Powhatan State Park along the James River in northern Powhatan County will become Virginia’s 36th Virginia State Park when it opens its gates at 10 a.m., Saturday, July 6. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at a formal ceremony.
Activities begin at 10 a.m. More than a dozen exhibitors from state and local organizations including the Powhatan Historical Society, James River Association and Virginia Museum of Radio Entertainment will provide information on a variety of outdoor, cultural and historical activities. Friends of Powhatan State Park will sell food and drinks.
At 2 p.m. the park’s riverfront area will be the site to a formal opening ceremony featuring state and local leaders and a keynote by Gov. McDonnell. Following a ribbon cutting, the group Farm Use String Band will provide entertainment until 5 p.m.
The 1,564 acre Powhatan State Park has 2.5 miles of frontage along the southern bank of the James River. The land, originally part of the Beaumont Correctional Center, was transferred from the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice to the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation for use as a state park in 2003.
Virginia’s newest state park offers three picnic shelters, a children’s playground, a canoe slide, equestrian parking, seven miles of multi-use trails and two miles of hiking trails. The park also includes a park office, maintenance area and staff residence. Facilities were completed in 2012. Local volunteers were instrumental in developing the park’s trail system. The state park’s master plan calls for additional facilities to include camping, cabins and improvements to the intersection of Routes 617 and 522.
The park’s shelters and canoe slide area are being used during the grand opening ceremonies. They will be available for regular use beginning July 7. The park is located at 4616 Powhatan State Park Road, Powhatan, Virginia 23139. For more information on all of Virginia’s State Parks go to www.virginiastateparks.gov or call toll-free 1-800-933-PARK (7275).