Trail Guide for York River State Park (SP) in Virginia. Published by Virginia State Parks.
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To make your visit safe and more pleasant, we ask that you observe the following: Take only pictures, leave only footprints. PRESERVE - Help preserve your park. Please don’t cut or mar any plants or trees. Collecting animal or plant life is allowed only for scientific purposes by permit from the Richmond headquarters. Don’t feed any wild animals. ALCOHOL - State law permits alcohol use only in private areas (inside your cabin or camping unit) or in areas designated on permits issued by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. PETS - Pets are permitted on a leash no longer than 6 feet. Please clean up after your pet. Pets may not be left unattended at any time. LITTER - Please help us keep the park clean by placing litter and recyclables in the proper receptacles and recycle centers or carrying out your trash. CAMPING - No camping is allowed. FISHING - No license is required for those fishing from the Croaker fishing pier. A freshwater license is required for Woodstock Pond. A saltwater fishing license is required everywhere else. PARKING - Park only in designated areas. EMERGENCY - In case of emergency, call 911. For non-emergency help, phone numbers are posted at contact stations and other locations throughout the park. INFORMATION - For more information on Virginia State Parks or to make a cabin or campsite reservation, call 800933-PARK (7275) or visit www.virginiastateparks.gov. The Customer Service Center is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s closed on state holidays. TRAIL INFORMATION DIFFICULTY SCALE EASY - From .5 to 1 mile; grades are short, typically fewer than 100 feet, and minimal (less than 10 percent); easily accomplished by all users, including the elderly and those with physical or mental disabilities, with little risk of injury or fatigue. MODERATE - From 1 to 5 miles; steepness and grade lengths vary; at least 60 percent of the length is fairly flat; healthy people can accomplish the trail with little risk of injury or fatigue. DIFFICULT - Trail length is greater than 5 miles; more than 70 percent of the trail is on a grade; experienced hikers only, or groups of three to five people recommended; there is a risk of overexertion or injury to those not conditioned. For everyone’s safety, please follow trail etiquette on multi-use trails in the park. Please see our separate guide for the mountain-bike trail system. HIKING AND MULTI-USE TRAILS: BACKBONE TRAIL - 2.5 miles, gold blaze, . This is a multi-use trail that runs south from the contact station to the southern part of the park. The trail is open to hiking and biking for its entire length, however equestrians are permitted only south of Black Bear Run. The trail is accessible from the contact station and the Beaver, Woodstock Pond, Laurel Glen, Black Bear Run, Pamunkey, Powhatan Forks, Riverview, White Tail and Me-Te-Kos trails. It passes through hardwood forest rich with wildlife and features many views of the park and surrounding areas. BEAVER TRAIL – .5 miles, silver blaze, . The trail is for hiking only and connects the Backbone Trail to the Woodstock Pond Trail near its northern Mattaponi Trail access. This trail crosses a small woodland stream that feeds into the pond and is a great trail for children on their first adventure in the woods. DOGWOOD LANE TRAIL – .8 miles, magenta blaze, . This is a multi-use trail that’s accessible in two places from the Whitetail Trail since it makes a semi-circle as it passes through the woods, coming out at another point on the Whitetail Trail. This path is narrower than the neighboring trail and is somewhat more scenic. MAJESTIC OAK TRAIL – .8 miles, white blaze, . This multi-use trail is accessible from the Spur Trail and Powhatan Fork Trail. This passes through a woodland environment common in the park. Near its end, the trail passes an oak tree estimated to be between 200 and 400 years old. The tree is believed to be the oldest oak in the park. Past this giant tree and toward the river, the trail is no longer suitable for horses, and riders will need to return to the Spur Trail. Near the York River the trail winds down a steep bank where a bridge crosses the marsh. From the bridge, the trail winds up the bank and becomes the north fork of the Powhatan Fork Trail. MATTAPONI TRAIL – .85 miles, cobalt blue blaze, . Accessible in two places from the Woodstock Pond Trail, this trail provides access to the fossil beach where shark teeth and other fossilized material may be found. Named for a native American tribe who once inhabited the area, the trail passes wooded cliffs and across marshes, while providing good views of the York River. South of the fossil beach access, the trail becomes wider and the area becomes grassier. A long bridge spans the marsh at one place and, on either side of it, the trail is fairly steep. MEH TE KOS BRIDLE TRAIL – 4.5 miles, orange blaze, . To access the trail from the horse trailer parking lot, cross the main park road and proceed up Backbone Trail about 200 feet. This trail provides access to the many multi-use trails in the southern part of the park and takes riders along shaded, grassy trails next to fields of wild plants and flowers. MEH TE KOS CHALLENGE TRAIL – 1.5 miles, orange blaze, . The trailhead is on York River Park Road and can be accessed by following the Meh Te Kos trail to just above the power lines. The trail proceeds through the forest along fairly difficult terrain and loops back