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cloudy sunset over the water at a state park near winchester virginiaNestled in the Appalachian Mountain Range, Virginia has some of the most picturesque parks in the United States.

The rolling mountains and hardwood forests offer some of the most beautiful views all year round.

At the Northern most tip of the state lies the city of Winchester.

The quaint town offers a historic charm typical of Virginia with miles of state parks just a short drive away.

Map of State Parks Near Winchester, VA

Here is a map of the state parks in Virginia covered by this post:

List of State Parks Near Winchester

All five of the state parks near Winchester featured below are within a few hours drive from the city, making them perfect destinations for a reasonable day trip.

1. Leesylvania State Park

Location: 2001 Daniel K Ludwig Dr, Woodbridge, VA 22191

Just an hour and a half Southeast of Winchester, Leesylvania State Park sits on the shore of the Potomac River. This offers many opportunities for boating and fishing.

Visitors can fish from boats in the river, docking at the boat landing and storage area, or they can fish from the nearby fishing pier.

Canoe and kayak rentals are also available at the park. For those entering the park by canoe or kayak, there is a small, tents-only campground. There is also a group campsite for tenting campers to enjoy.

Throughout the park, there are five hiking trails, including a segment of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, which offers several scenic overlooks with Civil War era history.

Shelters and picnic pavillions area available for rental in the park and offer access to the river, playground equipment, and even a place for special events.

Special use permits are required for activities or events other than picnicking.

2. Sky Meadows State Park

Location: 11012 Edmonds Ln, Delaplane, VA 20144

If you are looking for a park somewhat closer to Winchester, Sky Meadows State Park is only 19 short miles away.

Located on the Eastern side of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the park offers miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding.

For those hiking the Appalachian Trail, there is overnight parking available with a permit obtainable at the visitor’s center.

A unique feature about the park is that it is incredibly kid friendly. Near the park’s picnic area, there is a Children’s Discovery Area, which hosts the state of Virginia’s first Nature Explore Certified Outdoor Classroom.

Play stations in the discovery area focus on agricultural, historical, and pastoral features and encourage kids to explore, play, and learn.

Two trails designed for kids, including a Kids in Parks Track Trail and a Sensory Explorers trail. These easy, engaging trails appeal to not only kids, but hikers and outdoor enthusiasts of all ages, offering a unique outdoor experience that activate all of the senses.

Situated at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the park offers a peaceful camping experience for Appalachian Trail hikers as well as campers who want a quiet way to unplug in this serene setting.

The primitive campsites are walk-in only, and there is no vehicle access to the campsites.

3. Shenandoah River State Park

Location: 350 Daughter of Stars Dr, Bentonville, VA 22610

If you want the benefits of the close proximity to all that Winchester has to offer with the beautiful landscape of the historic Shnandoah River Valley, then look no further than Shenandoah River State Park. The park offers scenic views of Massanutten Mountain, and is just West of Shenandoah National Park.

For daytrippers, the park offers picnic areas, fishing and boating, and trails for hiking and horseback riding.

Although there are no designated swimming areas, wading and floating are permitted, offering an escape from the heat of an East Coast summer.

For those that want to extend their stay longer than a day, there are a multitude of overnight options at the park. The park offers everything from primitive tent camping, electric and water sites, and yurts to cabins for rent and a lodge.

Whatever length of time you wish to stay, the park offers adventure and comfort level for all outdoor overnights. One of the best parts about overnight park visits? Pets are allowed.

Overnight visits are permitted year-round, although during the busy season between Memorial Day and Labor Day, cabins and lodges are only rentable by the week.

4. Mason Neck State Park

Location: 7301 High Point Rd, Lorton, VA 22079

Located about two hours Southeast of Winchester, Mason Neck State Park is the perfect place to stop and stretch your legs on your way to Washington D.C.

Just 20 minutes outside the nation’s capitol, the park makes a lovely stop for an outdoor lunch or a breath of fresh air. More than six miles of trails for hiking and biking weave through the park offering a peaceful experience through the marshes and river areas.

Although there are no designated areas for swimming, fishing, kayaking and canoeing on the waters are permitted. You may even see an eagle or two!

Mason Neck State Park is a day-use only park, so camping in the park is not permitted; however, information can be found on nearby camping and lodging on the park’s website

The park contains a picnic shelter for rental by groups for gatherings and events.

Nature appreciation programming is offered to provide educational opportunities for visitors including information on the ecosystem and local wildlife.

The Explorer’s Hall, located in the visitor’s center, offers the perfect location for meetings and educational programs. Recently, the visitor’s center added a new exhibit room and gift shop for visitors, and it offers a beautiful view of Belmont Bay.

5. Lake Anna State Park

Location: 6800 Lawyers Rd, Spotsylvania Courthouse, VA

Located the furthest distance from Winchester of the aforementioned parks, Lake Anna State Park offers activities on one of the most popular lakes in Virginia.

Whether day visiting or setting up for an extended stay, Lake Anna State Park offers plenty of activities to keep travelers busy. For overnight guests, a variety of cabins, lodges, and yurts are available for rental.

Boat launching is free for overnight guest, and use of the guarded swimming area is also included for overnighters as part of the nightly fee. For day use, there is a fee for visiting the swimming area. Annual passes can also be purchased.

There are 11 trails stretched over a distance of over 15 miles in the park for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. There is a wide range of difficulty levels on the trails for hikers and bikers of all abilities.

Lake Anna is well-known for its freshwater fishing, and there is also a stocked fishing pond near the visitor’s center for children and the disabled. There is also a public boat launch and several great areas for bank fishing.

The visitor’s center offers a gift shop for souvenirs. Proceeds go to support Virginia state parks. There are also meeting rooms for educational programming and wildlife and historical exhibits.

The area surrounding the visitor’s center also has a stream, a pond, a lake, and a forest to enhance the learning opportunities. At certain times of the year, canoe tours can be scheduled for an up close and personal view of nature.