A traditional family park since 1936, Douthat is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for the role its design played in the development of parks nationwide. Amid some of Virginia's most breathtaking mountain scenery, visitors enjoy interpretive programs, four miles of stream fishing, a 50-acre lake stocked with trout, a sandy swimming beach with snack bar, boat rentals, a gift shop and camp store, cabins, and more than 43 miles of hiking, mountain biking and bridle trails. Plus, there are playgrounds, an amphitheater, picnic areas, tent and trailer camping, and a restaurant overlooking the lake. The park also has 32 cabins and three lodges that accommodate 15, 16 and 18 guests each.
6 a.m. - 10 p.m.
From I-64, take Exit 27 near Clifton Forge. Turn North onto State Route 629 (highway at exit ramp). Travel north two miles to the park entrance sign and another four miles to the park office.
Its address is 14239 Douthat State Park Road, Millboro, VA 24460; Latitude, 37.896054. Longitude, -79.809300.
Drive Time: Northern Virginia, four hours; Tidewater/Norfolk/Virginia Beach, five hours; Richmond, three hours; Roanoke, one hour
From Interstate 64 and Interstate 81 North of Lexington: Follow I-81 south to exit 56 and exit 191 onto I-64 west (signed, Clifton Forge). Follow I-64 west to exit 27, turn right onto Route 629. The park entrance is two miles farther; guest registration is another four miles. Register at the green-roofed building on the right. Drive time from Lexington is 35 minutes.
From Interstate 81 South of Roanoke: Follow I-81 north to exit 150B (signed, 220 North, Clifton Forge). Bear right onto U.S. 11 south, then turn right at first light onto U.S. 220 north. Follow U.S. 220 north. After passing through Iron Gate, take the first exit to the right (signed, Covington). Once on the three-lane road (Exxon on your right), continue under the interstate. This road becomes Route 629, which leads into the park. Its entrance is two miles farther; guest registration is another four miles. Register at the green-roofed building on the right. Drive time from the intersection of I-81 and 220 north is 55 minutes.
From U.S. 460 East or West of Roanoke: Follow U.S. 460 to U.S. 220 alternate, turn north at light. Stay on U.S. 220 north through Iron Gate. After passing through Iron Gate, take the first exit to the right (signed, Covington). Once on the three-lane road (Exxon on your right), continue under the interstate. This road becomes Route 629, which leads into the park. Its entrance is two miles farther; guest registration is another four miles. Register at the green-roofed building on the right. Drive time from intersection of U.S. 460 and 220 Alternate intersection is 65 minutes.
From U.S. 220 South of Roanoke: Follow U.S. 220 north to the Roy L. Webber Expressway. Follow the expressway to Interstate 581 north. Follow I-581 north to intersection I-81, exit right onto I-81 north. From here, follow I-81 north to exit 150B (signed, 220 North, Clifton Forge). Bear right onto U.S. 11 south, then turn right at first light onto U.S. 220 north. Follow U.S. 220 north . After passing through Iron Gate, take the first exit to the right (signed, Covington). Once on the three-lane road (Exxon on your right), continue under the interstate. This road becomes Route 629, which leads into the park. Its entrance is two miles farther; guest registration is another four miles. Register at the green-roofed building on the right.
4,545 acres. Lake: 50 acres.
Cabins, camping. 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. Click here for park fees.
Boat launching is free for overnight guests. During prime season, a day of guarded beach swimming per night's stay is free to overnight guests. (Parks will not refund rental fees should guarded swimming be unavailable.) Read more about swimming in the park's Recreation section.
Click here to visit a Flickr photoset of typical cabins and lodges at the park. Cabins and lodges vary; any given dwelling may not match what's shown in the photos.
Click here for details on reservation cancellation and transfer policies. A fee is charged per pet per night for cabin stays.
You must have with you either your reservation number(s) or confirmation letter at check-in. If you've arranged for someone else to check in for you, make sure that person has your reservation number as the number is needed to enter the cabin. All cabins are pet-friendly; there is a fee per pet per night. Camping and cabin guests should be prepared to show a valid ID if requested. Check-in is 4 p.m. and checkout is 10 a.m. Weekly rentals are required from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Quiet hours are from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Only overnight guests are allowed in the park after 10 p.m. Those visiting cabin guests are charged the daily parking fee and must park in an area designated by the park.
Guests who arrive late will find an envelope with their name on it to the left of the park office door. The information includes instructions on how and when to register the following morning. Park maps are provided so that these guests may find their way to the cabin. The park office is the first building on the right after exiting I-64 and passing the collection booth. From cabins 1-9, the lake is seasonably observable. Cabins 22-25 are locally called Creek Row. The creek is about 30 feet from the cabins. The creek, however, cannot be seen from the cabins.
