On the Potomac River's Northern Neck, this park offers many opportunities for family fun. It's listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has an Olympic-sized swimming pool and an adjacent bathhouse, meeting area, snack bar, camp store and power-boat ramp. You'll also find a visitor center, campgrounds, camping cabins, cabins, a playground, a fishing pier, boat rentals and 6 miles of trails. Fossil collectors enjoy hunting for ancient shark teeth along the Potomac. Offshore breakwaters are great for fishing. Birding enthusiasts find the park an excellent site for spotting American bald eagles, ospreys, kingfishers, great blue herons, common terns, green herons and gulls, as well as wintering waterfowl. The Potomac River Retreat is an overnight center suitable for family reunions and other gatherings of up to 16. Its waterfront location provides docking space at a boathouse. Murphy Hall, atop Horse Head Cliffs, offers a superb view of the Potomac River. The hall accommodates up to 72 people for meetings and other gatherings. Amenities include audiovisual equipment, a warming kitchen for catered events and an executive board room.
There's limited cell phone service in the park. WiFi is available at the camp store.
Dawn - dusk.
Facing the Potomac River, the park is six miles northwest of Montross and just off Route 3.
Drive Time: Northern Virginia and Washington D. C., two hours; Richmond, one and a half hours; Tidewater/Norfolk/Virginia Beach, two and a half hours; Roanoke, five and a half hours
Cabins, camping, group camp, camping cabins, Potomac River Retreat. 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. Rates are subject to verification by DCR's state parks reservations staff. First determine the season, which varies by park, then the rate.
Cabin and Potomac River Retreat guests must have either their reservation number(s) or confirmation letter at check-in. Those having arranged for someone else to handle check-in must make sure that person has the reservation number. The number is needed to enter the cabin. Camping and cabin guests also should be prepared to show a valid ID.
Click here to visit a Flickr photoset of typical cabins and lodges at the park. Cabins and lodges vary. Dwellings 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.
During prime season, cabins and the Potomac River Retreat 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 the Customer Service Center 30 days prior to the desired arrival date to see if there is a vacancy. Cabins and the Potomac River Retreat are open year-round and may be reserved up to 11 month in advance.
Please carefully check the sleeping accommodations in the cabins since maximum occupancy may exceed beds available and because there are no rental beds. Customers may bring air mattresses and sleeping bags for guests up to the maximum occupancy.
Check-in is 4 p.m.; check-out is 10 a.m.
From Feb. 15 through April 30, outdoor fires are prohibited from midnight to 4 p.m.
Total sites of each type: One-room Log Efficiency, 3; One-bedroom Log, 4; Two-bedroom Log, 4; Two-bedroom Frame, 2; Two-bedroom Cinderblock, 13; Potomac River Retreat, 1
Potomac River Retreat - This unique abode, which faces the Potomac River, is similar to a timeshare or resort. It accommodates up to 16, counting adults and children, and is on the main road near the pool picnic area (separated by privacy fence). The facility has a deck fronting the Potomac, and the deck has patio tables, chaise lounges, and a charcoal grill. There are five bathrooms (one is accessible for persons with disabilities); one half bath, one shower only, and three with tub/shower.
Guests may sleep using any combination of the above so long as there are no more than 16 people. The facility has two living rooms with sofas, loveseats, occasional chairs, coffee tables, end tables, display cases, a TV with satellite service and a VCR.
A large common area (for use as a conference room or social gathering space) faces the Potomac with many windows and sliding glass doors onto the deck; available with 20 chairs for auditorium style seating (extra fee for tables and chairs), flip-chart, audiovisual equipment, etc. There is an extra charge for audiovisual and flip-chart equipment. Guests who need any of these extras should contact the park a few days before arrival to arrange for their use.
Check-in is 4 p.m., check-out is 3 p.m. From Feb. 15 to April 30, outdoor fires are prohibited from midnight to 4 p.m. unless a camp host is on duty. Propane and gas grills are allowed. Fire-rings cannot be used when outdoor fires are prohibited.