to the trailhead. PAMUNKEY TRAIL – .9 miles, yellow blaze, .A multi-use trail accessible from both the Backbone Trail and the Spur Trail, this trail is named for a native American tribe who once inhabited the region. This trail takes users from the Backbone or Spur trail downhill to an observation tower that overlooks the York River. Bikers should use caution as portions of the trail are steep and sandy. The trail passes through forested areas that typify the park. POWHATAN FORKS TRAIL – .57 miles, beige blaze, . A wide, gently downhill sloping trail, it passes mainly through wooded areas and has two forks. The east fork, 1.04 miles, takes users toward the river where there is a bench at the top of a cliff with panoramic views. The north fork, 1.15 miles, takes users into salt marshes. The portion of the trail that connects to the Majestic Oak Trail is not suitable for horses, as it winds into the marsh and crosses a footbridge. RIVERVIEW TRAIL – 1.5 miles, intense blue blaze, . It passes through a wooded area and, not far from the river, is blocked by a fence with a pass-through for hikers only. Bicycle and horseback riders must proceed on foot from this point. The remote location makes it well-suited for observing wildlife. Near the beach, the trail becomes sandy. Observant hikers will spot evidence of the area’s wildlife. At the end of the trail, there is seating. SPUR TRAIL – .5 miles, brown blaze, . This connects the Powhatan Forks, Majestic Oak and Pamunkey trails. Near its southern end was once the plantation seat of John Blair, a signer of the Constitution. Virginia State Parks York River State Park (Hiking and Multi-use) Williamsburg, Virginia TRAIL GUIDE TASKINAS TRAIL – 2.0 miles, tomato red blaze, . The trail is accessed near the horse trailer parking just south of the visitor center. The trail passes through a variety of habitats ranging from field to forest. Hikers may see ospreys and great blue herons from four observation decks built by local Eagle Scouts. A spur leads to a long deck in the middle of Taskinas Creek Marsh where hikers and paddlers may greet one another. This is a trail loop with numerous changes in elevation. WHITETAIL TRAIL – .75 miles, red blaze, . This multi-use trail is accessed from the Backbone Trail and provides subsequent access in two places to the Dogwood Lane Trail. The trail passes through woods bringing users to an area where the trail ends and users must turn around. When combined with the Dogwood Trail, this trail makes an interesting loop through shaded forest. Near the end of the trail, seasonal views of the river may be had through the trees. WOODSTOCK POND TRAIL – .85 miles, dark gray blaze, . The trail may be accessed near shelter 3, from Backbone Trail, and from Beaver Trail. This wide dirt and fine gravel trail takes users by the visitor center, then over a dam and around Woodstock Pond, before returning to Backbone Trail. On this trail, users go near sites where the Woods House (1930) and the Henderson House (pre-1817) once stood. VIRGINIA STATE PARKS ARE A TONIC FOR THE MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT. Museums, visitor centers and nearby historic sites make state parks cultural treasures. The recreational opportunities in state parks are endless and easy to enjoy – from swimming and boating to horseshoes and hiking, there’s always something to do in a Virginia State Park. WWW.VIRGINIASTATEPARKS.GOV 800-933-PARK Tra il 0 .85 m i. Ma tta po ni .5 0 Henderson House F i. m Trail 0 .5 B e a ver mi. Rental Office & Pier 8 il 0 . Tra Tr ail 0.5 7 To reach Croaker Landing Boat Launch and Fishing Pier from park: Follow 696, take right on 606, then right on 607, and then right on 605. Powhata nF or ks ew vi 1.5 mi. Trail Playground Visitor Center Park Office Amphitheater Point of Interest Observation Point Rental Area Picnic Shelter ai l Restroom r tail T White 606 an Information i . . Contact Station Fishing Area m H, B, HB H H, B, HB H, B, HB H HB HB H, B, HB H, B, HB H, B, HB H, B, HB H, B, HB H, B, HB H H, B, HB H, B mi Riverview Overlook Information Station mi. 75 . 0 e 0.8 Garden of Friends Rd 2.5 0.5 0.8 0.8 0.85 4.5 1.5 0.9 0.57 1.04 1.15 1.5 0.5 2.0 0.75 0.85 .5 M e h Te Kos Bridle Trail 4 Taskinas Plantation Seat ew Gold Silver Magenta White Cobalt Blue Orange Orange Yellow Beige Beige Beige Intense Blue Brown Red Tomato Red Dark Gray Difficulty ne Trai l 2.5 m i. ervi Usage i. 47 0. Parking L Mileage H = Hiking B = Biking HB = Horseback Riding = Easy = Moderate = Difficult Tra Fork n ta ha d oo gw Do Blaze Trail 0 m Backbone Beaver Dogwood Lane Majestic Oak Mattaponi Meh Te Kos Bridle Meh Te Kos Challenge Pamunky Powhatan Forks Powhatan Forks East Fork Powhatan Forks North Fork Riverview Spur Taskinas Creek Whitetail Woodstock Pond 5 Trail Bac k hallenge os C 1. K o h-T m e i. M re ek bo r Spu .5 sC Taskina 696 Riv 2.0 m i . k Tr ail d kR ar rP re e 8m i. k or tF s a il E i. ive York R Taskin as C East Fork Overlook Riv er Taskinas Creek Overlook Picnic Shelters 1&2 k M a j e s ti c O a Woodstock Pond Trail 0.85 mi. Labyrinth mi. Scenic Overlooks Along Taskinas Creek Trail: Marsh Overlook Heron Overlook Osprey Overlook Kingfisher Overlook Eagle Overlook Pamunkey Overlook rk l North F o Trai ks or Foot Bridge Pow ha tan Foot Bridge ey Tra il 0.9 nk mu Pa Powhatan Overlook i. Woods House York River m Fossil Beach Po w Seining Beach Picnic Shelter 3 Visitor Center - Office Amphitheater Maritime Gazebo m rk Pa 646 B y dar n ou York River State Park 757-566-3036 YorkRiver@dcr.virginia.gov 5526 Riverview Road Williamsburg, Va. 23188