Belle Isle State Park
Lancaster, VA

Park size: 739 acres.

The property was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. John Bertrand, a Huguenot, first acquired the property in 1692. The Downman family operated Belle Isle plantation on the site throughout the 19th century. The Somers, Pollard, and Hamlin families owned the properties until the recent state acquisition. The historic Belle Isle mansion, which is not a part of the park, is owned by the Gruis family.


The 739-acre site is a window to the beautiful lower Rappahannock River in Lancaster County. The park has seven miles of frontage on the north shore of the Rappahannock, and it borders Deep and Mulberry creeks. It features diverse tidal and nontidal wetlands, lowland marshes, tidal coves and upland forests. The diverse habitats found in the park provide homes to many predator birds, such as blue herons, osprey, hawks and bald eagles. White-tailed deer, turkeys, groundhogs, rabbits, squirrels, moles, reptiles and amphibians are also common. There are eight distinct types of wetlands within the park. These diverse ecosystems make Belle Isle an excellent outdoor laboratory for environmental education.

Bel Air Overnight Area (Bel Air house and guest house) and camping. Camping season is March 1 to first Monday in December. There are no designated swimming areas at this park.

The park offers guided canoe trips during the summer season. A new ramp is available for the motor boaters and cartop launch area for canoes, kayaks and windsails.  Belle Isle's camp store has a gift shop. The store sells fishing licenses and carries bait, beverages and other items.

An environmental education center is available for educational programs provided by the park utlizing the diverse ecosystems in Belle Isle.




Belle Isle State Park
1632 Belle Isle Road
Lancaster, VA  22503
Phone: (804) 462-5030

LOCATION: Lancaster County on the Rappahannock River. From Warsaw, take State Route 3 East to SR 354. Turn right and follow for three miles. Turn right onto SR 683 at Somers to the park entrance. From Kilmarnock, take Route 3 West to Lively, then left on SR 201 for three miles, then right on SR 354 for three miles and left onto 683 to the park entrance.

Learn more about park offerings by calling 1-800-933-PARK or email

Visit at: