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Bear Creek Lake State Park

22 Bear Creek Lake Rd., Cumberland, VA, 23040; Phone: 804-492-4410; Email: BearCreek@dcr.virginia.gov

About this park ...

Latitude, 37.531773. Longitude, -78.271589.

Photos and video

General Information

Nestled in the heart of the Cumberland State Forest in central Virginia, Bear Creek Lake is less than an hour west of Richmond. It's the perfect getaway for the outdoor enthusiast. Activities center on the 40-acre lake with a boat launch, fishing pier, boat rentals and a swimming beach. Other attractions include a meeting facility, cabins, camping, picnicking, an archery range and playgrounds. Guests also enjoy the park's trails and access to the adjoining 16,000-acre Cumberland State Forest, including the 14-mile Cumberland Multi-use Trail, which is available for hiking, biking and horseback riding.

Note: There is limited U.S. Cellular and Verizon cell phone service in the park. Public phones can be found in the Acorn Campground Loop and outside the linen building in the cabin area. WiFi is available in the campground and at Lakeside Diner from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

Hours

8 a.m. – dusk.

Location

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.

Note: Those coming from the west and using GPS may be directed through a gravel-covered section of Oak Hill Rd. through the Cumberland State Forest. They should instead continue on Route 60 East through the Cumberland Courthouse area and then turn left on Trents Mill Rd. (Route 622) to reach the park's main entrance.

Drive Time: Northern Va., three hours; Richmond, one hour; Roanoke, two hours; Tidewater/Norfolk/Virginia Beach, three hours

Park Size

326.4 acres; Lake Size: 40 acres.

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Cabins, camping

OVERNIGHT FACILITIES

Camping and cabins. For information on availability of overnight accommodations, particular park amenities or to make a reservation, you can reserve online or call 1-800-933-PARK. Reservations are highly recommended.

Click here for details on reservation cancellation and transfer policies. A fee is charged per pet per night for cabin stays.

Visit a photo collection of Bear Creek Lake's overnight accommodations.

Cabins

Cabin at Bear Creek Lake.

During prime season, cabins and the lodge are rented by the week beginning on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. A two-night minimum stay is required the rest of the year, but guests who wish to stay less than a week during prime season may call 30 days prior to desired arrival date to see if there is vacancy. The cabins and lodge are open year-round and can be reserved up to 11 months in advance. Extra beds are unavailable for these dwellings.

Directions for cabin and lodge guests to registration office: Register at the park office near the campgrounds on Bear Creek Lake Road off Route 629. Late arrivals should call the park beforehand to obtain the dwelling's entry code. Those arriving late will find information, including directions to their cabin, posted outside the park office door.

From Feb. 15 through April 30, a burn ban is in effect from midnight to 4 p.m.

Bear Creek Lodge (universally accessible)

  • Week stay runs from Sunday to Sunday in prime season.
  • Check-in is 3 p.m., check-out is 10 a.m.
  • No bed rentals
  • Maximum occupancy is 16.
  • Maximum five cars; additional parking is very limited and may not be available. A parking fee is charged for additional cars. Overflow parking is nearby.
  • Six bedrooms, one of which is universally accessible, and three bathrooms, one of which is universally accessible. One universally accessible bath is between master bedrooms; the other two baths are shared by the four remaining bedrooms.
  • Two bedrooms have queen size beds.
  • Two bedrooms each have two single beds.
  • Two bedrooms have two sets of bunk beds (each room sleeps four).
  • Universally accessible: Kitchen, dining area, living room, one bedroom and one bath. The other bedrooms and bathrooms are not universally accessible.
  • No smoking
  • Kitchen-dining-living area has an open floor plan.
  • The kitchen is equipped with an electric range/oven, refrigerator, microwave, toaster, drip coffee maker, pots, pans, dishes and utensils.
  • The living area includes a fireplace with gas logs. (No complimentary bundle of firewood is provided with the lodge.) The dining room table seats eight, and there are six other seats at the counter.
  • Heated and air-conditioned with heat pump
  • Linens provided include sheets, pillows, pillow cases, blankets, a comforter, towels, washcloths and dish towels. One set is provided per bed and they are not changed daily. More linens may be requested for a charge.
  • One porch on front; second porch on back of lodge
  • Washer and dryer
  • Limited view of water from the lodge
  • Pets must be kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet when not in an enclosed area. They are not allowed on the beach or in rental boats. Pets cannot be left unattended at any time.
  • A fee is charged per pet per night.
  • To respect other cabin guests, large gatherings and camping are not allowed in the cabin area.
  • State law permits alcohol use only in private areas (inside a cabin or camping unit) or in areas designated on permits issued by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Cabins: During prime season, weekly rental for cabins 6 through 9 starts on Friday, cabins 1 through 5 on Saturday, and for 10 through 13 on Sunday.

