Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Westmoreland State Park

Last year, while on a little excursion, Mark and I found Westmoreland State Park.  But at the time the area had just been hit by a hurricane and the park was closed to visitors.  I have had it in my head since then to go back and visit.  This last weekend turned out to be the perfect time to return. 

The park has all the usual things you would expect to find at one of Virginia's State Parks.  Camping, cabins, hiking trails, a visitor center, a playground for the little ones.  But this park also has two beachy areas, paddle boat rentals and views of the Potomac River that are just knock your socks off. 

To visit the park you pay only $4.  We started our visit with a driving tour.  We figured our best bet was to get Emma out of the car and moving fast so the first thing we did was hike to Fossil Beach.  This is said to be a good spot to look for shark teeth.  We didn't find any....but we really were not looking hard either.

This trail leads to Fossil Beach

Views of the cliffs

The far end of the beach

The trail to get down wasn't longer than a mile.  At some points it was pretty steap but Mark could manage easily carrying Emma.  There weren't more than 20-30 other visitors down here so it was a peaceful spot to just stop and relax.

Before heading back we checked out the boardwalk

From the boardwalk

Still lots of trees down from last year's hurricane

Back up at the trail head is the visitor center

A short trip to the other end of the park and you come to the picnic/fishing area.  There is a swimming pool (open during the summer only) and a shop to buy bait and a few supplies.

You can rent the paddle boats and kayaks here

Yes that is a nest on top of the gazebo

One of the cabins

What I don't like about the cabins in the State Parks is that they require you stay a minimum of two nights.  We tend to only do two nights if we can get off early on Friday because of travel time.  It seems a waste since some of the cabins go empty...but at least for us it gives us a reason to try somewhere new. 

I really enjoyed the park over all.  Next time we'll make sure that Emma is in the mood to walk (she wanted carried the entire time).  There were still plenty of other trails we didn't get to hike.  Until next time....happy travels folks.

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