Located in James City County along the Chickahominy River and Gordon Creek is Chickahominy Riverfront Park. This 140 acre park has a wide variety of offerings for outdoor enthusiasts including biking, boating, camping, fishing, and wildlife viewing. The 87-mile-long Chickahominy River is located in east central Virginia and is rich in history, making this destination unique in many ways. Named after the Chickahominy Tribe, a Native American tribe that was settled along the river when English colonists arrived in 1607, the Chickahominy River is a tributary of the James River and attracts outdoor enthusiast from all over the region to enjoy its beautiful views and recreational opportunities.
Chickahominy Riverfront Park is one of the many public access sites that provides recreational opportunities for people of all ability levels in James City County. The park is well known for being a popular camping destination, with over 120 campsites available along the river and creek. In addition, it offers a range of amenities for the community to enjoy. Some of these amenities include picnic areas, playgrounds, a sand volleyball and basketball court, open space, and a pool.
For those who enjoy paddling, the park’s 24-hour boat ramp provides direct access to the beautiful Chickahominy River. Don’t have access to a boat? Not a problem! The park also has canoe and kayak rentals available all year for visitors to explore the river. While exploring the river, paddlers will enjoy the sight of bald cypress trees along the shoreline.
The boating offerings continue… on the site, the William & Mary Rowing Club maintains a small boathouse, and James City Parks & Recreation partners with the Williamsburg Boat Club (a local youth rowing club) to provide community access to rowing programs. Through this partnership the park hosts two annual regattas on Gordon Creek and the Chickahominy River. Additionally, the park hosts several other events throughout the year including the annual Rev3 Triathlon, and several Parks & Recreation sponsored events.
Anglers will enjoy the 24-hour 300 foot fishing pier, which is scheduled to be replaced with an all new ADA accessible pier in late 2022. With access to abundant fish species, Chickahominy Riverfront Park hosts a number of large fishing tournaments throughout the year.
Given its location along the 51.7 mile Virginia Capital Trail, a bike a pedestrian multi-use trail that connects the city of Richmond and James City County, the park is also a great destination for cyclists in the region. In 2022, the Chickahominy Riverfront Park partnered with the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation to host the Cap2Cap bike ride. The park was a designated party zone for participants to enjoy food, drinks, and music. James City County is excited to host this event again in 2023!
With all the exciting opportunities available at Chickahominy Riverfront Park it is important to protect and conserve its shorelines. To prevent severe erosion along the banks of the Chickahominy River and Gordon Creek, the Parks & Recreation Department undertook a shoreline restoration project in 2021 to protect natural resources, create new habitat, and improve the water quality in the river. Existing campsites along the river and creek were removed, allowing the public to enjoy its wonderful views. Looking forward, there are even plans to include a multi-use trail through this area to increase access.
If you’re looking for a great place for your next paddling trip, consider checking out Chickahominy Riverfront Park in James City County. Be on the lookout for the fourth and final Exploring the Lower Chickahominy River blog post!