  • Check-in is 3 p.m., check-out is 10 a.m.
  • Maximum two cars per cabin; additional parking is very limited and may not be available. Guests will find an overflow parking area by the linen building. A parking fee is charged for additional cars.
  • Kitchen: Refrigerator, stove, coffeemaker, dishes, dishcloth, dish towels, silverware, cooking utensils, pots, pans, microwave oven, toaster, manual can opener
  • Linens provided include sheets, pillows, pillow cases, blankets, a comforter, towels, washcloths and dish towels. One set is provided per bed and they are not changed daily. More linens may be requested for a charge.
  • Bring food, dish detergent, extra dish towels, coffee filters, coffee, salt and pepper, nonstick cooking spray, body wash/soap, extra bath towels, books, board games or cards. You may wish to bring an extra blanket or pillow.
  • Keep pets on a leash no longer than 6 feet when they're not in an enclosed area. Pets are not allowed on the beach or in rental boats. Pets cannot be left unattended at any time during your stay.
  • A fee is charged per pet per night.
  • No smoking in cabins.
  • No dishwasher, phone, TV, washer or dryer
  • Phones for emergency or calling card use only are at the linen building on Blue Heron Drive and at the Acorn Campground Loop.
  • Wood-burning fireplace. The park provides one bundle of complimentary firewood; extra firewood is available for a nominal fee.
  • Living area: sofa, dining table, chairs and end tables
  • Bedrooms: Bed(s), nightstands, dresser, closet with hangers, clock radio
  • Heat-pumps
  • There are trash and recycling stations at the day-use area, Acorn Campground Loop and near the linen building on Blue Heron Drive.
  • Swimming, when available, and boat launching (electric motors only) are free to overnight guests. No refunds on swimming should circumstances beyond the park's control - e.g., inclement weather - require that swimming facilities be closed. No refunds for swimming to overnight guests under any circumstances. Swimming, boat rentals and concessions are available Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend. On weekdays up to mid-June and after mid-August, swimming and boat rental hours are shortened. Please call the park beforehand if your plans included such activities as they might be unavailable.
  • Except for Cabin 6, each cabin has a picnic table, fire-ring and a charcoal pedestal grill just outside. Cabin 6 has a fire-ring but no charcoal pedestal grill.
  • Wrap-around deck; open porch with rocking chairs and end tables
  • Late arrivals should call beforehand to obtain the cabin's entry code.
  • Out of respect for cabin guests, large gatherings and camping are not allowed in the cabin area.
  • State law permits alcohol use only in private areas (inside a cabin or camping unit) or in areas designated on permits issued by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
  • Quiet hours are from 10 p.m. through 6 a.m. Only overnight guests are allowed in the park after 10 p.m. Visitors are charged daily parking and swimming fees; visitors must park in area designated by the park.
  • Cabins 2, 4, 5, 11 and 12 are water-view.
  • Cabin 5 has a queen bed, one set of bunk beds and a full-size pullout couch in the living area.
  • Cabin 6 has 15 steps leading to the cabin.

Total sites of each type: two-bedroom frame, 6; two-bedroom frame waterview, 4; three-bedroom frame, 1; three-bedroom frame waterview, 1; Bear Creek Lodge, 1

Site Types:

Two-bedroom frame cabin, maximum capacity six, one queen bed, two sets of bunk beds (room sleeps four); no bed rentals.

Two-bedroom frame waterview cabin, maximum capacity six, one queen bed, two sets of bunk beds (room sleeps four); no bed rentals. Cabin 5, which is universally accessible, has a queen bed, one set of bunkbeds and a full-size, pullout couch in the living area.

Three-bedroom frame cabin, maximum capacity eight, one queen bed, two single beds in second bedroom, two sets of bunk beds (room sleeps four) in third bedroom; no bed rentals; two bathrooms.

Three-bedroom frame waterview cabin, maximum capacity eight, one queen bed, two single beds in second bedroom, two sets of bunk beds (room sleeps four) in third bedroom; no bed rentals; two bathrooms.

