Bear Creek Lake State Park is part of the Virginia Parks System. The park surrounds a small lake and features a few hiking trails, a small beach, and water activities. Bear Creek has plenty of campsites for tents and RVs, with some water front sites. We like the quiet, wooded campsites and how close it is to Richmond.
Bear Creek Lake State Park is located in Cumberland, VA an hour west of Richmond and butts up to the Cumberland State Forest. The ease of the short drive out Route 60 makes this one of our favorite parks for hiking and camping. I would imagine the drive from Charlottesville (a little over an hour) would be easy as well. Admission to the park is $5 per vehicle, plus $3 for a boat trailer or $4 for a horse trailer.
While we recently camped here, we’ve done day trips just to hike trails as well. Bear Creek Lake State Park only has about 6 miles of trails total. The three longest trails (Channel Cat Loop, Lakeside, and Lost Barr Loop) are all moderate hikes. Parts of the trails are wider than others, and there are some elevation changes. If its rained recently, some lower lying parts get squishy. The trails are mostly wooded, with views of the lake depending on where you are. Quail Ridge is a little out of the way, but is beautiful in the fall with lots of leaves to walk through. If you want a hike through the woods, this is your place.
My favorite part of Bear Creek Lake State Park was facing the woods while we camped. We chatted around the fire, played games, and ate s’mores.
There are 3 loops of campsites at Bear Creek Lake: Acorn, Black Oak, and Chestnut. Acorn is more for tents, and has some waterfront sites. Black Oak has all RV sites. We stayed in Chestnut, which was the farthest from the water but the sites were more spaced out. It also has a bathhouse that seemed less busy than the one near Acorn Loop. Each site has a fire ring and picnic table.
Firewood was for sale near the park office close to the entrance to Acorn Loop. There’s also a dumpster for trash and some recycling bins there. A short walk from the camping area is a sandy beach with swimming, a playground, boat rental, and snack bar. Other than walk through while hiking, we have not explored any of that.