POCAHONTAS STATE FOREST
Located in Chesterfield County the Pocahontas State Forest is a stunning natural oasis, spanning over 8,000 acres of pristine wilderness. It offers a diverse range of outdoor recreational activities for nature enthusiasts of all ages. With its towering pine trees, tranquil lakes, and winding trails, the forest provides a picturesque setting for hiking, biking, camping, and birdwatching. Visitors can navigate through its extensive trail system, which weaves through dense forests and meandering streams, showcasing the region's rich biodiversity. The Pocahontas State Forest not only provides a peaceful escape from the surrounding urban area but also serves as a vital habitat for various wildlife species, making it an inviting destination for those seeking a closer connection with nature.
Pocahontas State Forest, located in Chesterfield County, Virginia, has a history that dates back to the early 20th century. The forest was originally known as "Swift Creek Recreational Area" and was created in 1936 as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal program to provide employment during the Great Depression.
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a public work relief program, was responsible for the development of the forest. From 1936 to 1941, CCC workers constructed various recreational facilities, including a 150-acre lake known as Swift Creek Lake. They also built picnic shelters, cabins, campgrounds, and trails.
During World War II, the Army used the area known as "Camp Pocahontas," which also included the Pocahontas State Park nearby, for military training exercises. After the war, the state took over the control of the forest and further developed it for recreational purposes.
In 1989, the state forest was officially designated as Pocahontas State Forest separate from the adjacent Pocahontas State Park. It offers a wide range of outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, fishing, boating, and horseback riding. The forest covers over 8,000 acres and continues to be managed by the Virginia Department of Forestry.
1. Pocahontas State Park offers 129 campsites with water and electric hookups, picnic tables, grills and lantern holders.
2. There are four camping cabins available for rent year:round in the park.
3. The Swift Creek Campground has sites suitable for tents or RVs up to 50 feet long.
4. Group Camping is also an option at two primitive campgrounds: Beaver Lake Group Camp & Powhatan Youth Center Area.
5. Equestrian camping facilities include a horse stable area near Bright Hope Horse Complex within the state forest.