Bear Creek Lodge - six bedrooms, maximum capacity 16, three bathrooms, universally accessible, a queen size bed in each of two bedroom, two single beds in two bedrooms, two sets of bunk beds each in two bedrooms (each room sleeps four); no bed rentals.

Camping

Please note that the camping lodge described below is a simple, bunkhouse; it's not Bear Creek Lodge. The camping lodge is next to the park's group campsite.

From Feb. 15 through April 30, a burn ban is in effect from midnight to 4 p.m. Open air fires are prohibited during this time.

  • Fire grates may have concrete pads or metal fire-rings, which can be used for campfires or as charcoal grills.
  • Firewood and ice can be purchased at the park office.
  • One vehicle is allowed per site in addition to a camping unit. Additional vehicles should be parked at the office parking area adjacent to the campground. The parking fee is charged.
  • Guests visiting campers must park in the parking area and leave by 10 p.m. Daily parking fees apply.
  • Swimming and boat launching are free with camping. Electric motors only.
  • A Campground Host is available at most times in site 14 next to the Acorn Loop Campground picnic shelter.
  • Sites are reserved by site type only, not by loop. The park assigns the specific site in a campground upon a guest's arrival to best meet the needs of the given campers.
  • In Acorn Loop, the only campground by the lake, there are 11 water view tent sites (10' x 10' tent pads) with no electric and water hookups. There are also five sites there that offer no view of the water but that have electric and water hookups to accommodate popups and equipment up to 20 feet long.
  • Black Oak Loop has 11 sites with water and electric hookups to accommodate pop-ups and equipment up to 20 feet long, and nine sites with such hookups to accommodate equipment up to 35 feet long. (Note: The 35-foot length includes the combined length of the camper and tow vehicle. Those attempting to place equipment with a combined length exceeding 35 feet risk damaging their equipment.)
  • Reserve large RV sites through the Customer Service Center - (800) 933-PARK (7275).
  • Chesnut Loop has 11 electric and water sites. The campground can accommodate tents and small pop-up units. It's open from April 1 through Oct. 31, although open only on weekends April 1 through the Friday before Memorial Day and from Labor Day through Oct. 31.
  • All sites are shaded.
  • Please keep pets on a leash no longer than six feet. Pets are not allowed on the beach or in rental boats. Pets cannot be left unattended at any time.
  • Quiet hours are 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • State law permits alcohol use only in private areas (inside a cabin or camping unit) or in areas designated on permits issued by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
  • Campers arriving late will find an envelope posted at the entrance station with instructions on how and when to register the following morning. Maps are provided designating the campsite location.

Number of each site type: EW, 28; RV35, 9; Waterview TENT, 11; BC Group Site, 1

EW – Electric-water sites; gravel parking area; can hold various equipment up to 20 feet; accepts outlets 20 and 30-amp current.

RV35 – Electric-water sites; gravel parking area; holds equipment up to 35 feet long; accepts 20 and 30-amp current; all in Black Oak Loop.

Waterview TENT - Tents only. No hookups. Gravel parking area; tent pads and natural surface for setting up tent.

Total: 48 sites

Camping Lodge (bunkhouse) - no weekly requirement.

The park rents a camping lodge (bunkhouse) that's next to the group campsite and near Chestnut Loop. The bunkhouse is not a full service lodge. It has two rooms and seven bunk beds, a refrigerator, a microwave oven, a coffee pot, and heating and air conditioning. The bunkhouse also has a charcoal grill and deck outside. Cooking and smoking are prohibited inside the lodge. Five vehicles are permitted with rental of the lodge; the daily parking fee must be paid for additional vehicles.

This facility becomes available in January each year; unlike most overnight facilities, it is not sold 11 months in advance. Check-in is 3 p.m., and check-out is 10 a.m. Late arrivals should call the park beforehand for directions and the lodge's entry code.

The transfer deadline and cancellation and pet fees are the same as those for cabins.

