We’re jumping for joy at Virginia State Parks, because fall is just around the corner. Officially it begins on September 23 when the Autumn Equinox in Northern Hemisphere is ushered in at 3:50 p.m.
Keep your cardigans handy and hot cocoa stocked up as you make plans to visit the leafiest parks in Virginia. Plus, there are some fun festivals and events to add some spice.
Virginia State Parks provide wonderful overnight accommodations in cabins and family lodges. There are more than 300+ cozy, climate-controlled cabins of various sizes throughout the state. Many cabins are available year-round, so if you can’t get the date you are after ask the reservation availability to show you the next two weeks to look for openings, or ask when you call. Leave the chaotic world behind and head to a state park for a fall getaway.
Some fall weekends are close to being booked-up, so maybe consider a weekday stay as the availability will be greater.
Click here to check on availability and to reserve online or call 800-933-7275 Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Also, be sure to sign up for the Customer Loyalty Program to earn points that may be applied to future overnight stays.
FESTIVALS AND FUN EVENTS
There is no shortage of unique events and activities this fall at Virginia State Parks. We recommend you bring the whole family out to experience the changing leaves, pack a picnic and enjoy a special time together.
Sky Meadows State Park – October 5, 2019 – October 6, 2019
During Fall Farm Days’ Nature Weekend, get in touch with nature and explore a managed landscape rich in biodiversity. Stop by our Wooly Bear races and pick a winning Wooly Bear. See a glimpse of Sky Meadows’ diversity of plants, animals, birds and insects at the Explorer Outpost table. Meet some of the many partners at the park to learn about bluebird monitoring, water conservation, amphibian habitats and more. Lastly, follow your nose to the Log Cabin and see what Sky Meadows’ pumpkin and corn treats are being cooked over the hearth.
In addition to the nature-themed programs, we also offer Mount Bleak House tours, a children’s play area, live music, delicious food and drinks for sale and, of course, the pick-your-own pumpkin patch.
Come back the following weekends for more Fall Farm Days fun:
- October 12 & 13: Life on the Farm
- October 19 & 20: Rest and Rejuvenation
- October 26 & 27: History of Sky Meadows
Douthat State Park October 11, 2019 – October 12, 2019
Be a part of our 3rd Annual Campsite Cook-off. This is no ordinary cook-off and it will put your creativity to the test. What makes this such a unique event? The meat for the cook-off will be provided by the park but participants will not know the type of meat until it is time to cook. Cooks must supply their own secret seasonings to make their dish a standout. Teams will be given the meat Friday evening to prepare overnight. Tastings will follow on Saturday. Live music will be available for both participants and spectators to enjoy. There is limited space so teams must pre-register. There is a $150 registration fee which includes the meat and two nights of camping in the Whispering Pines Campground. Registration is open. To register or for the rules and regulations, please call the park at 540-862-8114.
For spectators, entry into the event will be $10 per person. Craft artisans and food vendors will also be onsite.
More great events to check out:
- Martin’s Station Fall Encampment at Wilderness Road State Park – October 11-13, 2019
- Wilderness Road Heritage Festival at Wilderness Road State Park – October 12, 2019
- Fall Star Party Public Night at Staunton River State Park – October 25, 2019
- Crewe Astronomy at James River State Park – November 2, 2019
- Caledon Art and Wine Festival at Caledon State Park – November 2-3, 2019
This is just a sampling, for more fun fall festivals and special events, click here to search our events database. If you can’t find what you are looking for in the database, feel free to contact the park directly.
Pick your perfect park for fall, we’ve got more than three dozen to choose from, here’s a map to help.
Written by Shellie Anne for VA DCR. Featured image provided by Virginia’s State Parks
Serving a diverse commonwealth rich in history and nature, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation touches all Virginians’ lives. As the state’s lead conservation agency, DCR protects what Virginians care about – access to the outdoors, natural habitats, open space, clean water and safe infrastructure. DCR manages 40 Virginia State Parks, and there’s one within an hour’s drive of every Virginian. The parks are perfect settings for families and groups to enjoy water sports, hiking, biking, horseback riding and other healthy outdoor activities. A visit to a state park enhances guests’ appreciation of the outdoors and restores the mind, body and spirit.