Douthat State Park 5 and 6-bedroom lodges (three). Please note that the cancellation fee for Douthat Main Lodge, Creasey Lodge and Beard's Mountain Lodge is higher than it is for cabins.
Douthat Lodge (atop mountain): Six-bedroom, rents Saturday - Saturday
This log lodge overlooks the park. It was built by the CCC. It sleeps 13 and allows 15. There are six bedrooms: one double bed, one double bed, one double bed, four twin beds, two twin beds and one twin bed. It has a fireplace, two bathrooms, a washer and a dryer.
Creasey Lodge (behind park's main office). Five-bedroom. Weekly rentals start on Friday. Fully universally accessible.
This one story wood-frame lodge is next to the park office. It accommodates up to 18 guests. There are five bedrooms: one queen bed, two sets of bunk beds, two sets of bunk beds, two sets of bunk beds, two sets of bunk beds. It has a fireplace and three bathrooms.
Beards Mountain Lodge: Six-bedroom, maximum occupancy is 16. Weekly rentals start on Sunday.
This frame-built facility is midway up the mountain and is universally accessible. It accommodates up to 16 guests. There are three bathrooms and six-bedrooms; queen, queen, two twins, two twins, two bunk beds, two bunk beds.
Total sites of each type: One-room log efficiency: 5; one-bedroom log: 13; two-bedroom log: 7; two-bedroom cinderblock with cedar siding: 5; two-bedroom frame: 1; three-bedroom frame: 1; six-bedroom Douthat Lodge: 1; six-bedroom Beards Mountain Lodge: 1; five-bedroom Creasey Lodge: 1
Total sites: 35
Douthat is known for delightful, inviting campsites. Some offer a splendid view of Douthat Lake. (Note: Water is unavailable at individual campsites from November through March because of freezing weather. As hot water is still available in the bathhouse, camping fees are not reduced.) The campgrounds are pet-friendly. Generators may not be used in any campgrounds.
Douthat allows guests to reserve specific campsites. Here's a table of those campsites.
Total sites of each type: A-StdLake Lakeside, 19; B-EW Beaver Dam Horse, 14; C-EW White Oak, 31; D-EW Whispering Pines, 23
A - StdLake Lakeside - Nineteen RV or tent sites with gravel pads. Maximum RV length is 40 feet with parking for tow or towed vehicles on sites. The campground has dump stations, showers and flush toilets. Sites have no water hookup, but there are water spigots throughout the campground. Those needing electricity should use the White Oak or Whispering Pines Campground; generators are not allowed.
B - EW Beaver Dam (equestrian camping). Fourteen mostly shaded RV or tent sites (five pull-throughs) with gravel pads, electricity (30-amp service) and water (no sewer hookups at site). Maximum RV length is 40 feet with parking for tow or towed vehicles on sites. The campground has dump stations, showers and flush toilets. There are 14 covered stalls rented separately from camping sites. Guests must provide their own hay and water bucket and must clean up after their horses. The park provides a rake, shovel and wheelbarrow. Stalls measure 12 by 12 feet. Only one horse is allowed per stall. Horses are not permitted to stay in trailers or any other area of the park. At least one person must stay in the campground overnight for the entire duration of the stall reservation.
C - EW White Oak - EW White Oak - Thirty-one mostly shaded RV or tent sites with gravel pads, electricity (30-amp service) and water (no sewer hookups at site). Maximum RV length is 40 feet with parking for tow or towed vehicles on sites. The campground has dump stations, showers and flush toilets.
D - EW Whispering Pines - Twenty-three RV or tent sites with gravel pads, electricity (30 and 50-amp service) and water (no sewer hookups at site). Maximum RV length is 50 feet with parking for tow or towed vehicles on sites. The campground has dump stations, showers and flush toilets. A playground is nearby.
Total sites: 87
Hiking, bridle and mountain bike trails (no horse rentals). There are more than 40 miles of wooded hiking trails to choose from throughout the year, ranging from easy to difficult. Many park trails are open to mountain bikers, however hikers have the right-of-way. Douthat has 6 miles of bridle trails. Visit the park office for a map depicting trails at Douthat.
Between the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day, guarded beach swimming is available for a fee. Operating hours are 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Friday to Sunday and on holidays, and 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday to Thursday. Weather and other issues may at times force suspension of guarded swimming. When guarded swimming is unavailable, guests may swim at the beach’s designated area but do so at their own risk. Swimming elsewhere in the park is prohibited. Click here for park fees.
Free Wi-Fi is available near the bathhouse.
Douthat Lake is a 50-acre fee-fishing lake stocked with rainbow, brown and brook trout twice a week during the fee season. The lake also offers excellent largemouth bass fishing and fair opportunities for landing sunfish, black crappie, and channel catfish. It’s also an excellent lake for chain pickerel with October being the top month. A three-mile reach of Wilson Creek was opened to fee fishing in 1993. A special trout fishing area for the kids also has been created on a section of Wilson Creek just below the dam. Fishing is not allowed anywhere in the park during the five days before the first Saturday in April. Licenses and permits required vary during the year.
