Belle Isle has seven miles of shoreline on the Northern Neck’s Rappahannock River and provides access to Mulberry and Deep creeks. The park lets visitors explore a wide variety of tidal wetlands interspersed with farmland and upland forests. It has a campground, three picnic shelters, hiking, biking and bridle trails, and motor boat and car-top launches. Belle Isle also offers overnight lodging at Bel Air and the Bel Air Guest House. Bicycle, canoe and kayak rentals are available. Guests also enjoy the park’s universal access playground, boardwalk and fishing pier, and educational programs. The Bel Air historic area is ideal for weddings.

The diverse habitats found in the park provide homes to many predator birds, such as blue herons, osprey, hawks and bald eagles. White-tailed deer, turkeys, groundhogs, rabbits, squirrels, moles, reptiles and amphibians are also common. There are eight distinct types of wetlands within the park. These diverse ecosystems make Belle Isle an excellent outdoor laboratory for environmental education.

Location

Belle Isle State Park Virginia
1632 Belle Isle Rd., Lancaster, VA 22503

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How To Get There

Lancaster County on the Rappahannock River. From Warsaw, take State Route 3 East to SR 354. Turn right and follow for three miles. Turn right onto SR 683 at Somers to the park entrance. From Kilmarnock, take Route 3 West to Lively, then left on SR 201 for three miles, then right on SR 354 for three miles and left onto 683 to the park entrance.

Hours

The park is open 8 a.m. to dusk daily. The Visitor Center/Park Office is open 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily, except holidays. The Camp Store is open Thurs. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fri. 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sun. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Canoe and kayak rentals are closed for the season. Bikes are available to rent year round.

 

Fee

A non-refundable $5 per transaction fee is charged for overnight site rentals.

Updated rates can be accessed here.

Contact Details

Phone: 804-462-5030

Official Website: Belle Isle State Park

Email: belleIsle@dcr.virginia.gov

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Area Attractions

Suggested Equipment for Belle Isle State Park Virginia:

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The following activities within the park should be done with utmost caution. Make sure that you have the proper protective gear and equipment necessary to make your adventures safe and accident-free. We advise you to read the TIPS underneath each activity to serve as a guide on what you may need to bring in order to enjoy your stay fully.

Activities & Tips

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The Bel Air Overnight Area Bel Air house is a 33-acre peninsula of land at the mouth of Deep Creek in Lancaster County. Views of beautiful sunsets over the Rappahannock River make this Northern Neck landmark an ideal place to spend a week with friends, family or associates.

Two houses may be rented together or separately.

The facility is well suited for weddings and other large events. Any event likely to have more than normal occupancy, however, requires prior approval by park staff. Many issues, such as catering, parking, bathroom access, set-up and alcoholic beverage permits, may require park special use permits. Also, all house guests are equally liable for damage to furnishings.

The Bel Air House (also called the Mansion for reservations), and the Guest House are available for rent year-round. Depending on the time of year, a two-night, four-night or week-long minimum stay may be required. Those planning a wedding or family reunion should be aware that both houses must be rented for the event.

The Bel Air House, built in 1942, was the home of Mr. and Mrs. John Garland Pollard Jr. This Colonial reproduction house was designed by Thomas Tilson Waterman, an architectural historian with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in its early years. The construction of the building included using interior materials from other notable historic buildings in the local area. Current furnishings in the building include solid hardwood, Colonial reproductions and oriental rugs that maintain the historic character of the building. Because of fire code requirements, the maximum occupancy of the house is six. Smoking is not permitted. No camping equipment is allowed in the Bel Air Overnight Area.

First floor

Kitchen – fully furnished, microwave, dishwasher (detergent provided), refrigerator with ice maker, pots, pans, cooking utensils, measuring cups and a 12-cup coffee maker

Dining room – dining room table with seats for 10, two side tables with seats for two each (four total), gas fireplace

Living room – sofa, television (no reception), VCR-DVD player, gas fireplace

Library – sofa, two chairs, books

Deep Creek Bedroom – one queen size bed, one dresser, accessible bathroom (shower), adjacent second bathroom with clawfoot tub

Maid’s Room – one day bed, full bathroom

Second floor

Pollard Bedroom – one queen bed, private half bath, dresser

Rappahannock Bedroom – two twin beds, one dresser, closet, shared full bathroom

Northwest Bedroom – one twin bed, one dresser, closet, shared full bathroom

Overall

No linens are provided. Guests must bring their own linens and towels.

