From the mountains to the sea, Virginia is blessed with many and varied opportunities for outdoor recreation. Some are exciting, some are serene but they all have one thing in common: Enjoyment.
Virginia State Parks – Thirty-nine parks and still growing. Virginia’s park system opened in 1936 with six parks across the state. Now there’s a state park within an hour’s drive of every resident in the state.
National Park Service (NPS) – From Shenandoah National Park right here in Virginia to the first national park, Yellowstone, all national parks are celebrating the system’s 100th birthday in 2016. The NPS, which was officially begun by Congress on Aug. 25, 1916, oversees more than 400 properties now; 59 are national parks.
Breaks Interstate Park – Virginia and Kentucky come together at Breaks. This unique “partnership park” is often called the Grand Canyon of the South, and for good reason. The 4,600-acre setting features a 5-mile gorge more than 1,600 feet deep. It’s truly awe-inspiring.
Local and regional parks serve a vital function in nearly every community across Virginia. They vary in size and amenities. When the family needs a little rest and recreation, local parks are at-hand and ready to serve.
Associated Citizen Support Groups (Friends Groups) – “I couldn’t have done it without you,” is an oft-heard phrase in English, but it’s surely so for parks of all sizes and types. Parks wouldn’t be what they are without their local supporters. These groups help raise funds, take on park-improvement projects, help with visitor centers and educational efforts, and spread the word about the parks they love. Better still, they’re always looking for new folks interesting in lending a hand.