Bear Creek Lake State Park
Cumberland, VA

Park size: 326.4 acres; Lake Size: 40 acres.

HISTORY:
Bear Creek Lake was built in 1938 as a project of the Virginia Department of Agriculture through the State Forestry Division. Although this project was undertaken during the closing days of the Great Depression, the 100 men who built the lake were not members of the Civilian Conservation Corps. They were simply carpenters, farmers and unskilled laborers seeking jobs. Along with the lake, these men built two pavilions, a concession stand and six fireplaces. The land was given to the Division of State Parks in 1940, and it was operated as a day-use recreation area. In 1962 the division added campgrounds and the area's name was changed to Bear Creek Lake State Park.

THINGS TO DO:
The activities center on the park's 40-acre lake complete with a boat launch, fishing pier, boat rentals and swimming beach. The park offers camping, cabins, a meeting facility, lakeside picnicking, playgrounds, hiking and access to a 14-mile multi-use trail in the state forest.

Canoes, rowboats, trolling motors, paddleboats and kayaks are for rent. A valid Virginia fishing license is required for fishing. Those 16 and older must have a license with them. A gas station near the park entrance sells fishing licenses. The swimming beach has a bathhouse and a concession offering a variety of sandwiches, snacks and drinks.

Archery Range - The park has a 10-lane archery range with excelsior bales and 3D targets. The range, which is managed by the park and Friends of Bear Creek Lake State Park, is open from March 1 through the first Monday in December. No archery equipment is available for rent. Call (804) 492-4410 for details.

Campfire get-togethers, music activities, night hikes, nature crafts, survival skills, canoeing and many more activities are offered on weekends from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Weekday programs are available on a limited basis. Groups may request special programming any time of year if they provide advance notice and the subject matter is relevant to Bear Creek's natural and historic resources.

CONTACT INFO:
Bear Creek Lake State Park
22 Bear Creek Lake Road
Cumberland, VA 23040
Phone: (804) 492-4410
bearcreek@dcr.virginia.gov
Photo credit: Photo courtesy of Bill Crabtree, Jr., Va. Tourism Corp.

LOCATION: The park is about 4.5 miles northwest of the town of Cumberland. From U.S. Route 60, go west on Route 622 and south on Route 629 to the park entrance.

Learn more about park offerings by calling 1-800-933-PARK or email resvs@dcr.virginia.gov.

Visit at: www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/bea.shtml