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James River State Park
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James River State Park © vastateparksstaff / CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
A portion of the hikers that attended the national First Day Hike on a beautiful January day.SC
James River State Park © Virginia State Parks staff / CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
JR Canoe class 3
James River State Park © vastateparksstaff / CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
The sycamores are starting to show a beautiful golden yellowJames River State Adam Bresnehan
James River State Park © Virginia State Parks staff / CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
BY SAused in blog
James River State Park © Virginia State Parks staff / CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
JL used in blog 6/12/13
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104 Green Hill Dr
Gladstone, Virginia   24553
(lat:37.6237 lon:-78.7996) map location

Phone: 434-933-4355
Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the park features rolling grasslands, quiet forests and beautiful views, as well as 3 miles of shoreline along the James River. Visitors can hike, bike, canoe, kayak, fish or tent camp on the banks of the historic river or at Branch Pond. Facilities include cabins, a visitor center, a gift shop, a natural playground, picnic shelters, multi-use trails, boat launches, water/electric campgrounds and equestrian camping. The park also has a universally accessible fishing pier and a .25-mile-long wheelchair-accessible trail around Green Hill Pond. The park is also a great place to view the annual James River Batteau Festival. A replica of one of the unusual vessels is displayed at the visitor center.
History of the Area
The waters of the James have shaped life in this area's past and will shape its future. Monacan Indians, the earliest known settlers, hunted, fished and traveled the river. In the early 1700s, the Cabell family settled along the river, cultivated the rich soils of the floodplain and shipped produce down river to Richmond. A flat-bottomed boat known as the bateau was invented and the Kanawha canal was built to make travel and shipping on the river easier. The James River brought people to this area, provided for their needs and helped them build a future.
Cabins are rented by the week between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day. Rentals for cabins 1-4 and 6-9 begin on Saturday, and rentals for cabins 10-15, 17 and 18 begin on Sunday. This requirement is reduced to a four-night stay three months out and dropped to two nights in the last month before arrival. A two-night minimum stay is required for the rest of the year.

No bed rentals. Late arriving guests will find on the entrance station door a note with instructions detailing how to register the following morning and a park map with directions to the cabin. Guests must have the reservation number for each reservation.
Camping reservations are highly recommended, and all campgrounds are site-specific - call 1-800-933-7275. The park has five campgrounds. Three of them, Branch Pond, Walnut Grove and Canoe Landing, are open year-round for primitive camping. There are primitive restrooms at those campgrounds. Drinking water is unavailable in the primitive campgrounds, but potable water is available at five of the six picnic shelters. Canoe Landing is the only campground on the river.Please note that primitive sites do not have electricity.

Branch Pond - Seven primitive sites in a wooded area about two miles from the river BranchPondPrimTent. Tents only. Each site has a tent pad.

Canoe Landing - Ten primitive sites beside the river CanoeLandingPrimTent. Tents only. No parking at the campsite. It is a short walk from the parking area to the campsites. These sites are to the left of the canoe launch when facing the river. No tent pads.Rooftop tent friendly.Limited anchoring ability for hammocks.

Walnut Grove Five primitive sites, shaded. Short walk to the river. Tents only. No tent pads, electricity or water.Rooftop tent friendly.Limited anchoring ability for hammocks.

Canoe Landing Group Campsite one primitive site CLGroupCampsitePrim - There's a group site near the canoe landing. The site accommodates up to 42 people - no hookups, tents only. It's near a restroom and features a fire ring with a flip grill, picnic tables and a pedestal grill. There's a $30 fee for canceling a group-camping reservation.

Red Oak Campground 30 sites, RedOakEW40ft

Electric and water hookups the sites are shaded and can accommodate various equipment tents, pop-ups and RVs up to 40 feet. The sites have large tent pads and wide driveways for bump-outs.
Fishing enthusiasts can enjoy the 3-mile stretch of freshwater river. Species include smallmouth bass, catfish and sunfish. Canoeing or kayaking is also an option for fishing in deeper waters where you may find largemouth bass.

There are three ponds within the park that offer a variety of fish species such as bluegill, channel catfish and largemouth bass.

A valid Virginia fishing license is required to participate in all types of angling activities.

Six shelters are available for rent. They can be rented from 8 a.m. to dark all day. Parking fees are not included in the shelter rental. All shelters are universally accessible.

Amenities All large shelters are universally accessible and haveaccess to nearby restrooms and a large party grill 1,368 square inches. All shelters accommodate up to 75 people. Three shelters have electricity and a light. Four shelters have a water hydrant.

Shelter 1 In the picnic area on the way to the canoe landing campsites. In a wooded area close to a restroom 100 feet. Large parking lot. The shelter features an electrical outlet, lightsand a water hydrant. The park's Children's Discovery Area a natural playground is next to this shelter.

Shelter 2 In the picnic area on the way to the canoe landing campsites. Woods surround this shelter. It's the most secluded shelter and is about 300 feet from a restroom. There's a small parking lot, but more parking is nearby. The shelter has a water hydrant. No electricity.

Shelter 3 Near the amphitheater. It is conveniently located near Shelter 4 for larger groups and 500 feet from a restroom. Large parking lot with separate driveway. This shelter has a water hydrant. No electricity.

Shelter 4 Near the amphitheater and a short walk from Green Hill Pond. Less than 100 feet from a restroom. Parking pull-off with additional parking nearby. The shelter features an electrical outlet, lights and a water hydrant. Near Shelter 3.

Shelter 5 Beside Green Hill Pond, offers the best view of pond and river. Near the visitor center and 400 feet from a restroom. One hundred feet from a wheelchair-accessible trail and fishing pier. Small parking lot with additional parking nearby. The shelter features an electrical outlet and lights. There is no water hydrant.

Shelter 6 About 300 feet from Dixon Landing, this shelter has a great view of the river. It has pull-off parking and more parking nearby. A restroom is about 1,000 feet away beside the visitor center. This shelter has a water hydrant. There is no electricity.
Horse Area
Horseshoe Campground 10 sites HorseshoeEW40ft

Electric and water hookups the sites are pull-through and allow two trailers to share a common area between them. There are 20 covered horse stalls and five tent pads.

All sites have electric pedestals, which have 20, 30 and 50-amp outlets.
Campsites have a fire-ring grill, one picnic table and a lantern hanger.
Full-service bathhouse with hot showers. The bathhouse has four unisex showers, one of which is universally accessible.
Showers are for camping guests only.
All equipment must be set up within site borders. Two vehicles are allowed per campsite. A fee is charged for additional vehicles, which must be parked in designated areas. Guests visiting campers must leave by 10 p.m.
A dump station is free for overnight camping guests non-campers guests must pay a small fee to use it.
A boat launch is free for overnight guests.
Firewood is available for a small fee fire starters are available at the camp store, contact station and visitor center.
Keep pets on a leash no longer than six feet when outside, and keep pets inside at night.
Groups with numbers greater than that typically allowed here must apply for a special-use permit at least three weeks before their stay.
Horses must be kept in a stall.
Rakes, wheelbarrows and buckets are available.
Biking enthusiasts can explore over 15 miles of multi-use trails. Be aware, some paths are shared with horse riders.

The Tobacco Heritage Trail offers a scenic ride along an old railroad bed. Caution is advised due to uneven terrain.

For mountain bikers, the Green Hill Pond Loop provides challenging climbs and descents. It's not recommended for beginners or children.

Treadwell Hollow trail presents steep inclines that require advanced biking skills; it isn't suitable for novice cyclists or kids under age 12.

Remember: helmets are mandatory on all bike routes within this parkland area in Virginia as per state law regulations.

Rental bikes aren't available onsite so visitors must bring their own equipment if they wish to cycle here.

Birding enthusiasts can spot various species such as bald eagles, ospreys and great blue herons. Other common sightings include red-tailed hawks, turkey vultures, and different types of songbirds. The park's diverse habitats attract a variety of migratory birds during spring and fall seasons.

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