Special seasonal regulations apply at Douthat Lake. Those 16 and older (in-state) or 12 and older (out of state) need a valid Virginia freshwater fishing license. In addition, a Virginia Trout license or daily fishing permit is required, depending on the season. There is a daily creel limit of six trout with a seven inch minimum. One pole per person allowed, separate stringers required. Fishing hours are posted at the park.
Anyone planning to fish will need a valid Virginia freshwater fishing license. In addition, the following rules may apply, depending on when the person will be fishing. Licenses and permits are available at the camp store and wherever Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) licenses are sold.
Special fishing rules applying to children:
Call 434-525-FISH to hear VDGIF's recorded message listing trout stocking activity. DGIF administers fishing licenses and regulations; call 804-367-1000 or visit its license page for more information and fees.
Boating: Boats can be rented from the first Saturday in April through the end of October. Jon boats with and without electric motors, canoes, paddleboats, hydrobikes, funyaks, and paddleboards are available for rent during that time. If no one is at the boathouse, guests should go to the camp store for help.
A boat launch ramp is available for guests with their own non-gasoline powered boat. No launching fee is charged, but boats must be moored in designated areas. Year-round boat storage is also available from the park for a fee. No gas powered equipment is allowed on the lake.
ATTENTION: Clean plant debris, insects and mollusks (snails) from your boat and accessories before arriving at the park. Invasive species harm the lake by out-competing native species. Your vigilance ensures a quality fishing and recreational experience for you and future users of the park’s waters.
Douthat Lake is lowered for maintenance on Jan. 1 and is raised back to normal depth by March 31. This impacts boating, fishing and the lake’s appearance. Fishing is allowed, but guests will be unable to fish from piers. Because the ramp at the north end of the lake is closed during this time, boating is not allowed.
There's an equestrian campground at the northern end of the park. The campground offers access to the park's multi-use trail. There's also a horse trailer parking lot located at Flat Run trailhead. No horse rentals.
Within an hour's drive of Douthat State Park you will find:
Alleghany County: Visit the Arts and Crafts Center, the Historic Stonewall Theater and the C&O Historical Society Archives in the Railroad Museum in downtown Clifton Forge. Further west is Virginia’s oldest standing covered bridge on Rt. 60, west of Covington. Travel Rt. 220, north of Covington and find Falling Springs, described by Thomas Jefferson as a "remarkable cascade . . . falling over a rock about 200 feet to the valley below."
Bath County: Visit the Garth Newel Music Center, the Warm Springs Baths and the Bath County Historical Society Museum. Bath County is the home of The Homestead, a National Historic Landmark covering 15,000 acres. Horseback riding, skeet shooting, golf and many other activities abound.
Lexington: The home of Natural Bridge, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Nearby is the Natural Bridge Zoo. Lexington is also home to the Virginia Military Institute, Washington and Lee University, Safari Park and the Virginia Horse Center. Civil War history abounds throughout this historic town.
Staunton: Take a trip back in time and visit the Museum of American Frontier Culture. Also visit Woodrow Wilson's birthplace and historic Mary Baldwin College. Country and gospel music fans won't want to miss the Statler Brothers Museum complex. Also be sure to visit the museum of renowned artist P. Buckley Moss. Take in a fresh, energetic approach to Shakespeare at the Shendandoah Shakespeare Blackfriars Playhouse.
Roanoke: While in Roanoke, visit the Science Museum, Center in the Square, the Planetarium, the Museum of Transportation, the Explore Park, Mill Mountain Zoo and the market area in downtown Roanoke. Also be sure to tour the Dixie Caverns.
White Sulphur Springs, W. Va.: The Greenbrier, nestled in 6,500 acres of the Alleghany Mountains, features golf, tennis, horseback riding, mineral baths and spacious accommodations.
Douthat has three picnic areas with shelters, grills and restroom facilities. All picnic areas available on a first-come, first-served basis with the exception of the shelters, which must be reserved by calling the Customer Service Center at 1-800-933-PARK.
Douthat State Park Picnic Shelters
Three shelters are available for rent. Parking and swimming fees are not included in the shelter rental fee. Click here for park fees. Shelters can be rented from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Cancellation policy: No refund within 14 days before reserved date. Before then, there's a cancellation fee.
Camp Douthat Shelter 1: Large shelter can accommodate 100 people under the shelter and approximately 200 additional people around it. Has electric hookup and two fireplaces with both ends of the shelter closed in. Three horseshoe pits available (bring your own horseshoes). Water spigot and hiking trails close by.