  • No linens are provided. Guests must bring their own linens and pillows.
  • Maximum occupancy is 14. Guests are responsible for any damage.
  • The minimum stay is two nights.
  • It has no bathroom, kitchen or fireplace.
  • From April 1 to Oct. 31, camping lodge guests use the bathhouse in Chestnut Loop, which is about 75 yards away. The bathhouse in Acorn Loop, which is about 200 yards away, is available during shoulder seasons.
  • A fee is charged per pet per night.
  • Cooking and smoking are not permitted in the camping lodge.
  • Swimming is free to overnight guests from Memorial Day through Labor Day when the beach is open.
  • Electrical outlets are available but limited to 50-amp service.
  • No extra bed rentals are available.
  • State law permits alcohol use only in private areas (inside a cabin or camping unit) or in areas designated on permits issued by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
  • The camping lodge is next to the park's group campsite, which may be rented by calling the Customer Service Center, (800) 933-PARK (7275). Large groups should consider renting the camping lodge and the group camping area.

Group Campsite

Bear Creek Lake rents a group campsite that has no hookups and is for tents only. It's near Chestnut Loop and next to the bunkhouse. The site accommodates up to 36 people. The site is near a restroom. It has several picnic tables, fire-rings with grills and a large pedestal grill. The campsite is available April 1 through Oct. 31. From April 1 through the Friday before Memorial Day and from Labor Day through Oct. 31, the Chestnut Loop restroom is open only on weekends. Group campsite guests may still use the Acorn Loop restroom, which is about 200 yards away. There is a nonrefundable overnight fee plus a cancellation fee when reservations for this site are cancelled. The fee to cancel any group site that accommodates more than six people is greater than that for single campsites.

  • Dogs are allowed but must be kept on a leash no longer than six feet. Dogs must be attended at all times and are not allowed on the beach or in rental boats.
  • Sites are primitive. About 12 picnic tables are grouped around three fire grates.
  • No water and no electricity.
  • One vehicle is allowed per campsite. Only up to six vehicles are allowed in the group campsite area. Additional vehicles may be parked at the park office, and a daily parking fee is charged.
  • Check in is at 4 p.m. and check-out is at 3 p.m.
  • State law permits alcohol use only in private areas (inside a cabin or camping unit) or in areas designated on permits issued by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
  • A burn ban is in effect from midnight to 4 p.m. Feb. 15 to April 30.

Recreation

TRAILS

All trails within the park allow only hiking. The park also provides access to the Willis River Trail, a 16-mile long trail winding through Cumberland State Forest. Also, the 15.8-mile Cumberland Multi-use Trail is available for bicycles, horses and hikers (this trail does not loop back to the park and is located in the state forest). Those interested in riding horses or mountain bikes in the Cumberland State Forest must obtain a State Forest Use Permit; call (804) 492-4121 or visit the state forest department's website for details

Va. Outdoors sign

Visit the Explore Virginia Outdoors website for enhanced maps and video tours of Bear Creek Lake trails.

SWIMMING

Weather permitting, swimming is available in a designated area of Bear Creek Lake from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. From Memorial Day through mid-June and from Mid-August through Labor Day, swimming will be available for abbreviated hours on weekdays. Swimming may be unavailable on some weekdays. Please call the park to check availability during this time.

The swimming beach has a bathhouse and Lakeside Diner, which offers sandwiches, snacks and drinks. Click here for park fees. Swimming is free for overnight camping, cabin, bunkhouse and lodge guests. We do not give refunds for swimming to overnight guests under any circumstances.

FISHING, BOATING

A 40-acre lake supports largemouth bass, crappie, bream and channel catfish. The Willis River, a small, slow tributary of the James, winds through the Cumberland State Forest. Those with a canoe or small boat can enjoy fishing there. Two canoe launches with access to the river are in Cumberland State Forest. A boat ramp at Bear Creek Lake is available for non-gasoline powered boats. The park also has a universally accessible fishing pier.

Boat rentals are available from Memorial Day to Labor Day. 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.

Canoes, rowboats, trolling motors, paddleboats and kayaks are for rent. A valid Virginia fishing license is required for fishing. Those 16 and older must have a license with them. A gas station near the park entrance sells fishing licenses.

Those interested in fishing in the Cumberland State Forest lakes, including Arrowhead, Bonbrook, Oak Hill and Winston lakes, must obtain a State Forest Use Permit (in addition to a regular freshwater fishing license). Call 804-492-4121 or visit the state forestry department's website for details.

HORSES

None within the park. There is a trailhead to the 15.7-mile Cumberland Multi-use Trail, which is popular for horesback riding. It's a day-use only trail. Those interested in riding horses there should call 804-492-4121 or visit the state forest department's website for details. Riders are required to carry a copy of a negative Coggins report for each horse brought to the park.

HUNTING

Hunting is allowed in nearby Cumberland State Forest. Call the state forest at (804) 492-4121 for specific dates.

