Pocahontas State Park is located in Chesterfield County about 20 miles outside of Richmond, the state capitol. This large recreational area (7,925 acres) lies along Swift Creek Lake and offers visitors a chance to hike, mountain bike, fish, swim, camp and learn about local history and nature.
This Virginia state park was named for famed Pocahontas, the daughter of Chief Powhatan of the Algonquin Nation.
While visiting Pocahontas State Park you will discover a beautiful retreat made up of forest, wetlands, lakes, ponds and grassy areas. The park’s seasonal activities include family friendly nature programs, history programs, an aquatic center, snack bar, dining halls and gift shops.
Here are some activities that you can do during your visit to Pocahontas State Park:
Swimming at Pocahontas State Park
In addition to the lakes, the park also has a large Aquatic Center. This center has a fountain wet deck, a toddler pool, 2 tubular water slides, an activity pool and 3’ and 5’ deep leisure pools.
Fishing at Pocahontas State Park
Fish from shore or boat on one of the 3 lakes located within the park – Swift Creek Lake, Beaver Lake and Camp 7 Lake. Popular catches here include black crappie, bass, catfish, shad, sunfish and bluegill.
Remember to pick up a Virginia freshwater fishing license ahead of time.
Boating at Pocahontas State Park
Enjoy a relaxing day on picturesque Swift Creek Lake during your visit to Pocahontas State Park. Boat rentals – canoes, kayaks, paddle boats and stand-up paddle boards – are available seasonally.
Hiking at Pocahontas State Park
Pocahontas State Park has over 90 miles of trails through forest, grassy sections of wildflowers, across rocky streams and alongside the lakes.
About 10 miles of those are for hikers only, including a paved trail ideal for those with disabilities.
Here are a couple of the more popular hiking trails inside Pocahontas State Park:
- Beaver Lake Trail – A 2.3 mile moderate loop with a continuous view of the lake. This trail winds through the woods and crosses a creek.
- Forest Exploration Trail – An easy 2.2 mile flat trail along the lake.
- Co-op Trail – A well-marked easy 4 mile loop through the woods and near the lake.
Biking at Pocahontas State Park
Pocahontas State Park has 33.1 miles of designated mountain bike trails that are single-track, machine-built flow and hand-cycle friendly.
Here are the three major mountain bike track systems:
- Morgan Mountain Bike Trails – Also known as the Rake & Ride Trail, this trail system is 11.6 miles and ideal for technical riders because of its tight twists and turns and rocky, root-filled tread.
- Lakeview Mountain Bike Trails – Another 9.9 miles of trails, these with spectacular views of the lake.
- Swift Creek Trails – Over 22 miles of machine-built flow trails that are perfect for both beginners and accomplished riders.
Wildlife Viewing at Pocahontas State Park
During the Spring and Summer the park is full of wildlife – dragonflies, butterflies, turtles, snakes, frogs, deer, squirrels and many species of birds. You may see a wild turkey, Canadian goose, hawk, woodpecker, osprey or owl while visiting. And you’ll certainly see many species of waterfowl close to the lakes and streams.
Camping at Pocahontas State Park
Pocahontas State Park has many choices for year round overnight accommodations – tent and RV camping, camping cabins, yurts, lake view cabins and a lodge. Bathhouses, laundry facilities and a camp store are located nearby.
Campground – The park has 111 campsites for tents, RVs and pop ups up to 40 feet. All sites have water and electric connections (all have 20 and
30-amp and just over half of the sites also have 50-amp).
- Group Camping – There are 5 Buddy sites also available. Each of these group sites has water and electric connections and can accommodate up to 18 people (tents, pop ups and RVs up to 50 feet).
- Yurts – The 4 yurts are located in a wooded section of the park where there is more shade and privacy. Each yurt sleeps 3 and has a dining table, chairs, sofa, large wooden deck, picnic table, a grill, fire ring and water spigot. There’s no electricity, heat or air conditioning and no smoking, cooking or pets allowed inside. Bring your own linens and extra sleeping bags if needed.
- Camping Cabins – The park also has 6 camping cabins that can each sleep up to 4 people. These rustic cabins have 2 sets of bunk beds, a table and chairs and a porch with 2 rocking chairs. They have electricity but no bathroom, kitchen, fireplace, heat or air conditioning. Each cabin also has a picnic table, fire ring and lantern post outside.
Cabins – The park has 4 three-bedroom cabins with beautiful water views. Each cabin sleeps 8 and has a fully equipped kitchen, combined dining and living room area with rustic furniture plus an outside wraparound deck.
Cabins do not have a washer/dryer, telephone, tv or linens.
Lodge – The family sized lodge sleeps up to 16 and also has a gorgeous view of the lake. It has 6 bedrooms, 3 baths and an open floor plan kitchen, dining area and living room, all with comfortable rustic style furniture. The lodge also has a large front and back porch with a picnic table and grill.
Whether you stay in one of the cabins or the lodge you will need to bring your own linens, warm blankets (it can get very chilly at night), food, dishwasher detergent, dishwashing liquid, dish towels, coffee and filters, salt and pepper, bath towels, toiletries and activities such as board games, cards, magazines and books.
- The Alonquian Ecology Camp and Swift Creek Camp – These two camps were built by the CCC and offer accommodations for large groups.
Each camp has 2 to 4 cabin groups (for groups up to 28) and an activity-dining hall with a kitchen. Each cabin group has 4 to 5 cabins (each cabin sleeps 4 to 6 people), a leader’s cabin (sleeps 2), a shared restroom and shower facility and a rustic lodge.
Pets at Pocahontas State Park
Pets are allowed inside the park but must be kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet or in an enclosed area. There’s an additional $10 fee per pet per night for the cabins and lodge. Please clean up after your pet and do not leave them unattended at any time.
Facilities at Pocahontas State Park
Bright Hope Equestrian Center – Perfect for shows and special events. The center has a gated and fenced 216’ x 117’ show ring, a gated and fenced 161’ x 83’ warm-up ring, horse trailer parking, picnic tables, grills and restrooms.
Pocahontas State Park also has more than 13 miles of bridle trails within its multi-use trail system. If bringing a horse into the park you are required to also bring a negative Coggins Report.
- Heritage Amphitheater – Originally built by the CCC in 1938, this outdoor venue was rebuilt in 1997 and seats up to 2,000. Ideal for concerts, performances and large gatherings. The Pocahontas Premieres series of concerts and family entertainment is held here.
- Civilian Conservation Corps Museum – Museum dedicated to honoring the young men responsible for building the first state parks throughout the country during the 1930s. This park was built on farmland and forest by the CCC. It was the largest Virginia state park when it opened to the public in 1946.
- The Nature Center & Discovery Center – Live animals, park information and interactive displays located inside the visitor center. Visitors can learn about wildlife native to the area such as reptiles, turtles and a beehive.
Pocahontas State Park
10301 State Park Rd
Chesterfield, VA 23832
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing the hiking trails at Pocahontas State Park: