Whether you are looking for a weekend getaway or a place to vacation with the family for a week, Virginia’s Douthat State Park is the place to go. This park has plenty to keep the outdoor enthusiast busy. From mountain biking to boating and hiking to hunting, you will find plenty to keep you occupied during your trip. Depending on which type of accommodations you are looking for, Douthat offers campgrounds, cabins and lodges. For those days when you want a change of pace, Douthat State Park is surrounded by historical attractions
Situated in the Alleghany Mountains, this park covers 4,493 acres and features a 50-acre lake allowing for plenty of water based activities. While visiting, you will see some of Virginia’s most gorgeous scenery and the park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The park has also been named one of the ten best parks in the nation by Outside Family Vacation Guide.
Swimming is offered from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Park admission fees will need to be paid or, for those staying in the park, this is included in your lodging fees. The beach area features a bathhouse and concession stand and hours of operation are 11 AM to 6 PM Monday through Thursday and 11 AM to 7 PM Friday through Sunday. Be advised that swimming is not guaranteed as circumstances that are beyond the park’s control do come up. No refunds for swimming will be issued to guests staying at the park.
Fee fishing is offered on the 50 acre lake and appropriate state licenses will need to be purchased. The park service stocks this lake with brown, rainbow and brook trout during the season and chances are you will be able to catch a largemouth bass. Many are also able to land black crappie, channel catfish and sunfish. During the month of October, this lake is known for excellent chain pickerel.
Douthat State Park offers a variety of boats for rental. Choose from jonboats with and without electric motors, paddleboats, funyaks, canoes and hydrobikes. The boathouse opens the first Saturday in April and does not close until the end of October. For those who own a non-gasoline powered boat, a launch ramp is available. No launch fees are charged, but certain restrictions do apply. Gas powered equipment may not be used on this lake at any time.
For those who prefer to keep their feet on dry land, the park offers a number of trails for hiking and bicycles. No horses are allowed on these trails though. With over 40 miles of hiking trails to choose from, ranging in difficulty from easy to difficult, you will have plenty to keep you occupied. Mountain bikers may also use these trails, but hikers always have the right-of-way.
Hunting is available in Douthat State Park in the form of reservations hunts. One may reserve a day and, in some places, a stand or zone. A $15 reservation fee will be charged and some sites limit the number of reservations that may be made per call. Required licenses must be presented when you check in.
A variety of nature and history programs are offered at this park. These range from guided hikes and canoe tours to crafts and lectures. Contact the park to see what is being currently offered as the selection does change on a regular basis. These programs run seven days a week from mid-June to Labor Day and are also offered weekends in April, May, September and October.
Cabins, campgrounds and lodges are available if you wish to stay at the park. Cabins offers heat and AC along with some appliances and furnishings. Three state lodges offer reservations for those who prefer a less rustic setting. Here you will have a variety of choices as 35 sites are for rent. Finally, you may choose to camp out as all campsites offer a beautiful view of Douthat Lake. Water is not available at these individual campsites in the months of March and November due to freezing weather. Hot water may be obtained at the bathhouse.
If you are looking for an outdoor getaway with plenty to offer, look no further than Douthat State Park in the Alleghany Mountains of Virginia. With so much to see and do, you will never get bored. It’s no wonder this park is treasured by all who visit.