LEESYLVANIA STATE PARK
Leesylvania opened in 1992. In 1978, noted philanthropist Daniel Ludwig donated the land to the state for a park. A national historical society, the Society of Lees of Virginia, was instrumental in securing the donation. Locally the area is known as Freestone Point, referring to the sandstone early settlers took from the property for building. Henry Lee III (Light Horse Harry) was born here at what was then Leesylvania Plantation in Colonial America. This Revolutionary War hero would later father the Confederate General Robert E. Lee of Civil War fame.
Leesylvania State Park opened full time in 1992. In 1978, noted philanthropist Daniel Ludwig donated the land to the state for a park. A national historical society, the Society of Lees of Virginia, was instrumental in securing the donation. Locally the area is known as "Freestone Point," referring to the sandstone early settlers took from the property for building. Henry Lee II lived on the property from 1747 until his death in 1787. His wife died five years later and both were buried in the family gravesite, which is still on the property. Their mansion burned soon after Mrs. Lee died. Eight children were born at Leesylvania, including Henry Lee III (Light Horse Harry), a cavalry colonel in the revolution, governor of Virginia (1791-1794) and father of Robert E. Lee. In 1825 the property was sold to Henry Fairfax. His son John, later an aide to CSA Gen. James Longstreet, inherited the property in 1847. The Fairfax house burned in 1910, shortly after John's death, but many remnants, including a large chimney that has been restored, remain on the site. In addition, Freestone Point was the site of a Confederate force and gun emplacement during the Civil War.
The park picnic area features ?-mile of natural sand beach on the Potomac River. Swimming from the shore is not allowed. Bottom hazards and boat traffic make the beach unsafe for such activities. Wading, walking and sunning are allowed.
Boat launch: This area features launching ramps, sailboat hoists and parking for 200 cars/trailers. A cartop launch area is located on Powells Creek for smaller boats such as canoes, kayaks, etc. The park store and gas dock are also located here. Motorboats are allowed. There are no restrictions on motor horsepower.
Overnight boating is allowed Friday and Saturday nights from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Call the park for details.
The Potomac River is an excellent largemouth bass fishery. The river is tidal here and the water considered fresh. Other sport fish include catfish, perch and striped bass. A Virginia freshwater fishing license is required.
Leesylvania State Park is located near Alexandria, Annandale and Arlington
Three large picnic shelters and an open area (Lee's Landing) are available for rent. To reserve, call the Reservations Center at 1-800-933-PARK, in Richmond 225-3867. Per car parking fees are not covered in the rental (see "parking/admission" above). Shelters can be rented from 8 a.m. to dark (all day). A special use permit is required if you plan to use the shelter for something other than just picnicking - e.g., a wedding, worship service or other such special event. That permit details how the shelter can be used and when. Once the shelter capacity is reached, guests beyond that number must be turned away by park staff.
Cancellation policy: No refund within 14 days before reserved date. Before then, there's a cancellation fee.
Shelter 1, Freestone Point - The shelter, which is near the river and handicapped accessible, accommodates 100. It is about 225 feet from the nearest restroom, 400 feet from the parking lot and 100 feet from the river. There's a large parking area near this shady shelter, which features a large grill, electricity and a water spigot.
Shelter 2, Fairfax Landing - This shelter, near the river, accommodates up to 100 and is ideal for kids and a favorite spot for weddings and receptions. It's near the playground and has level area for games. It's about 185 feet from a restroom, 140 feet from the parking lot and 103 feet from the river. It features a water spigot, a large grill and electricity.
Shelter 3, Potomac Beach - This shady shelter has a nice view of the river, which is only 135 feet away. Parking is about 100 feet away, with the nearest restroom about 300 feet away. This is the shelter nearest the sailboat parking lot. It features a water spigot, a large grill and electricity.
Shelter 4, Lee's Landing - This shelter is round and has picnic tables with benches. Any use other than simple picnicking may require a special use permit and/or extra fees. Anyone planning to other such uses must call Leesylvania State Park to see if a special use permit is required. Special use permit applications are obtained by calling the park directly. Allow 30 days for the processing the application. Requests made fewer than 30 days in advance may not be honored.
This shelter accommodates up to 100 and has restrooms, water and electricity available. Available by reservation only, this shelter may not be used unless it has been rented. Parking is nearby, adjacent to the sailboat launch area. The shelter, which offers a splendid view of the Potomac River, is completely handicapped accessible. Consumption of alcoholic beverages is permitted in this area so long as the user has obtained necessary permits through the Alcohol Beverage Control Board. This is the park's only shelter that allows alcoholic beverages. As with all other park shelters, no amplified sound - music or microphones - is permitted.
Weddings, receptions and any function beyond a standard picnic can be accommodated, but such functions require a special use permit and/or extra fees. The park issues special use permits. Guests planning such events should call the park before renting the shelter to see if a special use permit is required.
The park offers four hiking trails for the exploration of the rich natural and historical features of the Potomac. The park boasts many scenic overlooks of the Potomac River including one on the remains of a Civil War Confederate gun battery at Freestone Point.
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Leesylvania State Park is in the southeast area of Prince William County, approximately 25 miles from Washington, D.C. and Fredericksburg. From I-95, take Rippon Landing Exit 156; then go east on Route 784 to U.S. 1. From U.S. 1, Route 610 (Neabsco Road) east two miles.