Written by 6:29 pm National Park Guides, Travel

National Park Guides

A Quick Guide to Virginia’s National Parks


The Commonwealth of Virginia offers visitors an amazing getaway. Throughout the state there are points of historic interest. In addition there are many beautiful places preserved within the national parks in the state. Here are ten of the state’s wonderful national parks.

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park

Visitors to the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park can learn about how the Court House was the location where General Lee surrendered and the country reunited. Visitors can learn all about the historic site while exploring the many reconstructed buildings as well as many original buildings.

Booker T Washington National Monument

The Booker T Washington National Monument celebrates the life and importance of Booker T Washington by preserving his birthplace. Booker T Washington was born a slave and later became an influential figure after the Civil War and became one of the most influential African Americans during his time. Visitors to this park explore the historic plantation through the park’s trails, Visitor Center and variety of different areas.

Colonial National Historical Park

This National Historical Park takes visitors through many stages of importance during through the history of the United States. The park has exhibits on the early colonization in Virginia, the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. Visitors can enjoy driving along the Colonial Parkway to enjoy the scenery and explore the different sites. Visitors can explore Jamestown, Yorktown, or spend some time enjoy the beautiful natural setting and much more. Colonial National Historical Park is a wonderful spot for bird an wildlife watching, as well as many other interesting activities.

Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park

Fredericksburg & Spotsylania National Military Park gives visitors the opportunity to look at the site of America’s battleground. This park preserves the site of the Civil War’s climax. Visitors can learn about the destruction created by the war, including the refugees and those killed in battle. The park has many points to explore, so it can take some time, but each area is worth the time. There are two visitor centers, four battlefields and historic structures. Throughout the park there are walking tours and trails, as well as some guided tours and more.

George Washington Birthplace National Monument

This park, located in northern Virginia explores the early life of the nation’s first president, as well as preserving a point of historic importance in the formation of the country. Although George Washington only lived at this spot for a few years, it is a fascinating destination. Visitors can walk along the nature trail, or explore the exhibits at the Visitor Center, and more. This National Monument also preserves the Washington Family Burial Ground, and also features a Living Colonial Farm with livestock and more.

Great Falls Park

Great Falls Park protects the waterfalls that the Potomac River falls over before flowing through the Mather Gorge. Visitors to this park can enjoy the beautiful natural setting, as well as some points of historic interest, all just a few miles from the busy Capital. Travelers can learn about the history of one of the first canals in the country. In addition, the park is a wonderful spot for hiking, especially hiking in the area of the Mather Gorge.

Prince William Forest Park

Located just 35 miles south of Washington, DC in Northern Virginia, Prince William Forest National Park is an excellent hiking destination in Virginia. This park protects some of the beautiful natural lands in Northern Virginia. Visitors to Prince William Forest National Park can enjoy hiking along the 37 miles of hiking trails, which comprise one of the largest trail networks in the area. One great hiking option is the trail along South Fork Quantico Creek. Visitors can also enjoy biking, fishing, wildlife viewing and much more.

Richmond National Battlefield Park

Richmond National Battlefield Park is a spot of historic importance. Richmond was the location of a large Civil War battle, it was also the site of a large Confederate hospital and more. Visitors to this important site can stop at these spots of historic importance and learn about this time of the nation’s history. The Visitor Center is located in a surviving building of the Tredegar Iron Works, where visitors can learn about the iron works and the other destinations in the park. Other points of interest include the Chimborazo Medical Museum, Chickahominy Bluff, Beaver Dam Creek, both sites of battles, among other places to explore.

Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park is 105 miles long, and it stretches from Front Royal to Waynesboro-Charlottesville. The Skyline Drive, the scenic drive through the park, is a fabulous way to enjoy the beautiful park. Shenandoah’s visitor centers have plenty of fascinating exhibits, and the park has plenty of hiking opportunities. There are over 500 miles of trails, and much of the parks 196,000 acres are open to backcountry camping, nature viewing and more. Old Rag Mountain is also in Shenandoah National park, which happens to be a very popular, challenging and dangerous hike, great for the more adventurous hikers.

Yorktown National Battlefield

This National Battlefield preserves the site of the last major battle in the Revolutionary War. It was in this battle that George Washington defeated Lord Cornwallis and the British Army and ensured the independence of the United States. Visitors can start at the Visitor Center, which has exhibits on the battle, as well as a short film, and lots of information about the park. There are many ways that visitors can enjoy touring the park, including an Auto Tour Road, as well as a self-guided tour of the battlefield and town. This park also offers some additional programs and historic sites for visitors to explore.

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