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Leesylvania State Park

2001 Daniel K. Ludwig Dr., Woodbridge, VA 22191; Phone: 703-730-8205; Email: Leesylvania@dcr.virginia.gov

Location of Leesylvania State Park in Virginia

About this park ...

Google map thumbnail showing Leesylvania State Park's location Click for Leesylvania State Park Forecast
Latitude, 38.589344. Longitude, -77.263498.

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General Information

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.

Hours

6 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. 5 a.m - 8:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Location

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

Park Size

542 acres on a peninsula bordered by the Potomac River, Neabsco Creek and Powells Creek.

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Cabins, camping

OVERNIGHT FACILITIES

A small, tents-only primitive campground is available only for groups. 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; call the park office for details and to make reservations. There are no cabins at Leesylvania.

Recreation

TRAILS

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.

Va. Outdoors sign

Visit the Explore Virginia Outdoors website for enhanced maps and video tours of Leesylvania's trails.

SWIMMING

There are no designated swimming areas. The park picnic area features ½-mile of natural sand beach on the Potomac River. Swimming from the shore is not allowed. Bottom hazards and boat traffic make the beach unsafe for such activities. Wading, walking and sunning are allowed.

FISHING, BOATING

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. The park has a 300-foot accessible fishing pier.

The park also has a popular boat ramp. This area features launching ramps, sailboat hoists and parking for 186 cars or trailers. A cartop launch area is located on Powells Creek for smaller boats such as canoes, kayaks, etc. The park store and gas dock are also located here. Motorboats are allowed. There are no restrictions on motor horsepower. Click here for park fees.

Overnight boating and pier fishing are allowed March 1 to Nov. 1. Overnight fishing requires a permit, however, and permits must be obtained during normal park operating hours. Boat storage is available year-round across from the marina. Please call the park office for information and pricing.

HORSES

None at this park.

Park Trail Guide

Click here for the park's trail guide.

Nearby Attractions

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.

Picnic Shelters

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 (inside a cabin or camping unit) or in areas designated on permits issued by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. 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.

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 50 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 15 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.

Meeting Space and Facilities

MEETING FACILITIES

This park has a small meeting room.

VISITOR CENTER, GIFT SHOP

The park has a large visitor center featuring historic and nature displays, an environmental education classroom and a gift shop.

RESTAURANT

Many nearby. This park has a snack bar in season.

LAUNDRY

None at park.

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTER

The park participates in Virginia’s State Parks: Your Backyard Classrooms, a 40 activity curriculum guide for use by teachers of grades K-12.

SPECIAL FEATURES

None at this park.

Other Info

ACCESSIBILITY:

  • Park Office/Public Restroom: Parking space (one each), bathroom (sinks, toilet), sidewalk (concrete), wheelchair clearances in building.
  • Park Store/Public Restroom: Parking spaces (six each), sidewalks (concrete), ramps to store and store deck, deck tables (two each), bathrooms (sinks, toilet, shower) and wheelchair clearance in building.
  • Boat Launch: Piers at launch ramp, parking spaces for vehicle/boat trailer (four each), parking spaces for fishermen at bulkhead, public phones.
  • Visitor Center: Parking spaces, sidewalks (concrete), wheelchair clearances in building, bathroom (sinks, toilet), accessible exhibits.
  • Picnic Areas: Lee's Landing - Parking spaces, picnic area restroom, sidewalks, bathroom (sinks, toilet). Freestone Point Area - Parking spaces, picnic area restroom, sidewalks and trail, bathroom (sinks, toilet), parking spaces (three each), public phone. Picnic Shelters, connection trail, tables.
  • Fishing Pier: Parking spaces (three each), connection trail, concrete ramp to pier, wheelchair accessible rail space.
  • Amphitheatre: Parking spaces, connection trail, sidewalk.
  • Potomac Trail: Accessible grade and surfacing through picnic area along waterfront.
  • Bushey Point Trail - This one-mile trail's accessibility has recently been improved.
  • Playground: Parking spaces, asphalt connection trail, chair accessible equipment.
  • Although motorized vehicles are not permitted on park trails, electric wheelchairs and electric scooters that meet the federal definition for wheelchairs are allowed to enable people with disabilities to use the trails.

NATURE, HISTORY PROGRAMS

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; Junior Ranger summer camps, June-August; and Multi-cultural Celebration in June. Click here to view all parks' events, festivals, workshops and interpretive programs.

CONCESSIONS

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 (pay at the pump) all year, 24 hours a day. The park also offers sailboat rentals through a private concessionaire, the Woodbridge Sailing School.

HISTORY

Leesylvania State Park opened full time 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.

FRIENDS GROUP

The Friends 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, Multicultural Celebration, 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.

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.

 

Upcoming Events

 
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Articles

Volunteers and staff from Leesylvania State Park help to raise funds for the National Breast Cancer Foundation on Saturday August 9, 2014
Leesylvania State Park offers a great weekend for family fun June 27-29 in honor of their 25th Anniversary.
Join park staff and the Friends of Leesylvania State Park to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the opening of the park on June 28th at 6:00p.m.
Christmas reflections of the American Civil War at Leesylvania State Park Dec. 21 and 22.

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.
AmphitheaterBoat LaunchCamp Store/Gift ShopCanoe AccessEnvironmental Education Center, Nature/Cultural Programs, Visitor CenterGroup CampingHikingMarinaMotor Boats PermittedParking feePicnic Shelter Rentals, Picnic TablesPier, ShorePlaygroundsRestroomsShowersSnack BarUniversally Accessible
Amphitheater, Boat Launch, Camp Store/Gift Shop, Canoe Access, Environmental Education Center, Nature/Cultural Programs, Visitor Center, Group Camping, Hiking, Marina, Motor Boats Permitted, Parking fee, Picnic Shelter Rentals, Picnic Tables, Pier, Shore, Playgrounds, Restrooms, Showers, Snack Bar, Universally Accessible