EW - Electric and water hookups, various equipment, RVs of up to 40 feet, bathhouse available. Campgrounds A and B.
Std - No hookups, various equipment. RVs of up to 40 feet, bathhouse available. Campgrounds A, B, C.
GrpTentStd - One group site for up to 40 people, no hookups, tents only. Bathhouse available. Campfires and cooking allowed in provided fire-rings or grills only.
Buddy - Three group campsites for up to 24 per site (one site is in Campground B, two are in Campground C). Each has four 20' x 20' tent pads, one fire-ring, a large pedestal grill and four picnic tables.
The cancellation fee for a group camping reservation (GrpTentStd and Buddy) is higher than is that for a typical campsite.
Total sites of each type: EW, 42; Std, 74; GrpTentStd, 1; Buddy, 3
Total campsites: 133
Camping cabins (CampCabin) - sites 26-31
Check-in is 4 p.m. Check-out is 10 a.m. From Feb. 15 to April 30, outdoor fires are prohibited from midnight to 4 p.m. unless a camp host is on duty. Fire-rings cannot be used when outdoor fires are prohibited.
Hiking and one bicycle trail; no bridle trails. Seven trails, including self-guided interpretive trails, cover six miles. The Civilian Conservation Corps Trail has seven fitness stations. Hikers can observe the flora and wildlife present on the coastal plain. The park’s location beside the Potomac River allows visitors to see how the changing river level affects the land. The park has a beach trail that offers a stunning view of the Potomac River. There are no designated swimming areas along the park's shoreline.
The pool is open from the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. A bathhouse and concessions are located in the pool area. Click here for park fees. In the summer, swimming is free for overnight guests in campsites, cabins and the lodge, however it cannot be guaranteed should circumstances beyond the park's control require that swimming be closed. Prior to mid-June and after mid-August, the pool may be closed on weekdays. Refunds for swimming to overnight guests will not be given under any circumstances. There are no designated swimming areas along the Potomac River at the park.
Fishing in the Potomac River is available throughout the year. A valid saltwater fishing license and annual registration in the state's free saltwater angler identification program is required. Information about licensing and the registration program can be found on the Virginia Marine Resources Commission website. Rock Spring Pond boasts a variety of fish including catfish, bream, bass and crappie. A freshwater fishing license is required at the pond.
Power boats are permitted, and a boat ramp is available. Call 800-933-7275 to buy a money-saving annual boat-launch pass.
The park's boathouse sells ice, bait and tackle. Paddleboats, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards can be rented Memorial Day through Labor Day as well as on weekends from mid-April to Memorial Day and from Labor Day to Columbus Day weekend. The last boat rental is 90 minutes prior to closing time. Boats also will not be rented whenever the National Weather Service has issued a small-watercraft advisory.
None at this park.
Click here for the park's trail guide.
Enjoy this innovative story map, chock full of photos, links and interactive features, to learn more about the many attractions of one of Virginia's most historic and river-rich areas.
Stratford Hall, the birthplace of Robert E. Lee and boyhood home of two signers of the Declaration of Independence, is five minutes from the park; Washington’s Birthplace (National Monument) is 10 minutes from the park; King’s Dominion (amusement park) is one hour from the park as are the Fredericksburg Civil War Battlefields. Learn more about nearby offerings by visiting the Northern Neck Tourism Commission, Westmoreland Travel and Tourism and Colonial Beach sites.
The picnic area, overlooking the Potomac River, has tables, a shelter, restroom facilities and fire grills. The shelter is available by reservation by calling the Customer Service Center at 1-800-933-PARK or first-come, first-served. Parking and swimming fees are not included in shelter rental. The shelter may be rented from 8 a.m. to dark. Click here for park fees.
