Deep in the Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest, Holliday Lake is a paradise for the outdoor enthusiast. Fishing for largemouth bass, crappie and bluegill is popular. Swimming at the park's guarded beach and the "Critter Hole" play area are visitor favorites. The park has several hiking trails, including a connector trail to the 10.2-mile Carter Taylor Multi-use Trail for hikers, bicyclists and horseback riders. Visitors enjoy its campgrounds, picnic shelters, playgrounds, seasonal concession stand, gift shop and boat ramp. The park rents canoes, kayaks, jon boats, stand-up paddleboards and pedal-boats. Holliday Lake is just minutes from the famous Appomattox Court House National Historical Park where Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in 1865 ending the American Civil War in Virginia.
8 a.m.- dusk.
Access via State Route 24 between Appomattox and U.S. 60 and from Routes 626, 640 and 692. Approximately 12 miles from the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park.
Its address is 2759 State Park Road, Appomattox, VA 24522; Latitude, 37.395945. Longitude, -78.640327.
Drive Time: Northern Virginia, three and a half hours; Richmond, two hours; Tidewater/Norfolk/Virginia Beach, four hours; Roanoke, two hours
Note: Visitors driving from Buckingham County via Route 636 may want to avoid Routes 614 and 640, which have gravel, and proceed west to Route 24.
560 acres. Lake: 119 acres.
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 for details on reservation cancellation and transfer policies.
Cabins: None, but nearby James River, Bear Creek Lake and Twin Lakes state parks have cabins.
Holliday Lake allows guests to reserve specific sites for the 2017 camping season. Here's a chart of those campsites.
Laurel Ridge and Redbud campgrounds. Laurel Ridge is well-suited for RVs up to 38 feet long, and Redbud allows tents, trailers, conversion vans and pop-ups up to 30 feet long.
Group camping area - GroupSite - All standard tent sites, no hookups. Must fit on a 16 x 20 foot pad. Each site has a picnic table and lantern holder. There's a large shared grill for the entire area.
Camping lodge (bunkhouse) – Two-night minimum; no weekly requirement. It can be rented only during camping season, from the first Friday in March through the first Sunday of December. The three-room, climate-controlled trailer has seven bunk beds, a refrigerator, a microwave and a coffee maker. Outside the lodge is a deck, a fire ring with cooking grate, a large pedestal grill, a water spigot, and a small screened-in picnic shelter with two tables and an outdoor sink. Water is available during warmer months; call the park to verify. Cooking and smoking are not permitted inside the lodge. Parking for five vehicles is covered with rental of the lodge; all other vehicles must pay the park's daily parking fee. Additional cars must park in the field across from Redbud Campground. This facility is not sold 11 months in advance; it goes online in January each year. Check-in is 4 p.m., and check-out is 10 a.m.
Laurel Ridge Campground - LREW38ftYellow (Electric and Water) - color code: yellow. Offers 20, 30 and 50 amp hookup. Various equipment up to 38 feet; six sites. The sites have been designed for larger RVs.
Redbud Campground - RBEW30ftGreen (Electric and Water) - color code: green. Allows trailers, motorhomes and popups 22-30 feet long. RBEW22ftWhite (Electric and Water) - Color code: white. Allows tents, vans, trailers, motorhomes and popups up to 22 long. Offers 20 and 30-amp hookup. Total 30 sites.
Total sites of each type: Laurel Ridge; LREW38ftYellow, 6; Redbud; RBEW30Green, 8; and RBEW22White, 22. GroupSite, 1. CampLodge, 1.
The park has seven hiking trails and one aquatic trail. Lakeshore Trail is a 6.3-mile hiking trail that loops around the lake and the Holiday Lake 4-H Educational Center, passing through a hardwood forest, wetlands and managed pine plantation. Saunders Creek Trail provides access from the campground to the picnic area and is .1-mile in length. Dogwood Ridge Trail is a .7-mile loop that starts across from Redbud Campground. Northridge Trail is .4-miles and provides a ridge top walk from the picnic area toward the northern end of Holliday Lake and hooks up with the Lakeshore Trail. The Laurel Ridge Trail runs from the Laurel Ridge Campground and connects to Saunders Creek Trail. The S-Curve Trail, which begins at Redbud Campground and ends at the picnic area, enables guests to stay off of the road. The Sunfish Aquatic Trail is a self-guided water adventure that requires a boat and free trail brochure. A brochure map and numbered stop's provide information about the lake and environment as you paddle around its edges. The trailhead for Carter Taylor Connector Trail is next to the amphitheater. The trail connects to a 10.2-mile loop in the Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest for hikers, bicycle riders and horseback riders. A State Forest Use Permit is required for bicyclists and equestrians using that trail.
