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Pocahontas State Park

Pocahontas State Park

Just 20 miles from Richmond, Pocahontas offers boating, picnicking, camping, camping cabins, hiking, and nature and history programs. The Aquatic Center, which has a toddler pool, fountain wet deck, three-foot and five-foot-deep leisure pools, an activity pool and two tubular water slides, offers seasonal water-based activities for the entire family. Rowboats, paddleboats, kayaks, paddleboards and canoes may be rented at the boathouse on the 225-acre Swift Creek Lake during the summer. Two of the park's three lakes offer fishing for crappie, largemouth bass, chain pickerel, warmouth bass, bluegill and catfish. The park has more than 80 miles of trails for hiking, bicycling and horseback riding. The Civilian Conservation Corps Museum, dedicated to the Depression-era workers who helped build the state park system, is one of a handful in the nation. The park's two dining halls may be rented for meetings and events. Group facilities with primitive overnight cabins (bunkhouses) also are available.

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Image Credit: Virginia DCR / Flickr

Hours

The park is open daily from 7:00 AM to Dusk.

(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

Admission is free. The park charges a $5 parking fee Sunday through Saturday and $7 prime season weekends and holidays.

Activities

This park offers a range of activities, including biking, hiking, boating, canoeing, kayaking, picnicking, trails for riding horses, swimming, camping, fishing, and family-friendly nature programs.

History

Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), this was the first recreational park in the Richmond-Petersburg-Hopewell area. The National Park Service donated the facility to Virginia State Parks in 1946, making it the largest Virginia state park with more than 7,950 acres and two small lakes. The area was renamed Pocahontas State Park and Pocahontas State Forest and was operated under a cooperative management arrangement with the Department of Forestry. In 1989 a new master plan, funded jointly by the Commonwealth of Virginia and Chesterfield County, called for expansion of park facilities to accommodate the large urban population surrounding the park. Today the entire area is operated as Pocahontas State Park.

The park is named after Pocahontas, the famed daughter of Chief Powhatan, who was ruler over the tribes in the Powhatan Confederacy of the Algonquin Nation. Legend has it that she saved Captain John Smith’s life when he was held captive by the Powhatan Confederacy. Pocahontas, known at the time of her death as Lady Rebecca Rolfe, died in London from an undetermined illness.

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Last updated: January 24, 2020
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