York River State Park is a great day use park on the York River. Close to Williamsburg Virginia, it’s a nice place to enjoy a hike or ride in the woods.
York River State Park Overview
York River State Park has been in operation since 1980. The site of a former plantation, the park provides hiking and outdoor exploration opportunities in a unique riverfront setting. York River State Park is over 2,500 acres and has 3.5 miles of riverfront. In addition to multiple hiking, biking and equestrian trails, the park offers fishing, fossil hunting and kayaking opportunities. Like all Virginia state parks, there are picnic shelters and playgrounds.
York River State Park Video
We provide an overview of York River State Park and then take a tour of some of the hiking trails. Check our our York River State Park YouTube video.
York River State Park Amenities
Hiking at York River State Park
York River State Park has many trails. Three great trails are available only to hikers. Two are limited to horseback riding. There are eight mountain biking only trails. And, there are an additional eleven multi-use trails.
We took the opportunity to hike on all of the hiking specific trails. Some are fairly wide and level. Others are a bit more narrow with hilly terrain that provides a moderately challenging hike.
We started at the visitor’s center and headed along the river toward Fossil Beach. The path was wide and level. You might linger a while at the fishing pond. After that, you’ll find a few steps to climb and an interesting bridge along the way.
From Fossil Beach, we continued our hike on the wide & easy Mattaponi Trail. It connects with the Woodstock Pond trail to bring you back to the fishing pond. Just before the pond, you can opt to take the Beaver Trail, which is narrower but still an easy hike.
We decided to take on one more trail. The Taskinas Creek trail is a two mile moderate hike through the woods. There are several nice observation areas where you can view the Taskinas Creek and surrounding marshland. This trail is a bit more challenging. The path can be a bit narrow in places and you’ll be going up & down some hills. We found the trail to be in good shape, with just a few muddy patches. A few large trees were down but had been cleared from the trail. One tree had a notch cut out so that we could pass through it.
After doing all of the hiking-specific trails, we had logged about 5.5 miles and our phones indicated the equivalent of climbing 25 flights of stairs. It was a beautiful but chilly day of hiking. We enjoyed our hike at York River State Park.
While we didn’t have the opportunity to try the mountain biking trails, they sound fantastic. There are a range of easy, moderate, and difficult trails ranging from a third of a mile up to almost ten miles. We are looking forward to visiting again with our bikes to check out these trails.
You can find the park’s trail map at Virginia State Parks York River Trail Guide.
York River State Park Fossil Beach
One fun activity at York River State Park is to look for fossils on the fossil beach. You may find an ancient scallop shell or other fossils. You can find a bit more information at Fossil Hunting at York River State Park.
York River State Park Picnic Area and Playgrounds
There are two playground areas at York River State Park. These are large play areas with seating nearby. The playgrounds are located close to the picnic shelters and parking lot.
Camping at York River State Park
York River State Park is a day use park and there are no camping facilities. However, there are two nearby private campgrounds.
American Heritage RV Park
American Heritage is a highly rated Good Sam campground (9.5/10/10) that is approximately 4 miles from York River State Park. There are 105 sites. Pull through sites with 50 AMP service are available.
Williamsburg/Busch Gardens Area KOA is located approximately 4 miles from Busch Gardens Williamsburg. the Williamsburg KOA has 370 sites divided into two sections. There is a lot to do at this KOA including a nice heated swimming pool, bounce pillows, and plenty of planned activities. Pull through sites with 50 AMP service are available. Check out our Williamsburg KOA review and our Williamsburg KOA Video Walkthrough.
Visiting York River State Park With Dogs
Like most Virginia state parks, York River is dog friendly. You can walk the trails with your dog. As long as you keep your dog on a leash, you should have a great time exploring York River with them. Note that dogs aren’t allowed inside the buildings.
York River State Park Rates
Entry to the park is $5 per day. If you plan to visit Virginia State Parks frequently, consider an annual pass. During Summer, boats are available to rent for use on the fishing pond and creek.
York River State Park Directions
York River State Park is near Williamsburg, VA. From I64, take exist 231B. The park is about 2.5 miles away. There are good signs leading to the park. The parks website provides the following “Go north on Route 607 (Croaker Rd.) for one mile, then right on Route 606 (Riverview Rd.) about one and a half miles to the park entrance. Take a left turn into the park.”.
Attractions Near York River State Park
There are a variety of attractions near York River including historical attractions like Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown. Additionally, you may choose to visit a winery, brewery or Busch Gardens. To start planning your visit, check out our guide to the Top 7 Must Do Williamsburg Area Attractions.
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