Archery Range - The park has a 10-lane archery range with excelsior bales and 3D targets. The range, which is managed by the park and Friends of Bear Creek Lake State Park, is open from March 1 through the first Monday in December. No archery equipment is available for rent. Call (804) 492-4410 for details.

Park Trail Guide

Click here for the park's trail guide.

Nearby Attractions

Lee’s Retreat Driving Tour, Farmville; The Museum of the Confederacy in Appomattox, Va.; State Forest and Game Commission Lands and Impoundments; Heart of Virginia Festival (first Saturday in May); Farmville Area Chamber of Commerce. Monticello, Ashlawn, Virginia's Retreat Civil War Driving Tour and the Appomattox Court House are within an hour's drive, as are tubing trips provided by the James River Runners Inc. in Scottsville. Also, High Bridge Trail, Holliday Lake, James River, Powhatan, Sailor's Creek Battlefield and Twin Lakes state parks are within an hour's drive.

Picnic Shelters

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 Customer Service Center at 1-800-933-PARK. Click here for park fees. Shelters can be rented from 8 a.m. to dusk (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.

Cancellation policy: No refund within 14 days before reserved date. Before then, there's a cancellation fee.

  • The park rents a 20' x 40' (small) shelter. It can accommodate up to 40 people and is 250 feet from the swimming beach, fishing pier and boat rental house. Lakeside Diner and bathhouses are about 350 feet away. The shelter features pedestal grills and tables but no electricity. There is a drinking fountain nearby. Generators and amplified music are not allowed. Two commercial "play centers" with swings and a volleyball net are also within walking distance, as are trailheads for a hiking and a 15.7-mile multi-use trail. Parking and swimming fees are not included in the shelter rental fee.
  • A burn ban is in effect Feb. 15 to April 30. The shelter's charcoal grill may be used during that period if the fire is constantly monitored.

Meeting Space and Facilities

MEETING, CONFERENCE, WEDDING FACILITIES

Bear Creek Meeting Hall

Reserve by calling 1-800-933-7275. It's a great place for weddings. This is a day-use facility.

  • Please see the table below for prices.
  • Wedding/event package: Two consecutive days' rental (discount)
  • Maximum 65 people, 25 cars
  • Kitchen: Electric range, refrigerator and freezer, microwave and dishwasher; minimal cookware, utensils, serving containers, flatware or dishware
  • Customers who wish to serve alcoholic beverages must first obtain a banquet license from the local ABC office. This is the customer's responsibility, and the process may take up to a month. A copy of the ABC license must be given to park staff prior to the event. All consumption of alcoholic beverages during such events must take place within the meeting room and on the back patio. Those drinking elsewhere in public areas of the park may be charged with Drinking in Public.
  • Caterers must provide a certificate of insurance and a valid health-department permit. Park staff can provide a list of caterers. Caterers are charged a commercial user’s parking fee. It is recommended that the group contact the park to pay this fee.
  • A rental Terms of Agreement form must be read and signed before the date of the event.
  • Decorations are permitted but may not be attached to painted surfaces and may not damage the facility in any way. Renters are responsible for damages or any excess cleaning of the facility required after the event.
  • Those renting the hall are exempt from parking fees (up to 25 vehicles) so long as they identify themselves as such at the contact station.
  • No linens are provided.
  • No smoking in the building.
  • No pets are allowed in this facility.
  • There is a 12-hanger coat rack.
  • Internet access available; ask park staff for details
  • Equipment rental: TV with DVD and projector with screen and flip chart. Equipment rentals must be arranged ahead of time.
  • A podium without amplification is available at no charge.
  • There is a large group grill available next to the patio.
  • A burn ban is in effect Feb. 15 to April 30. The facility's charcoal grill may be used during that period so long as it is monitored.
  • Memorial Day weekend through Oct. 31, the rental fee includes a 20 by 40-foot tent that covers the back patio. Outside of that timeframe, the tent can be rented.

Tables and chairs are available at no additional charge. Guests should call the park at least two weeks ahead of time to arrange their event's setup. Many sizes and configurations are available. The facility seats about 40 for sit-down meal and about 65 without tables. In warm weather, up to twelve 48-inch tables with four chairs each can be set up on the facility’s stone patio.

Cancellation fees

Reservations must be paid in full within 14 days of the date the reservation is made. Cancellations can be made up until 14 days prior to the start of the reservation for a 10 percent cancellation fee or $100, whichever is less. Within 14 days prior to the first day of the reservation period, a 30 percent cancellation fee is charged.

