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A clearing through the trees at Staunton River Battlefield State Park

A clearing through the trees at Staunton River Battlefield State Park. Photo: Virginia State Parks, Wikimedia

Scenic Staunton River Battlefield State Park lies along the Staunton River and two counties: Halifax and Charlotte. This 300-acre Civil War park, located in Randolph, just 1½ hours from Richmond and 2 hours from Roanoke, offers visitors a glimpse back in time as well as river access, picnic areas and opportunities to explore trails over historic train tracks and the wetlands below it.

This interesting Virginia state park is only 20 minutes from Staunton River State Park, one of the original state parks built by the CCC during the 1930s, and a popular spot for those who want to camp, swim, boat, fish, explore trails and star gaze.

Activities

Re-enactments often occur at this Civil War historic site where a ragtag group of 700 Confederate old men and young boys beat the odds and held off an assault by 5,000 Union cavalry on a bridge of strategic importance to General Lee’s army. You can walk across this historic bridge and learn more inside one of the two visitor centers inside the park.

These two visitor centers feature exhibits on the area’s rich Civil War heritage as well as Colonial America, Virginia history, Native American archaeological discoveries and the wildlife and ecology of the area.

Here are some of the other activities that you can do during your visit to Staunton River Battlefield State Park:

Fishing at Staunton River Battlefield State Park

Fish from Staunton River, from shore or boat, and catch walleye, channel catfish, white perch and bass (smallmouth, largemouth, striped and white). This river is said to provide active fishing for your entire float downstream! If you want to fish from the lake head over to nearby Buggs Island Lake. Remember to pick up a Virginia freshwater fishing license ahead of time.

Boating at Staunton River Battlefield State Park

Tubing along the Staunton River is popular. Or you can kayak or canoe. Bring your own boat or stop at Hazel Creek Outfitters on your way and rent one. Several boat launches are available within Staunton River State Park and both motorized and non-motorized boats are permitted there on Buggs Island Lake.

Trails at Staunton River Battlefield State Park

Staunton River Battlefield State Park has almost 2 miles of trails that feature the distinct flora and fauna of the park’s wetlands. These trails include a nature trail intended only for hikers and a longer trail through the battlefield that is ideal for hiking or mountain biking.

Nearby Staunton River State Park has another 17 miles of hiking and multi-use trails through their wooded areas and along the two rivers and lakeside.

Here are the two trails at Staunton River Battlefield State Park:

  • Edgewood Nature Trail – Easy .7 mile pedestrian trail that crosses over the wetlands and has two observation towers for a closer look at the park’s flora and fauna.
  • Battlefield Trail – Moderate 1.2 mile gravel trail that follows the abandoned railway from Fort Hill to Randolph (Clover Visitor Center to the Roanoke Visitor Center). This self-guided historical trail crosses a bridge over the river and continues through a wildflower meadow and a couple of trestles over the wetlands.

Wildlife Viewing at Staunton River Battlefield State Park

Visitors to Staunton River Battlefield State Park are able to walk across its famous bridge and look at the river and wetlands below. The park is home to one of the largest managed wetlands east of the Mississippi and home to many species of wildlife.

Expect to see butterflies, songbirds, waterfowl, hawks, eagles, wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, squirrels, chickadees, hummingbirds, painted turtles, snakes, salamanders, frogs and more.

Pets at Staunton River Battlefield 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. Please clean up after your pet and do not leave them unattended at any time.

Camping Near Staunton River Battlefield State Park

Staunton River Battlefield State Park doesn’t have overnight accommodations at this time but nearby Staunton River State Park does. They have a modern campground, an equestrian campground with covered horse stalls, a bunkhouse and cabins. Their camping season runs from the first Friday in March through the first Monday in December but their cabins are available to rent year round.

Here’s a closer look at each of their accommodations:

  • Campground

    The park has 48 campsites, all cozily located within the woods but without views of the lake or rivers (or access to). Of these sites 13 are tent-only, 20 have water and electric connections for tents or popups up to 20’, 10 have water and electric connections for vans, popups and RVs up to 30’ and 4 have water and electric connections and up to 45’ of space. Electric connections are 20 and 30-amp.

  • Equestrian Campground

    There are 13 campsites in the equestrian campground, some sites are pull-through and some are back-in. All sites have access to water and electric connections. Twenty covered horse stalls, a bathhouse with showers and a picnic shelter are also located at the site.

    Virginia state law requires visitors to carry a negative Coggins report for each horse brought to the park. Horses must be kept in a stall when not being ridden.

  • Bunkhouse

    The Bunkhouse is a 3 room climate controlled trailer located in the main campground area. It has 7 bunk beds (sleeps up to 14), a refrigerator, microwave, coffeemaker and electric outlets. The bunkhouse also has a large back deck with picnic tables and a fire ring. A fenced area behind the bunkhouse can accommodate a tent for up to 6 people.

  • Cabins

    The park has 7 rustic one and two bedroom cabins near the Staunton River (with limited water views because of the line of trees between the cabins and the river). Each cabin has a fully equipped kitchen and combined dining and living room area with a woodstove and mission style rustic furniture. Outside the cabins have decks with rocking chairs.

    *Keep in mind: Cabins do not have a dishwasher, washer/dryer, telephone, tv or linens. You will need to bring your own linens, pillows, warm blankets (it can get very chilly at night), food, dishwashing liquid, dish towels, coffee and filters, salt and pepper, bath towels and toiletries and activities such as board games, cards, magazines and books.

Park Location

Staunton River Battlefield State Park
1035 Fort Hill Trail
Randolph, VA 23962
Phone: 434.454.4312

Website

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Staunton River Battlefield State Park: