To The Wild!

Here is the write up of our trip.

For the spring break coming up we're thinking of checking out what Virginia state parks have to offer, so here are the information & planning for the trip

For most parks, minimum of 2-night stay is required, and I think that's good; because you can't get into the mood to appreciate the nature, notice sky full of stars, and enjoy canoeing or kayaking if you're in rush. So, I am looking forward to a trip which has one night to settle in and minimum of one more night to have your mind melt with the nature. Here are a list of parks, which has cabins/family lodge and canoe/kayak rental

Alright, we've selected the Twin Lakes State Park, which has a lodge & boat rental. Other places do not rent out canoe/kayak until April/May time frame.
Here are links & activities planning

The Plan

Things to bring:
  • Coffee
  • Foods
  • Drinks
  • Clothes
  • Games
  • Camera/Camcorder
  • Reading materials


  • After Bảo is done with the Rutgers' open house, we start driving to Twin Lakes State Park.
  • It will take 3hrs 25min to get there; that means we need to call them ahead of time, and let them know that we will arrive late. Need to know how/where to pick up the keys, maps.
  • 4PM. Get to the lodge, un-pack. Drive to the ranger office to check out the trails & place.
  • 4:30PM the office close, so use the last 4-digit of reservation number to open the lock-box (8507)
  • 5PM. Get back to the lodge, prepare dinner (Ly chef + Bảo/Thuy sous chefs).
    • Appetizer:
      • Garlic breads with extra-virgin olive oil, sprinkles with parsley.
      • Potsticker with soy-sauce
    • Main course:
      • Steak au Poivre, served with baby carrots, yellow squash, zuchini; steam rice by request
    • Deserts:
      • Cheese cake with strawberry sauce. 
      • Vanilla ice cream.
  • 7PM. After dinner, may want to walk to the Cedar Crest, stroll around, check out the Gazebo
  • 8PM. Back to the lodge, play games, talk
    • Scrabbles night. Three rounds, quarter-final. Best teams move up to quarter-final
    • Poker night. $5 buys in.


  • 5AM Sunday morning, wake up, walk to Cedar Crest, take some pictures
  • 7AM Get back to the lodge, cook & have breakfast. Make some lunch & bring along. There are plenty of picnic table along the trails, make some sandwiches to bring along. Each should have a small backpack, and optionally a hiking stick. If you have boots, wear them.
  • 10AM. Drive to Goodwin Lake. Start to hike the trail Goodwin Lake trail.
  • Rent canoes and canoeing for about 1hr
  • Have lunch on the canoe or back into the restaurant near by
  • After lunch, start the trail Between the Lakes, continue on to the lower part of the Otter Trail, on to Beaver Point Trail.
  • 3PM. Rent another session of canoeing 1-2hrs.
  • 5PM. Get back to the lodge, rest. Cook & dinner.
    • Appetizer (Ly)
      • Bacon Wrapped Shrimps, dipping with soy-sauce
      • Saute mushroom in garlic/butter sauce
    • Main course:
    • Desert
      • Vanilla ice cream
  • 7PM. After dinner, walk to the other cabins, lake front, check them out
  • 8PM. Get back to the lodge, play game. Sleep.
    • Scrabbles night. Quarter-final. Three rounds. Best team wins.


  • 5AM Get up early, walk to the Cedar Crest Conf Center, taking pictures
  • 7AM Get back to the lodge, make breakfast, pack & ready to check out
  • 10AM. Drive to the High Bridge Trail, walk to the High Bridge.
  • Check out Country Cookin', have lunch there.
  • Drive home, should be home around 5pm.

Cabins & boat rental

Blue Ridge

Claytor Lake State Park
6620 Ben H. Bolen Drive
Dublin, VA 24084-5643
Phone: (540) 643-2501

Map. Cabins 1-12: Two-bedroom, one bathroom, water-view. For boat rental call (540) 731-8683 or visit

Hungry Mother State Park
2854 Park Boulevard
Marion, VA 24354-6366
Phone: (276) 781-7400

Map. Boat rental available, call John Stone, (276) 781-7425  Office,  (276) 780-3685  Cell.

Central Virginia

Smith Mountain Lake State Park
1235 State Park Road
Huddleston, VA 24104-9547
Phone: (540) 297-2377

Map. It has 8 water-view cabins. Boat rental, call (540) 721-1639. Probably not. May be off-site.

Twin Lakes State Park
788 Twin Lakes Road
Green Bay, VA 23942-2525
Phone: (434) 392-9027

Map. Cabins 2, 4 and 6 are water-view cabins, $83/night. Rowboats and canoes are available for rent year-round

Chesapeake Bay

Belle Isle State Park
1632 Belle Isle Road
Lancaster, VA 22503-9425
Phone: (804) 462-5030

Map. Beautiful guest house, Chesapeake view

Heart of Appalachia

Breaks Interstate Park
PO Box 100
Breaks, VA 24607
Phone: (276) 865-4413

A bit more expensive, but new cabins & over looking the river. Call for canoe/boat rental.

Southern Virginia

Fairy Stone State Park
967 Fairystone Lake Drive
Stuart, VA 24171-9588
Phone: (276) 930-3927

Map. Only #2, 8, 17, 21 are lakefront. Actually, #8 is more desirable. No boat rental until first weekend of April.

Occoneechee State Park
1192 Occoneechee park Road
Clarksville, VA 23927-9449
Phone: (434) 374-2210

Map. Cabins 4, 8, 11 and 13 are water-view. Only pontoon & fishing boats, no canoe/kayak. Call (434) 374-2525 or (434) 374-2755 to make reservations. We do not rent ourselves but we have a concessionaire here in the park that does. The phone number to them is 434-374-2755.

Staunton River State Park
1170 Staunton Trail
Scottsburg, VA 24589-9636
Phone: (434) 572-3694

Map. Does not rent boat, but have boat rental store right outside of park

Cabins only

Central Virginia

James River State Park
Route 1, Box 787
Gladstone, VA 24553
Phone: (434) 933-4355

Map. Looks like this has canoe/kayak rental. Nope! not until April 17th.

Bear Creek Lake State Park
929 Oak Hill Road
Cumberland, VA 23040-9518
Phone: (804) 492-4410

Map. Cabins 2, 4, 5, 11 and 12 are water-view. No boat rental until May.

Chesapeake Bay

Westmoreland State Park
1650 State Park Road
Montross, VA 22520-9717
Phone: (804) 493-8821

Map. The Potomac River Retreat, sleep 16, has river view. No boat rental until April 17th.

Hampton Roads

Chippokes Plantation State Park
695 Chippokes Park Road
Surry, VA 23883
Phone: (757) 294-3728

Map. No boat rental

First Landing State Park
2500 Shore Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23451-1415
Phone: (757) 412-2320

Map. No boat rental, but available outside of park.

Northern Virginia

Lake Anna State Park
6800 Lawyers Road
Spotsylvania, VA 22553-9645
Phone: (540) 854-5503

Map. No boat rental.

Shenandoah Valley

Douthat State Park
14239 Douthat State Park Road
Millboro, VA 24460
Phone: (540) 862-8100

Map. Construction of new cabins in progress. No boat rental until first Sat of April

Subpages (1): Reflection
Quoc-Anh Vuong,
Mar 10, 2010, 7:51 PM