Shelter 1: This shelter is near the pool. The shelter is atop a hill and has a grill and picnic tables. It also is near a restroom and has a universally accessible ramp. It accommodates 32 people under its roof; there's seating for another 30 people on the deck surrounding the shelter. The picnic area as whole is not reserved, and the general public may use the other tables around the shelter.
Cancellation policy: No refund within 14 days before reserved date. Before then, there's a cancellation fee.
Helen and Tayloe Murphy Hall. To reserve this day-use facility, call the Customer Service Center at 800-933-7275 up to 11 months in advance. Murphy Hall has a main hall, an executive meeting room, a kitchen and grounds. The rental period is from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Cancellation Policy: Reservations must be paid in full within 14 days of the date the reservation is made. Those who cancel reservations 14 or more days before the first day of the reservation will be charged either 10 percent of the total fee or $100, whichever is less. Those cancelling more than 14 before that date will be charged 30 percent of the total fee. Note: A $75 per hour fee is charged by staff when necessary for use beyond the reservation period.
Rent and the cancellation fee for Murphy Hall vary by rental period. One-day rent is $500, and the 30 percent cancellation fee is $150. Each additional day's rent is $350, and the cancellation fee is $105 per day.
Open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. year-round, with extended hours during prime season. Restrooms in the facility are open 24 hours a day. A collection of sharks’ teeth is on display.
None. This park has a snack bar in season.
Coin laundry available in Campground A.
The Discovery Center has wildlife and fossil exhibits and interactive displays. Call the park at 804-493-8821 for operating hours.
Conducted and self-guided walks, evening and children’s programs, Virginia’s State Parks: Your Backyard Classrooms participant. Kayaking, fossil hiking and night hiking programs are available from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Click here to view all parks' events, festivals, workshops and interpretive programs.
Kayak Interpretive Trips: The trip includes basic instruction, safety tips, a guided tour of the shoreline and plenty of kayaking. Trips are offered on most Saturdays from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Guests paddle along part of the park’s natural coast line. Take a walk on Fossil Beach and look for a relic from the past. Guests learn about the cliffs, birds and history of the Potomac River. Kayaks are sit-in and beginner-friendly. Paddles and jackets are provided. Expect to get wet during this 3-mile paddle. Guests should bring sunglasses, sunscreen, gloves, water, snacks and waterproof gear. Sign up at the visitor center. Guests with reservations should arrive 10 minutes early. Not all trips sell out so those interested should visit the Osprey Boathouse 15 minutes before the start time to see if slots are available. Capacity is 16 per trip. Children 6 to 12 must be accompanied by an adult in a tandem kayak. Children under 6 and pets are not permitted. Full refunds will be given only when the park cancels the trip because of weather or small craft advisories. It's only $25 per tandem kayak, $20 per solo and $10 for those who bring their own kayak. Call 804-493-8821 for available times.
Click here for a list of all state park events.
A snack bar is open every day from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The Osprey Boathouse is open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. mid-April to Memorial Day and Labor Day to mid-October, depending on the weather. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, the boathouse is open weekdays 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sundays 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and on holidays 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Kayaks and paddleboats are rented up until 90 minutes before the boathouse closes.
Westmoreland State Park is one of the six original state parks opened in June 1936. The park was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The project created numerous jobs during a period of great hardship. Most of the roads and trails found in the park were originally dug by hand. Located on the Northern Neck Peninsula, the park is just minutes away from George Washington’s birthplace and Stratford Hall, the birthplace Robert E. Lee.
Friends of Westmoreland State Park is a nonprofit citizen group whose mission is to help conserve the park’s natural, cultural, scenic and recreational resources. It also helps provide various recreational and educational opportunities and promotes environmental stewardship. It supports several annual events, including Music on the Cliffs during the summer and the Gobble Wobble 5k Trail Run/Walk in November. To join or learn more about the friends group, email email@example.com or write to Friends of Westmoreland State Park, 145 Cliff Road, Montross, VA 22520.
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 Westmoreland State Park.
View all wildlife encounter photos from Westmoreland State Park.