James River State Park – Gladstone, VA
James River State Park is part of the Virginia State Park system. The park has boating on the James River, a large RV camping loop, and over 20 miles of trails. Canoe and kayak rentals are available seasonally. We enjoyed the gorgeous drive in and the views of the mountains at the Tye River Overlook.
James River State Park in Gladstone, VA is about 2 hours west of Richmond (Bear Creek Lake State Park is on the way). Centrally located between Charlottesville and Lynchburg, the park is 3 hours from Fairfax and 2 hours from Roanoke. The drive into the park was absolutely beautiful. There were glimpses of the mountains and lovely views as the road winds along the river. Admission to the park is $5 per vehicle, plus $3 for a boat trailer or $4 for a horse trailer.
The park features numerous moderate trails, and a couple easy trails accessible to hikers, bikers, and horses. It was quite hot when we camped at the end of May. We hiked early to avoid the heat. The Cabell Trail up to the Tye River Overlook was gorgeous. The mountain laurel was blooming and plentiful along the trail. Most parts of the trail were wide, and there was a decent amount of hills.
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The bathhouse here was awesome! It was much newer than many other VA State Parks that we’ve stayed at. Showers were individual little rooms, with real doors instead of curtains. Everything was clean, and there was a dish washing station too. Every site was full the weekend we were there. Our spot was on the inner loop, which isn’t my preferred location because they’re often smaller and closer together. We were tucked away enough that we still felt a bit like we were in the woods.