Between the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day, guarded beach swimming is available for a fee. 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. Discount swim coupons and annual swimming passes are available at the park only. Hours are weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and weekends and holidays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The beach area has a bathhouse and a concession operation. Rental boats and beach merchandise are available at the boathouse.
When the beach reaches capacity, park staff may stop selling and distributing swim arm bands to day-use and overnight guests until the number of people on the beach reaches a safe level. The concession stand will remain open at such times. We apologize for any inconvenience.
If you’re looking for great largemouth bass fishing, this scenic lake is for you. You’ll also find chain pickerel, crappie and yellow perch. It’s a good place to escape the daily grind and enjoy a peaceful day on the water.
Fishing is available with valid Virginia fishing license. Licenses are sold at the park Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Boat Launching is available; electric motors only. No gas-powered boats.
Boat Rentals: Jon boats, canoes, and kayaks are available from the first weekend in April through last weekend in October, weather permitting. Guests should rent from the park office or contact station prior to Memorial Day weekend and after Labor Day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. From Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, boats are rented at the boat house from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends and holidays. One-hour and half and full-day rentals are available for Jon boats, canoes and sit-on-top kayaks. Stand-up paddle boards are rented by the hour, and pedal-boats are rented for 30 or 60 minutes; both are available from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.
None at this park.
The park offers lakeside picnicking near the swimming beach. Shelters have tables and grills, and restrooms are nearby. Reserve shelters by calling the Customer Service Center, 800-933-7275. Small shelters only.
Two shelters are available for rent. Parking and swimming fees are not included in shelter rental. Click here for park fees. Shelters can be rented from 8 a.m. to dusk (all day).
Cancellation policy: No refund within 14 days before reserved date. Before then, there's a cancellation fee.
Amenities: Both shelters have a large grill, picnic tables and access to restroom.
None at this park. Nearby Bear Creek Lake and Twin Lakes state parks have meeting facilities.
No visitor center. Gifts and souvenirs are available year-round at the park office. Fishing licenses may be purchased at the park office Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Some camping items are available at the contact station when it's open. Beach supplies, worms and souvenirs are available at the boat house during summer.
None. This park has a snack bar in season where guests may order steak and cheese sandwiches, burgers, onion rings and sno-cones.
Closest laundry facility is 20 minutes from the park.
None at this park.
Click here to view all parks' events, festivals, workshops and interpretive programs. The park offers canoe tours, ranger-conducted hikes, campfire programs, environmental education programs and specialty workshops.
Operate from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Concessions include snack bar and beach swimming.
The snack bar is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends and holidays and stops serving hot food at 6 p.m. On weekdays, it's open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and stops serving hot food at 5 p.m. It may be closed on weekdays after Memorial Day to early June and from mid-August to Labor Day weekend. Call the park for more detail.
The area encompassing Holliday Lake State Park and the surrounding state forest was cleared in the 1800s for farmland. In the 1930s the federal government, through the Resettlement Administration, began buying the farms to return the land to its former productive hardwood forest state. The construction of a dam began at Fish Pond Creek but the dam was relocated to Holliday Creek where a lake could be created. Traces of family cemeteries can still be found in the area. After Holliday Lake was completed in 1938, the state, through an agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, took over the management of the new day-use recreational area. In 1972, with the addition of campsites, the area became a state park.
Feel like lending nature a hand? Please contact the Park at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the opportunity of forming a Friends of Holliday Lake State Park group. This group is a hands-on volunteer organization dedicated to preserving and supporting the park.
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 Holliday Lake State Park.
View all wildlife encounter photos from Holliday Lake State Park.