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Virginia State Parks

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USA Parks
Central Region
Bear Creek Lake State Park
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Bear Creek Lake State Park Sweet Bass © Katie Bernotsky
A little kayaking, a little bass fishing. Fall fishing at Bear Creek Lake State Park. 10/29/16
Bear Creek Lake State Park Seasons Changing © Katie Bernotsky
Bear Creek Lake in the fall.
Bear Creek Lake State Park Fall Kayak Fishing © Katie Bernotsky
Kayak bass fishing at Bear Creek Lake State Park. November 4, 2012.
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22 Bear Creek Lake Road
Cumberland, Virginia   23040

Phone: 804-492-4410
Toll Free: 800-933-7275
Reservations: 800-933-7275
Email: park email button icon
Nestled in the heart of Cumberland State Forest in central Virginia’s Cumberland County, Bear Creek Lake State Park offers the amenities of the larger parks without the crowds. Activities revolve around the 40-acre lake with a boat launch, swimming beach, lakeside picnicking, camping and hiking trails.The park is surrounded by the 16,000-acre Cumberland State Forest, which provides opportunities for a wide range of outdoor activities. Four small lakes in the state forest are managed by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries for recreational fishing. A network of gated and ungated forest roads provides hiking, mountain biking and nature observation. The Virginia Department of Forestry also operates a sporting clays range in the Cumberland State Forest.
History of the Area
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.
 Hiking Trailyes
Rental rates for cabins and camping vary by season, offering and park. Rates are subject to verification by DCR's state parks reservations staff (1-800-933-PARK). First, determine the appropriate season, which can vary by park, then determine the relevant rate.
Lake swimming: Available Memorial Day to Labor Day. Swimming is free with camping. Open during the summer only, the swimming beach is complete with a bathhouse and concession operation featuring a wide range of sandwiches, snacks and drinks. Click here for park fees. In the summer, swimming is free for overnight guests in campsites, cabins and the lodge, however it cannot be guaranteed should circumstances beyond the park's control require that swimming be closed. We do not give refunds for swimming to overnight guests under any circumstances.
Boat rentals and bike rentals are available daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day. A boat launching ramp is available for non-gasoline powered boats. Shoulder season rentals are offered on weekends only during May and September. Parental supervision is required for all rentals, and pets are not allowed in rental boats. Rentals are sometimes cancelled during the shoulder season because of bad weather or staff shortages.

In addition, the park has canoes, rowboats, paddleboats and hydrobikes available for rent. A valid Virginia fishing license is required for fishing from the lake. Trolling motors are available for rent.
The 40-acre lake supports healthy populations of largemouth bass, crappie, bream and channel catfish. The Willis River, a small, slow moving tributary of the James, winds through Cumberland State Forest providing fishing opportunities to anyone with a canoe or small boat. Two canoe launches are located in Cumberland State Forest for access to the Willis River.

Fall hunting in nearby Cumberland State Forest. Call the park at (804) 492-4410 for specific dates. Until further notice, the park's 10-target, 2-D archery range will be closed because of construction. Please call the park, (804) 492-4410, for details.

The park offers lakeside picnicking near the swimming beach. Picnic facilities include drinking water, grills and restrooms. Picnic shelters are available by reservation by calling the Reservation Center at 1-800-933-PARK. Shelters can be rented from 8 a.m. to dark (all day). The shelter is rented April 1 through Oct. 31; boat rentals and swimming are available Memorial Day through Labor Day. Shelter parking is very limited so carpooling is recommended.
Cycling enthusiasts can explore a variety of trails suitable for different skill levels. Be aware, some paths are challenging.

The park offers multi-use tracks which cyclists share with hikers and horseback riders; exercise caution when passing others.

Mountain biking is popular here due to the rugged terrain. However, it's important to be careful on these steep slopes.

For those seeking less strenuous rides, there are paved roads throughout the area that offer scenic views without too much difficulty.

Bike rentals aren't available within this location so remember to bring your own equipment if you plan on cycling during your visit.

Always wear safety gear while riding as accidents may occur even in well-maintained areas like this one.

Remember: respect wildlife by keeping distance and not disturbing their habitats while enjoying your ride through nature's beauty!
Hiking: no bicycle trails, however horses and bicycles allowed on multi-use hiking trail. The park provides access to the Willis River Trail, a 16-mile long trail winding through the surrounding area. The 14-mile Cumberland Multi-use Trail also is available for bicyles, horses and hikers (this trail does not loop back into the park and is located Virginia Department of Forestry property). NOTE: The entire Lost Barr Trail is closed because of cabin construction at the park. Please call the park, (804) 492-4410, for details.
Birding enthusiasts can spot species like the Red-eyed Vireo, Scarlet Tanager and Pileated Woodpecker. The park's diverse habitats attract a variety of migratory birds such as warblers during spring and fall. Waterfowl including Mallards are common near the lake area in winter months. Raptors like Bald Eagles may also be sighted soaring above treetops or perched high on trees around the park.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
August 15 Wonderful Family Reunion at Bear Creek! by Alice
park review stars; one to five Our extended family of four generations had a fabulous time at Bear Creek Lake State Park. Stayed in the beautiful, large Family Lodge, made good use of the well-equipped kitchen, only minor complaint was shower heads and too-long shower curtains... Lots of activities for kids & adults in the park and surrounding areas.
March 19 Great Hometown by Laura (Conner) Spencer
park review stars; one to five I am from Cumberland, VA and have always enjoyed this beautiful park. I live in Roanoke now, but come home often and meet family and friends at Bear Creek. I am thankful for the park rangers and workers who keep the park so clean and nice.
September 20
park review stars; one to five I camped here, and was very impressed with how clean things were. The bathrooms were checked multiple times per day by park personnel and the lake was beautiful.
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Area Campgrounds
Cozy Acres Family Campground
2177 Ridge Road
Powhatan, VA
Nearby Hotels

The park is about 4.5 miles northwest of the town of Cumberland. From U.S. Route 60, go west on Route 622 and south on Route 629 to the park entrance.NEXT

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Virginia State Parks