York River State Park is one of the most beautiful of all the state parks, and one of the best locations in Virginia to visit with family and friends or on your own. It has many different things to offer, from great views that you can take in to fun activities that you can do while out experiencing nature in a way that cannot be found within the city. The park is close enough to make it easy to get to and yet far enough away that you feel like you have made a temporary and refreshing escape.
One of the best things to do at York River State Park is to go boating on the river. You can go fishing along the river, starting at Croaker Landing, or in Woodstock Pond. Both places offer a great many fish to be caught and will provide a good time for all. If you would rather not fish, but still want to get on the water, there are guided canoe and kayak tours that can be taken down the river. These tours give you a chance to get some exercise, as paddling either style of boat can be a workout, and also give you the chance to hear from a tour guide who knows a lot about the region. There are also rental boats, without motors, that can be taken out for a small fee, even outside of the official tour setting.
Another fun activity is to go mountain biking. The park has three different trails — the Marl Ravine Trail, the Laurel Glen Trail, and the Black Bear Run Trail — which are devoted to mountain biking. The first is for experienced bikers, and the second for people who are just starting out or who are in the mood for something a bit less challenging. The Black Bear Run Trail is a connecting trail, which brings the other two together.
If you are more interested in hiking, you can do that as well, along the twenty-five miles of trail that cover the park. The wilderness is very diverse and interesting, and any of the hiking trails offer many different views and styles of hiking to be experienced. These trails can be used by those with experience or those who have never undertaken a serious hike before, as they are challenging, but not so much so that they become overwhelming.
One of the main attractions, the thing that sets the York River State Park apart from other parks, is the river itself. The water creates the park, giving it a very natural look and providing recreational activities. The river is great for artists, who either want to sit and paint it from afar or to photograph is as it moves along on its path through the park. The river also means that there are many different types of wildlife in the park, who make their homes in and around the water. This can be great for those who want to go birdwatching or who just want to see animals and birds living in their natural habitat. The river is clean and clear, and looks beautiful with the tall grass all around.
The one thing that the park lacks is swimming, though this should not be much of a detriment, as there are so many other things to do that you are likely to forget that you ever wanted to go swimming. Also, activities that are close to swimming — such as boating — will give you enough to do on the water that you will not feel that your opportunity has been missed or your experience wasted.
All in all, York River State Park is a great park that can give many people a chance to see the beauty of Virginia in the way that it was meant to be seen. It offers an excellent way to get out and experience the wilderness either for those who have never done so before or for those who have done so and want to do it again. The park is clean and well taken care of, and there are few destinations in Virginia that provide such a fun and invigorating getaway for the entire family.