Smoking is not allowed

Occupancy is limited to six. This is because of fire code requirements.

Check-in is 4 p.m., check out is 10 a.m., weekly rental runs Monday through Monday

Two canoes and four bicycles for adults are available unless poor weather precludes safe use. For canoes, that means combined water and air temperatures must be at least 120 degrees.

The Bel Air Guest House is 15 feet from a cove on Deep Creek. Picture and bay windows provide beautiful views of sunsets over the Rappahannock River. John Garland Pollard’s children called this building their playhouse.

The building has two sofas and chairs. The great room can be set up in many combinations for different purposes. The house sleeps five but may accommodate eight. No additional bed rentals. Depending on the time of year, a two-night, four-night or week-long minimum may be required.

Kitchen – fully furnished; microwave, 12-cup coffee pot, pots, pans, flatware, cooking utensils, measuring cups

Bedroom 1 – queen-size bed, closet, dresser with mirror and drawers for storage; shared, full bathroom

Bedroom 2 – bunk bed – full-size on the bottom, a single on top, a drawer in the bottom; shared, full bathroom

No bed rentals. Guests may bring sleeping bags and air mattresses.

Great room

Overnight – TV (no reception), DVD player, two sofas and matching chairs, round dining table

Overall

No linens are provided. Guests must bring their own linens and towels.

Beds are provided for five guests. Additional guests must bring their own air mattresses or sleeping bags.

Smoking is not allowed

No more than eight people are allowed overnight in this building.

Check-in is 4 p.m., check-out is 10 a.m. Weekly rentals run from Monday through Monday

Two canoes and four bicycles for adults are available unless poor weather precludes safe use. For canoes, that means combined water and air temperatures must be at least 120 degrees.

Fire ring and charcoal pedestal grill

Reservation codes

Bel Air House (BAMAN-MON)

Bel Air Guest House (BAGH-MON)

Wedding special use guidelines for the Bel Air Area

The Bel Air area is used primarily to provide overnight accommodations similar to lodges and cabins in other Virginia State Parks. However, the grounds and location make it ideal for special events and weddings. For such events, both the Mansion and Guest House must be rented for at least two consecutive nights. Listed below are some general guidelines for special events in the Bel Air Area. A special use permit is required for activities other than normal overnight accommodations. This permit is issued by Belle Isle State Park, not the state parks reservation center. A $25 fee is charged for processing special-use permit requests; checks should be made payable to Treasurer of Virginia.

The number of overnight guests must not exceed that permitted by the park and state codes.

Smoking inside of the buildings is not permitted.

Guests are not guaranteed to check in to the buildings earlier than 4 p.m. If the setup of tents or other equipment on the grounds is necessary, it may be possible to begin by 10:30 a.m. the day of your arrival, but this must be approved by park staff prior to the day.

Guests must check out of the buildings by 10 a.m. on the day of departure. If take-down and removal of tents or equipment are necessary, you will be allowed until 2 p.m. on the day of departure. All grounds should be cleaned by then as well.

Quiet time for the area is 10 p.m. All outside guests, those not spending the night, must leave by then.

Alcoholic beverages may be served (not sold) at the function. A banquet permit is required from the ABC Board, and a copy must be given to park staff at least one week prior to the event. The ABC Board generally takes from two to three weeks to process the request so plan accordingly.

If more than 75 people are expected to the event, portable toilets must be rented by the applicant. The design load of the building restrooms is insufficient for greater than that number. (Additional people’s usage will overload the septic system.)

A special use permit issued by the state is required for tents covering more than 800 square feet from private vendors.

Guests not spending the night at the Bel Air area will be charged a parking fee at the rate that is in effect that day. Organizers can arrange for the park staff to keep a tally of the number of vehicles and make one payment after the event is finished.

