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Best Virginia State Parks to Visit in the Winter


Best Virginia State Parks to Visit in the Winter

Dolomite Cliffs at Westmoreland - courtesy of Virginia State Parks Division

The Top Choices Offer Views of the Potomac River, the Appalachian Mountains, and Woodlands.

Westmoreland State Park

Virginia's Northern Neck is rich in history and a winter wonderland. Just across the Potomac River from Maryland, less than an hour from historic Fredericksburg, and less than two hours from Washington D.C., Westmoreland State Park offers climate-controlled cabins, hiking, stunning views of the Potomac River, and access to nearby historic sites.

Stratford Hall, the birthplace of Robert E. Lee and boyhood home of two signers of the Declaration of Independence, is five minutes from the park; George Washington's Birthplace is 10 minutes from the park; and the Fredericksburg Civil War battlefields are less than an hour away.

Seven trails, including self-guided interpretive trails, cover six miles. Hikers can observe the flora and wildlife present on the coastal plain. In addition to the scenic beauty at Westmoreland, the park offers year round fishing, and seasonal swimming and camping. Westmoreland's unique Potomac River Retreat is similar to a timeshare or resort with two separate fully contained living areas. It accommodates 16 people, has two decks fronting the Potomac and is perfect for a family getaway.

Douthat State Park

A National Historic Landmark, Douthat State Park is recognized for the role its design played in the development of parks nationwide. Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and opened on June 15, 1936, the park has been recognized as one of the top 10 family vacation parks in America and received the Centennial Medallion from the American Society of Landscape Architects.

This 4,493-acre park is nested in the Allegheny Mountains and features outstanding scenery and trails. The heated cabins are open year round, and the park is a short drive from ski resorts and the West Virginia state line. A traditional park in a fantastic setting, Douthat has maintained the architectural integrity of the CCC design.

Hungry Mother State Park

Located in southwestern Virginia, Hungry Mother State Park is noted for its woodlands and lake. Easily accessible from Interstate 81, this park has folklore, climate-controlled cabins, seasonal swimming and camping, hiking and the legendary Hemlock Haven Conference Center. The Lodge at Hungry Mother sleeps 16 and overlooks miles of undeveloped woodlands in every direction.

The Mt. Rogers National Recreation Area and Grayson Highlands State Park are only an hour away. Also nearby are Abingdon, home of the Barter Theatre, Wytheville, filled with antiques and outlet shopping, and Bristol, VA/TN, home of the Bristol Motor Speedway.

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