Chippokes Plantation State Park-Surry
Just a short ferry ride from Williamsburg lies a state park with a working farm with all kinds of animals, crops and historic buildings. The park also boast museums dedicated to farming, fossils and early plantation life. Top that off with Cobham Bay Beach and a pool for swimming and what’s not to love?
Jamestown and Colonial Williamsburg, with all they have to offer, are on the other side of the bay and a 20 minute ferry ride away. The ferry ride alone is just plain fun.
I’ve hiked most of the trails here and will tell you it’s flat as a pancake and easy walking. I would highly encourage anyone to visit Chippokes which is only about an hour or so from Richmond, VA Beach and totally worth the drive.
Chippokes Plantation State Park is one of the oldest working farms in the United States. Chippokes is a living historical exhibit located in a rural agricultural area along the James River in Surry County. In addition, the park has a wide variety of traditional park offerings, including a swimming complex, visitor center, picnic facilities, and hiking and biking trails. The plantation has kept its original boundaries since the 1600s and has a variety of cultivated gardens and native woodland. The formal gardens surrounding the Chippokes Mansion are accented by azaleas, crepe myrtle, boxwood and seasonal flowers. The plantation grounds are also home to the Chippokes Farm and Forestry Museum.
Chippokes Plantation State Park is operated by the Department of Conservation and Recreation in cooperation with the Chippokes Plantation Farm Foundation. The Virginia General Assembly created the foundation in 1977 to establish, administer and maintain the model farm. Funding for the foundation comes from farmland rent payments, donations, admissions and gift shop sales.
Park Size: 1,683 acres.
Current Weather: Click here to visit the Weather Channel’s site for this zip code.
AT-A-GLANCE: The pictographs directly below show park offerings. Click on those of interest or read below for more detail. Mouse-over the image for a short text description or click here to view a legend in which each pictograph’s meaning is expressed.
LOCATION: Surry County. From I-95 and I-295, take Route 10 towards Hopewell. Follow Route 10 East for approximately 40 miles to Surry. Turn left at the intersection of routes 10 and 31 (this continues on Route 10). Turn right at the stop light. Turn left at Route 634 (Alliance Road), and the park entrance is four miles on the left.
Drive Time: Northern Virginia: 2 – 3 hours; Richmond: 1.5 hours; Tidewater/Norfolk/Virginia Beach: 1.5 hours; Roanoke: 4 hours
OVERNIGHT FACILITIES: Cabins and camping. For information on availability of overnight accommodations, particular park amenities or to make a reservation, you can reserve online or call 1 1-800-933-PARK. Rental rates for cabins and camping vary by season, dwelling and park. First, determine the appropriate season, which can vary by park, then the relevant rate.You also may want to learn about cancellation and transfer policies. A fee is charged per pet per night for overnight stays.
SWIMMING: Note: From mid-August through Labor Day, swimming may be available only on weekends and Labor Day. If your stay depends on using the pool, please contact the park before making a reservation. Olympic size swimming pool and separate kiddie pool open Memorial Day to Labor Day, Monday through Thursday, noon to 6 p.m.; on Friday through Sunday and holidays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.. Click here for park fees.
In the summer, swimming is free for overnight guests in campsites, cabins and the lodge, however it cannot be guaranteed should circumstances beyond the park’s control require that swimming be closed. We do not give refunds for swimming to overnight guests under any circumstances.
TRAILS: The park has 3.5 miles of hiking and bicycling trails, a half-mile of which is accessible to people with physical disabilities, through the historic area, as well as an auto farm tour road. The park also has an equestrian area with about 10 miles of riding fun available around farm fields as well as two long, multiple-use trails.
Visit the Explore Virginia Outdoors website for enhanced maps and video tours of Chippokes Plantation’s trails.
WILDLIFE: Virginia State Parks are great places to discover and reconnect with the wild world. Bring a camera and share your captures with the world. But please don’t disturb or get too close to the animals. The park is, after all, their home. Here are a few recent natural encounters others have had at Chippokes Plantation.