Leesylvania is nestled along the tidal shores of the historic Potomac River. Native Americans lived on this land for thousands of years. Capt. John Smith visited the area in 1608 on his voyage of discovery. It's also the ancestral home of Virginia's legendary Lee and Fairfax families. Listed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks, Leesylvania offers many land and water activities, including hiking, picnicking, fishing and boating. A universally accessible fishing pier, playground, boat launch, boat storage area, snack bar and store, visitor center and gift shop are available. A 20-station fitness trail and canoe and kayak rentals also are available.
6 a.m. to a half-hour after sunset Monday through Friday. 5 a.m to a half-hour after sunset on Saturday and Sunday.
Leesylvania State Park is in the southeast area of Prince William County, about 25 miles from Washington, D.C., and Fredericksburg. From I-95, take Rippon Landing Exit 156, then go east on Dale Blvd. to U.S. 1. Jefferson Davis Hwy. Turn right on Jefferson Davis Hwy., and then turn left onto Neabsco Rd. (Route 610) east for about two miles.
Its address is 2001 Daniel K. Ludwig Dr., Woodbridge, VA 22191-4504; Latitude, 38.589344. Longitude, -77.263498.
Drive Time: Northern Virginia, half an hour; Richmond, one and a half hours; Tidewater/Norfolk/Virginia Beach, two and a half hours; Roanoke, four hours
A small, tents-only primitive campground is available only for groups. Four tents-only primitive camp sites are available only for guests arriving by canoe/kayak. Reservations are required and must be made through the park's office. For information on availability of other parks' 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.
CABINS/CAMPING: Leesylvania State Park allows group camping and paddle-in camping; call the park office for details and to make reservations. There are no cabins at Leesylvania.
The park has five hiking trails passing through rich natural and historical features of the Potomac. The park also includes a segment of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail. The park boasts many scenic overlooks of the Potomac including one on the remains of a Civil War Confederate gun battery at Freestone Point.
There are no designated swimming areas. Swimming is hazardous because of swift currents, sudden drop-offs and unseen obstructions.
The Potomac River is an excellent largemouth bass fishery. The river is tidal here, and the water considered fresh. Other sport fish include catfish, perch and striped bass. A Virginia or Maryland freshwater fishing license is required, and the park also honors Potomac River Fisheries Commission licenses. The park has a 300-foot accessible fishing pier.
The park has a popular boat ramp area with two ramps, sailboat hoists and parking for 186 cars or trailers. Also in the area is a dock with a store and gas. Motorboats are allowed, and there's no horsepower restriction. There's a cartop launch for smaller boats, such as canoes and kayaks, on Powells Creek. Guests may rent canoes, tandem kayaks and stand-up paddle boards at the Breakwater Marina store from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Click here for park fees. The park also rents sailboats through a concessionaire, the Woodbridge Sailing School.
Overnight boating and pier fishing are allowed March 1 to Oct. 31. Overnight fishing requires a permit that must be obtained during normal park operating hours. Boat storage across from the marina is available year-round. Call the park office for information and pricing.
None at this park.
Click here for the park's trail guide.
Prince William County has a number of places and activities for the whole family. Manassas National Battlefield Park, The Manasass Museum, Prince William Forest National Park, Weems-Botts Museum, Occoquan National Wildlife Refuge, Splashdown Water Park, several golf courses, minor league baseball and Potomac Mills (the largest outlet mall in Virginia) are some of the other places and activities available.
Four large picnic shelters and an open area (Lee's Landing) are available for rent. To reserve, call the Reservations Center at 1-800-933-PARK. Per car parking fees are not covered in the rental (see "parking/admission" above). Click here for park fees. Shelters can be rented from 8 a.m. to dark (all day).
A special use permit is required if you plan to use the shelter for something other than just picnicking - e.g., a worship service, special event or wedding. (Shelter 4, if available, is recommended for weddings.) The permit details how the shelter can be used and when. These permits take at least 30 days to process and are obtained by calling the park directly. Once the shelter capacity is reached, guests beyond that number must be turned away by park staff.
State law permits alcohol use only in private areas or in areas designated on permits issued by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Events with alcohol must receive prior park authorization through the special use permit process. Also, amplification equipment, including megaphones, is not allowed in Leesylvania State Park.
Cancellation policy: No refund within 14 days before reserved date. Before then, there's a cancellation fee.
Shelter 1, Freestone Point - The shelter, which is near the river and universally accessible, accommodates 100. It is about 225 feet from the nearest restroom, 400 feet from the parking lot and 100 feet from the river. There's a large parking area near this shady shelter, which features a large grill, electricity and a water spigot.
