Barr Loop and Channel Cat Loop are moderate and 1.75 miles. Challenge yourself by hiking the 8.8-mile Cumberland multiuse trail or the 13.3-mile Willis River Trail. Both have accessible, moderate terrain. Nearly all of park’s other trails are easy to moderate and less than a mile long.
- Turtle Island Trail – About an hour from the North Carolina border and 40 miles from Lynchburg and Roanoke, Smith Mountain Lake State Park offers access to the second largest freshwater lake in the state and to 17 easy to moderate trails totaling 16 miles. Turtle Island Trail is a shaded, easy 1.5-mile trail that leads to a beautiful view of Smith Mountain Lake. For some extra fun, keep hiking the 3.1 miles of Striper Cove Trail, the park’s longest trail, which meanders through woods.
Central Virginia parks with great hiking
- Bear Creek Lake (BC) | Trail Guide (PDF)
- High Bridge Trail (HB) | Trail Guide (PDF)
- Holliday Lake (HL) | Trail Guide (PDF)
- James River (JR) | Trail Guide (PDF)
- Lake Anna (LA) | Trail Guide (PDF)
- Occoneechee (OC) | Trail Guide (PDF)
- Pocahontas (PO) | Trail Guide (PDF)
- Powhatan (PW) | Trail Guide (PDF)
- Staunton River Battlefield (SB) | Trail Guide (PDF)
- Sailor’s Creek (SC) | Trail Guide (PDF)
- Sky Meadows (SK) | Trail Guide (PDF)
- Smith Mountain Lake (SM) | Trail Guide (PDF)
- Staunton River (SR) | Trail Guide (PDF)
- Twin Lakes (TL) | Trail Guide (PDF)