Camp Carson Shelter 2: Large shelter can accommodate 70 people under the shelter. Restroom is universally accessible via ramp approximately 100 feet from shelter. No electricity, but water is available. Horse shoe pit available (bring your own horseshoes). Hiking trails and playground nearby.
Camp Malone Shelter 3: Small shelter can accommodate 50 people under the shelter (other picnic tables are not close to shelter area). Overlooks dam area and lake. A children's play area is nearby. Access to restrooms. Water spigot close by. Two horseshoe pits available (bring your own horseshoes). Hiking trails and playground nearby. Electricity is available.
Douthat's Alleghany Room, which is above the beach house, seats up to 65. The room is ideal for meetings in the fall, winter or spring. Beard's Mountain Lodge accommodates up to 16 people, Creasey Lodge accommodates up to 18 people, and the park has 32 cabins. Call the park office at 540-862-8100 for more information. Douthat's amphitheater and restaurant also make it the perfect wedding spot.
Located in the main office.
Douthat Lakeview Restaurant, an original CCC facility, is a full-service restaurant that overlooks the lake and has recently been renovated. It features a glass enclosed porch overlooking the lake, and central heat and air. A deck at the restaurant seats up to 32 people and can be rented for private parties.
From the first Saturday in April through Memorial Day, the restaurant is open only on weekends; on Friday from 4 p.m to 8 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The restaurant hours are the same from Labor Day through Oct. 31 as well.
From Memorial Day through Labor Day, the restaurant is open Wednesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
The restaurant is available year-round for special catering needs. Here is the restaurant's menu.
This park has a snack bar in season.
Adjacent to the restaurant is a camp store with convenience items, camping goods and fishing necessities. It's open from 1 to 6 p.m. on the Friday before the first Saturday in April (for special trout licenses). From the first Saturday in April through June 15, it's open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. From June 16 through Sept. 14, the camp store is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, it's open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
There's a gift shop in the main office complex. The shop opens at 8 a.m. each morning and closes when the park office closes. It has gifts, crafts, books and clothing.
Ten minutes from the park on Rt. 60 toward Clifton Forge.
None. To help make the park's goal of establishing an environmental education center a reality, contact Douthat State Park Environmental Education Group.
Douthat's amphitheater is nestled on a point by Douthat Lake. Its bench seating accommodates up to 125 with room for blankets and lawn chairs. Electricity is available, and the facility may be rented for weddings, performances, etc., by calling the park office at 540-862-8100. The cost is $100 per day.
Programs are offered seven days a week from mid-June through Labor Day and on weekends only in April, May, September and October. Offerings include guided hikes, canoe tours, children's programs, crafts, lectures and much more. Click here to view all parks' events, festivals, workshops and interpretive programs.
Educational outreach program: During the school year, park staff members host environmental education programs in the park. They also visit schools in the six counties surrounding the park. Call (540) 862-8114 if you'd like to schedule such a school visit. Outreach opportunities are also available to scout groups, 4-H groups, civic organizations, church groups, senior groups and others.
To help make the park's goal of establishing an environmental education center a reality or to learn about the park's friends group, visit the Douthat State Park Environmental Education Group's website.
Douthat has a camp store next to Lakeview Restaurant and a concession at the beach. Concessions operate from the Saturday before Memorial Day through Labor Day. They have a snack bar and rental facility for boats and floats.
Douthat was one of six state parks planned by the Commonwealth in the early 1930s. The initial 1,920 acres of the present-day park was donated by the Douthat Land Company, a consortium of Virginia businessmen. The rest of the land was purchased with a portion of the $50,000 in funds allocated by the General Assembly in 1933 for park land acquisition. The establishment of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) as part of the emergency Conservation Works by President Roosevelt in 1933 provided the means for development of the parks. An estimated 600 men lived and worked at the three camps responsible for building Douthat's facilities. Between 1933 and 1942, these men cleared trails, built a dam and spillway, cabins, a restaurant, an information center, superintendent's residence, swimming beach, picnic areas and maintenance building, hinges, as well as hand-wrought iron hardware, light fixtures and door and shutter latches. The built and natural features of the park have remained virtually unchanged since construction. In 1986, the 50th anniversary of Douthat State Park and the Virginia State Park System, Douthat was recognized as a Nationally Registered Historic District. In 1998, Douthat won the Virginia Lakes and Watersheds Association award for best operated and maintained dam for its Douthat Lake Dam. In 1999, Douthat received the Centennial Medallion from the American Society of Landscape Architects.
The park enjoys the support of a nonprofit citizen group, Douthat State Park Environmental Education Group. Its mission is to raise funds and provide labor and materiel for activities that enhance the park's educational and recreational opportunities. To join or learn more about the group, click here.
Master plans must be written for parks before they're built. The plans are updated at least once every 10 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.
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 Douthat State Park.
View all wildlife encounter photos from Douthat State Park.