Mooring of boats at the dock is permitted during the event, however, overnight mooring for those not spending the night in the buildings is not permitted.

Vendors, such as caterers, rental companies, etc., must give park staff beforehand a certificate of insurance of the type and amount(s) specified by the state. Parking fees are charged to vendors, although the fee can be tallied by the park and charged to the event organizer.

The Bel Air area is provided “as is.” Efforts to accommodate electrical, water and other needs will be made, but there is no guarantee that they will be met, especially when the need exceeds the design.

*The Bel Air grounds and facilities are open for viewing by appointment only. Weekend viewings are unavailable between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends.

**The above are guidelines only. Each special use permit request is evaluated separately, and conditions are determined from the information provided. The use of the area is contingent upon rental of the buildings for the reservation period in effect at the time of the desired date(s).tent Goes Here

Camping Lodge (bunkhouse): Check-in is 4 p.m., check-out is 10 a.m. The camping lodge is available only during camping season, which is from the first Friday in March through the first Monday in December. This facility is not reserved 11 months in advance. Rather, it goes on sale in January each year.

Same transfer deadline, cancellation and pet fees as cabins.

Linens not provided.

Up to 14 people maximum; no extra bed rentals.

Two-night minimum. No weekly stay requirement.

No bathroom, kitchen or heat.

Three rooms. There are two sets of bunk-beds in one room, another room with two sets of bunk-beds, and three sets of bunk-beds in the third room. Each room has windows and electrical outlets.

Use campground bathhouse for bathroom and showers.

No fireplace.

Picnic table and fire ring grill.

All sites have electric pedestals, which accept plugs for 20, 30 and 50-amp current.

About half the sites may be specifically reserved. Check-in is 4 p.m.; check-out is 1 p.m. If you arrive earlier than 4 p.m., the park will accommodate you as soon as possible. You are welcome to enjoy the park until then.

Campsites have fire ring grills, one picnic table and lantern hangers.

Full-service bathhouse with hot showers and wash sink for dishes.

Laundry facilities are at the campground bathhouse.

All equipment must be set up within borders. Tent pads are 15’ x 24’.

Two vehicles per campsite; extra vehicles must park in the parking lot and pay the parking fee. Guests visiting campers must pay the standard daily parking fee and park in the proper parking lot. Also, visitors must pay for any day use services and leave the park by 10 p.m.

Boat trailer parking and additional parking are just inside the campground entrance.

A dump station is free for those camping in the park; non-overnight guests must pay to use the dump station and use the station by the motorboat launch.

Boat launch is free for overnight guests.

Camp store: Camping and picnic supplies and gift items are available.

Firewood is for sale at the camp store. Do not bring firewood.

Quiet hours are from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.

State law allows the consumption of alcoholic beverages only in private areas (inside your cabin or camping unit) or in areas designated on permits issued by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Site type: E/W – Electric and water hookups, various equipment (tents, pop-ups and RVs up to 45 feet). Tent pads 15’ x 24’. Bathhouse available. All equipment must be within the borders of the campsite.

No. of each site type: E/W, 28

This campground offers year-round primitive hike-in or boat-in tent camping. Motor vehicle access to these sites is not permitted for any reason. Campers must arrive by boat or hike in (1.5 miles from the closest parking area).

Four sites, six people maximum per site.

There are fire rings/grills, picnic tables and two benches in this area. The two sites near the point are close together, while the other two are a little further inland.

There is a portable toilet but no showers.

There is no electricity or potable water. Campers must bring water for drinking and cooking.

All camping equipment must be set up within the wooden borders.

Check-in is 4 p.m., check-out is 1 p.m.

The park has a few canoes that may be rented overnight to access the campground. Weather conditions determine when these canoes are available for rent. Reserve one in advance by calling the park at 804-462-5030.

Sites may only be reserved by calling the Customer Service Center at 1-800-933-7275.

Belle Isle State Park is a must-visit state park in Virginia. Check out other state parks in Virginia here.

Virginia State Parks