Chickahominy Riverfront Park

Chickahominy Riverfront Park

This 140 acre park sits on the Chickahominy River near its confluence with the James River, a major tributary of the Chesapaeake Bay. The park provides a range of opportunities for recreation in a riverfront surrounding, including overnight camping, boating and fishing. Dramatic river vistas and the rural character of the area help set Chickahominy Riverfront park apart from many similarly sized local or county parks.

The park shoreline is edged with bald cypress trees and the river's abundant fish, birds, and other wildlife, draw thousands of hunters, fishermen, paddlers and other nature enthusiasts each year. The middle and lower sections of the Chickahominy are well-known to bass fishermen and duck hunters. For these groups and others, the park is a popular access point. Beyond the park, osprey and bald eagles nest along the shores and rookeries of egrets and great blue herons are found in the nearby swamps.

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Image Credit: Chickahominy Riverfront Park

Hours

The park is open 24 hours for registered campers, boat ramp users, and users of the fishing pier. In addition, we offer overnight parking for users of the VA Capital trail. For all other park visitors the park is open from sunrise to sunset. The hours for our guest services building are listed below.
 
Guest Services Building*
Friday before Memorial Day – Labor Day: 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
Labor Day – Thursday before Memorial Day: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
 
*Closed on New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents Day, Veteran’s Day,
Thanksgiving Day, the day after Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day

(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.)

Fees

Visiting the park is free, but camping/fishing and other activities may have fees. See site for details.

Activities

Boating (including canoe and kayak rental), fishing, camping, picnicking, hiking and swimming (in one of our two pools).

Learn more about the Chesapeake and its tributaries with a lively hands on discussion, canoe trip, or other activity, led by park staff. Events are scheduled at various times throughout the summer.

Facilities

The park has facilities for boating, fishing and camping. A fully stocked store contains everything needed for a fishing trip. The boat ramp can accommodate four boats and trailers at a time and has good parking for trailers. There are power and water hookups for over half of the campsites, with water spigots for the rest, several restrooms and bath-houses, a pavilion, and swimming pool. The park is wooded, with the exception of an open lawn area with a driving range.

Pets

Chickahominy Riverfront Park is a dog-friendly park. Dogs must be under complete and immediate control of owners at all times and must be on a leash no longer than 8 feet.

History

In the fall of 1607, Jamestown had no food in storage for the winter. Captain John Smith began a series of trips to Chickahominy Indian towns to trade for corn.

In October and November, Smith and his crew took their barge Discovery up the river three times, exploring and mapping the region as they went.

The Chickahominy welcomed them and traded baskets of corn for copper pots, blue beads, and other manufactured items.

On his fourth trip up the river in December, Smith left the Discovery and most of his crew at Appocant (near present-day Providence Forge), because the barge could not continue in the narrow, shallow waters.

He hired a Chickahominy guide to take him and two crew members further upriver in a canoe. In the Chickahominy Swamp, they ran into a Youghtanund Indian hunting party that killed the crewmen and captured Smith.

The Youghtanund held Smith for six weeks and eventually took him to meet paramount chief Powhatan.
 

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Last updated: April 30, 2019
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