Pocahontas State Park
Chesterfield, VA

Park size: 7,950 acres - the largest Virginia State Park. Swift Creek Lake: 150 acres. Beaver Lake: 24 acres.

HISTORY:
Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), this was the first recreational park in the Richmond-Petersburg-Hopewell area. The National Park Service donated the facility to Virginia State Parks in 1946, making it the largest Virginia state park with more than 7,950 acres and two small lakes. The area was renamed Pocahontas State Park and Pocahontas State Forest and was operated under a cooperative management arrangement with the Department of Forestry. In 1989 a new master plan, funded jointly by the Commonwealth of Virginia and Chesterfield County, called for expansion of park facilities to accommodate the large urban population surrounding the park. Today the entire area is operated as Pocahontas State Park.

The park is named after Pocahontas, the famed daughter of Chief Powhatan, who was ruler over the tribes in the Powhatan Confederacy of the Algonquin Nation. Legend has it that she saved Captain John Smith’s life when he was held captive by the Powhatan Confederacy. Pocahontas, known at the time of her death as Lady Rebecca Rolfe, died in London from an undetermined illness.

THINGS TO DO:
The Park offers a variety of outdoor activities, including biking, hiking, picnicking, swimming, camping and family-friendly nature programs. Swift Creek Lake and Beaver Lake give visitors a chance for excellent wildlife viewing and fishing. Use Pocahontas as your base camp to visit nearby Civil War Battlefields, amusement parks, Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown and historic James River plantations.

Camping (with Reservation Center) and group cabins (call the park; bunkhouses) are available.

Heritage Center - This meeting facility is well-suited for small to medium sized training events and meetings. It accommodates groups as large as 80, depending on the room setup. The building has restrooms, a large outdoor deck, and a small kitchen with household appliances. Audiovisual equipment is available as well.

Heritage Amphitheater - This outdoor venue holds up to 4,000; it's perfect for concerts, stage performances and other large gatherings. The amphitheater has bench seating for up to 350, and additional spectators take seats on a gentle, grassy slope. The area has an elevated stage with backdrop, restrooms, walkways, a concession stand and a ticket booth. Vendors can set up booths, displays and have activities in an adjacent wooded area.

The park's Pool and Aquatic Recreation Center is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Memorial Day to Labor Day.

A gift shop with souvenirs and park mementos is in the main park office by the park entrance. A camp store in the campground also has souvenirs, toiletry items, camping supplies, snacks and s'more fixings. Hours vary by season.

Pocahontas State Park is pleased to offer you and your family the Junior Ranger Activity Book (PDF). The book covers self-guided activities to help you and your kids discover the park's plants and animals and learn about Virginia's Piedmont region.

Also, the park is the perfect outdoor classroom for students of all ages. Its staff provides outreach and onsite programs that are available on request. They are geared to public school standards of learning (SOL) curricula and, in most cases, can be adapted to individual class needs. Fees are based on the particular program, number of students and time involved. Pocahontas also has special programs – Discovery Field Trips – just for public and private school groups. Call 804-796-4472 for details.

CCC Museum: In 1933, the country was in the grips of the Great Depression. Millions were out of work and hungry. As part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, 500,000 unemployed young men were put to work in forests, parks and rangelands across the country. Thus the Civilian Conservation Corps was born. Visit the  Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Museum, housed in an original CCC building, to see highlights of their many accomplishments in Virginia.



CONTACT INFO:
Pocahontas State Park
10301 State Park Road
Chesterfield, VA 23832-6355
Phone, (804) 796-4255
pocahontas@dcr.virginia.gov

LOCATION:
In Chesterfield County, about 20 miles from Richmond. It's easily accessible from Interstate 95, Route 288 and Route 360. See below for detailed directions.
 
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/poc.shtml