Skip to Content


Media inquiries: Please contact Julie Buchanan,, 804-786-2292.

Date: May 20, 2002
Contact: Jim Meisner Jr., DCR Public Relations Specialist, (804) 786-8442,

Parks summer season begins Memorial Day weekend

(RICHMOND) - The pools and swimming beaches in Virginia State Parks open for the summer season Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 25.
"Although our cabins are open year-round, and campgrounds are open March through December, this weekend represents the 'official' start of summer in the minds of many people. Vacation season is underway," said Joe Elton, Department of Conservation and Recreation State Parks director.
Beach swimming is available at Claytor Lake, Hungry Mother, Douthat, Bear Creek Lake, Kipptopeke, Fairy Stone, Holliday Lake, Smith Mountain Lake, Lake Anna and First Landing state parks.

Swimming pools open Memorial Day weekend at Chippokes Plantation, Natural Tunnel, Staunton River and Westmoreland state parks. The swimming pool at Pocahontas State Park is closed for the 2002 season for extensive renovations.
Swimming is closed at Twin Lakes State Park because of unusually low water levels in Goodwin Lake. Swimming will be allowed when water levels return to normal.

"We've created a new swimming policy in our parks," Elton said. "If you pay to swim and inclement weather closes the swimming area, then we'll give you a rain check to come back and swim another day. Guaranteed."

The start of summer also marks the opening of concession stands and restaurants in addition to swimming pools and beaches in Virginia State Parks, which are managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

"We also have dozens of festivals and concerts and hundreds of interpretive programs in 34 parks across the state," Elton said.
Virginia's state park system is the 2001-2003 National Gold Medal award winner for excellence in park and recreation management, presented by the National Sporting Goods Association's Sports Foundation Inc. in cooperation with the National Recreation and Park Association.

For more information about Virginia State Parks activities and amenities or to make reservations in one of the more than 1,400 camp sites or 180 climate controlled cabins, call the Virginia State Parks Reservation Center at 1-800-933-PARK.

Schedules vary for concessions, restaurants and swimming areas at each park. Call the parks directly for individual operating schedules.

Bear Creek Lake State Park o (804) 492-4410
Belle Isle State Park o (804) 462-5030
Caledon Natural Area o (540) 663-3861
Chippokes Plantation State Park o (757) 294-3625
Claytor Lake State Park o (540) 643-2500
Douthat State Park o (540) 862-8100
Fairy Stone State Park o (276) 930-2424
False Cape State Park o (757) 426-7128
First Landing State Park o (757) 412-2300
George Washington's Grist Mill Historic State Park o Call (703) 780-2000 or (703) 550-0960
Grayson Highlands State Park o (276) 579-7092
Holliday Lake State Park o (434) 248-6308
Hungry Mother State Park o (276) 781-7400
James River State Park o (434) 933-4355
Kiptopeke State Park o (757) 331-2267
Lake Anna State Park o (540) 854-5503
Leesylvania State Park o (703) 670-0372
Mason Neck State Park o (703) 550-0960
Natural Tunnel State Park o (276) 940-2674
Occoneechee State Park o (434) 374-2210
Pocahontas State Parks o (804) 796-4255
Sailor's Creek Battlefield Historic State Park o (434) 392-3435
Shenandoah River Raymond R. "Andy" Guest Jr. State Park o (540) 622-6840
New River Trail State Park and Shot Tower o (276) 699-6778
Sky Meadows State Park o (540) 592-3556
Smith Mountain Lake State Park o (540) 297-6066
Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park o (276) 523-1322
Staunton River Battlefield State Park o (434) 454-4312
Staunton River State Park o (434) 572-4623
Twin Lakes State Park o (434) 392-3435
Westmoreland State Park o (804) 493-8821
Wilderness Road State Park o (276) 445-3065
York River State Park o (757) 566-3036

- 30 -

Share this news release:  An Image An Image