Shelter 2, Fairfax Landing - This shelter, near the river, accommodates up to 100 and is ideal for kids. It's near the playground and has level area for games. It's about 185 feet from a restroom, 140 feet from the parking lot and 103 feet from the river. It features a water spigot, a large grill and electricity.
Shelter 3, Potomac Beach - This shady shelter has a nice view of the river, which is only 135 feet away, and is near the sailboat parking lot. Parking is about 100 feet away, with the nearest restroom about 300 feet away. The shelter has a water spigot, a large grill and electricity.
Shelter 4, Lee's Landing - This shelter is octagonal and has picnic tables with benches. Any use other than simple picnicking may require a special use permit, extra fees or both. Anyone planning such other uses should call Leesylvania State Park to see if such a permit is required. Special use permits are obtained by calling the park directly at least 30 days beforehand. It may prove impossible to process requests made fewer than 30 days in advance in time.
As with all other park shelters, no amplification equipment - megaphones, microphones, etc. - is permitted. 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. Events with alcohol must receive prior park authorization through the special use permit process.
This shelter accommodates up to 100 and has restrooms, water and electricity available. Parking is nearby, adjacent to the sailboat launch area. The shelter, which offers a splendid view of the Potomac River, is completely universally accessible.
Weddings, receptions and any function beyond a standard picnic can be accommodated, but such functions require a special use permit, extra fees or both. The park issues special use permits. Guests planning such events should call the park before renting the shelter to see if a special use permit is required.
The Lee's Landing shelter also offers two additional options, each priced separately, for wedding, reception and event packages. These options are unavailable for the other three shelters at Leesylvania. The first is parking for up to 25 cars. This option can be used alone, but a special use permit might be required for events requiring such an option. The second option is for replacement tables and chairs. This choice allows you to have the shelter's normal picnic tables and benches replaced by 100 chairs and 14 six-foot round tables. Events requiring special tables and chairs require a special use permit and extra fees. The special tables, which have folding legs, are gray. The chairs have padded seats and are made of white plastic. Those making the reservation must bring their own tablecloths and any items other than the tables and chairs. Click here for pricing details (select "Picnic shelters"). Please call the park for more detail.
Leesylvania also rents a volleyball net and game equipment for use with a picnic shelter for a nominal fee. Guests must handle setup.
This park has a small meeting room.
The park has a large visitor center featuring historic and nature displays, an environmental education classroom and a gift shop.
Many nearby. This park has a snack bar in season.
None at park.
The park participates in Virginia’s State Parks: Your Backyard Classrooms, a 40 activity curriculum guide for use by teachers of grades K-12.
None at this park.
Canoe tours, guided historic and nature walks, children’s fishing tournaments, Junior Ranger day camps, and historical programming. Music at the Marina concert series, May-September; and Junior Ranger summer camps, June-August. Click here to view all parks' events, festivals, workshops and interpretive programs.
The park store operates from April through October. It features a snack bar offering pizza, sandwiches, breakfast items, ice cream and cold drinks. Groceries, marine gasoline and oil, bait and tackle, t-shirts, hats and souvenirs are also available. The marina store has a boat pump-out station and bathrooms with showers. Gas is available during store hours. The park also offers sailboat rentals through a private concessionaire, the Woodbridge Sailing School.
Leesylvania State Park opened in 1989, and more facilities were added in 1992. In 1978, noted philanthropist Daniel Ludwig donated the land to the state for a park. A national historical society, the Society of Lees of Virginia, was instrumental in securing the donation. Locally the area is known as "Freestone Point," referring to the sandstone early settlers took from the property for building. Henry Lee II lived on the property from 1747 until his death in 1787. His wife died five years later and both were buried in the family gravesite, which is still on the property. Their mansion burned soon after Mrs. Lee died. Eight children were born at Leesylvania, including Henry Lee III (Light Horse Harry), a cavalry colonel in the revolution, governor of Virginia (1791-1794) and father of Robert E. Lee. In 1825 the property was sold to Henry Fairfax. His son John, later an aide to CSA Gen. James Longstreet, inherited the property in 1847. The Fairfax house burned in 1910, shortly after John's death, but many remnants, including a large chimney that has been restored, remain on the site. In addition, Freestone Point was the site of a Confederate force and gun emplacement during the Civil War.
The Friends of Leesylvania State Park help the park serve visitors and protect the park's natural resources. The group raises money and supports park programs such as the Junior Rangers, Free Kids Fishing Tournaments and Haunted History Hikes. Friends also help guests and promote the park's unique nature and history, as well as fishing, boating and more. Members have many interests and various backgrounds. There are several membership options. Feel free to email Friends of Leesylvania to learn more or come to one of its meetings. It meets every third Tuesday of the month at 7:30pm at the Visitor Center.
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.