Bear Creek Lake State Park

Bear Creek Lake State Park

Less than an hour west of Richmond and nestled in the heart of Cumberland State Forest, Bear Creek Lake is the perfect getaway for the outdoor enthusiast. It has opportunities for recreation on the water and in the surrounding forest.

Activities center on the 40-acre lake with a boat launch, fishing pier, boat rentals and a swimming beach. Other attractions include a meeting facility, cabins, camping, picnicking, an archery range and playgrounds. Guests also enjoy the park's trails and access to the adjoining 16,000-acre Cumberland State Forest, including the 14-mile Cumberland Multi-use Trail, which is available for hiking, biking and horseback riding.

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Image Credit: Bear Creek Lake State Park


Park gates open at 8:00am each morning and close around dusk each evening.

The swimming area and boat rentals are available from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday - Friday and 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. on weekends, Memorial Day through Labor Day. The concession stand is open during prime season from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Please call the park about availability in early June and late August.

During prime season, cabins and the lodge are rented by the week beginning on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)


Parking for passenger vehicles is $4 (up to 8 persons); $8 for high occupancy vehicles

Swimming Fee:

Children 3 and under--Free

Children ages 3-12 are $2 on a weekday and $3 on a weekend

All over 13 years are $3 on a weekday and $4 on a weekend

Camp Fee: 

  • standard $20
  • electric and water $30

Picnic shelter:

  • small $60
  • large $90


The park offers:

  • A boat launch
  • Fishing pier
  • Boat rentals
  • A swimming beach
  • Camping/cabins
  • A meeting facility
  • An archery range
  • Picnicking
  • Playgrounds
  • Hiking and access to a 14-mile multi-use trail in the state forest

Water Flow Info:


Bear Creek Meeting Hall, picnic shelters, camp sites, camping lodge, RV sites, and cabins

Please make reservations by calling 1-800-933-7275


The following are wheelchair accessible:

  • Restrooms at Campgrounds A and C
  • Park office
  • Concessions area, snack bar
  • Restroom - beach bathhouses
  • Showers in Campground A, and bathhouses in Campground C
  • Fishing pier

Although motorized vehicles are not permitted on park trails, electric wheelchairs and electric scooters that meet the federal definition for wheelchairs are allowed to enable people with disabilities to use the trails.


Pets are allowed in all Virginia State Parks. State regulations prohibit pets on public beaches and in public facilities (bathhouses, visitor centers, park offices, restaurants, etc.), and pets must be confined or kept on a leash no longer than six feet and kept under supervision while in the park. To avoid potential inconvenience, we ask that you bring proof of current rabies vaccination.


Bear Creek Lake was built in 1938 as a project of the Virginia Department of Agriculture through the State Forestry Division. Although this project was undertaken during the closing days of the Great Depression, the 100 men who built the lake were not members of the Civilian Conservation Corps.

They were simply carpenters, farmers and unskilled laborers seeking jobs. Along with the lake, these men built two pavilions, a concession stand and six fireplaces. The land was given to the Division of State Parks in 1940, and it was operated as a day-use recreation area.  In 1962 the division added campgrounds and the area's name was changed to Bear Creek Lake State Park.


Last updated: August 19, 2019