Prices

  • From Nov. 1 to Memorial Day weekend, full day (8 a.m. - 10 p.m.) - $236
  • Memorial Day weekend through Oct. 31, full day (8 a.m. - 10 p.m.) - $350
  • From Nov. 1 to Memorial Day weekend, wedding/event package (two-day rental from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily) - $315
  • Memorial Day weekend through Oct. 31, wedding/event package (two-day rental from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily) - $400
  • Equipment; TV with VCR-DVD; laptop with projector and screen; $10 each per day
  • Equipment at no charge: podium with no amplification, dry erase board with markers, small easel
  • From Memorial Day weekend through Oct. 31, hall rental includes 20 by 40-foot tent that covers the patio. At other times, there is a charge for the tent.

The park also rents family lodges that may be used for small retreats and get-togethers.

VISITOR CENTER, GIFT SHOP

Merchandise can be purchased at the office, concession stand and boat house.

RESTAURANT

No restaurant, but a small market just outside the park entrance carries a limited supply of grocery items and some camping supplies. The Town of Cumberland located on Route 60 approximately seven miles from the park has a post office, convenience stores and two small restaurants.

LAUNDRY

Closest public laundry is 7 miles away in Cumberland Court House.

Other Info

ACCESSIBILITY

  • Cabins 5, 9 and 13
  • Restrooms at Acorn and Chesnut Campground loops
  • Park office
  • Concessions area, snack bar
  • Restroom - beach bathhouses
  • Showers in Acorn and Chestnut loops
  • Fishing pier
  • Although motorized vehicles are not permitted on park trails, power-driven mobility devices for those with disabilities are permitted. Check with park staff to see if a given mobility device is suitable for a particular trail.

CONCESSIONS

The swimming area and boat rentals are available from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday - Friday and 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. on weekends and holidays from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Lakeside Diner is open during prime season from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Please call the park about availability in early June and late August.

NATURE, HISTORY PROGRAMS

Campfire get-togethers, music activities, archery programs, junior rangers programs, history programs, nature hikes, nature crafts, survival skills, canoeing, fishing and many more activities on most days from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Programs are offered on weekends during spring and fall. Groups may request special programming any time of year if they provide advance notice and the subject matter is relevant to Bear Creek Lake's natural and historic resources. Click here to view all parks' events, festivals, workshops and interpretive programs.

HISTORY

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.

FRIENDS GROUP

Feel like lending a hand? The Friends of Bear Creek Lake State Park group is a hands-on volunteer 501c3 organization dedicated to preserving and supporting the park. Email friendsofbearcreeklake@gmail.com for more information or to become a member.

MASTER PLAN

Master plans must be written for parks before they're built. The plans are updated at least once every five years thereafter. The plans cover the size, types, infrastructure and locations of facilities as well as the site's special features and resources. Three public meetings are held during the initial development of each plan. Click here for this park's master plan.

WILDLIFE

Virginia State Parks are great places to discover and reconnect with the wild world. Bring a camera and share your captures with the world. But please don't disturb or get too close to the animals. The park is, after all, their home. Here are a few recent natural encounters others have had at Bear Creek Lake State Park.

View all wildlife encounter photos from Bear Creek Lake State Park.

 

Upcoming Events

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At a Glance

The pictographs directly below show park offerings. Mouse-over the image for a short text description or click here to view a legend in which each pictograph's meaning is expressed.
BikingBoat LaunchBoat Rentals, Canoe AccessCabins, Family LodgesCamp Store/Gift ShopCampground, Camping Lodges **, Group CampingDump StationEquestrianHikingLake/Bay/Ocean, LifeguardsNature/Cultural ProgramsParking feePicnic Shelter Rentals, Picnic TablesPlaygroundsRecyclingRestroomsShoreShowersSnack BarUniversally Accessible
Biking, Boat Launch, Boat Rentals, Canoe Access, Cabins, Family Lodges, Camp Store/Gift Shop, Campground, Camping Lodges **, Group Camping, Dump Station, Equestrian, Hiking, Lake/Bay/Ocean, Lifeguards, Nature/Cultural Programs, Parking fee, Picnic Shelter Rentals, Picnic Tables, Playgrounds, Recycling, Restrooms, Shore, Showers, Snack Bar, Universally Accessible