YORK RIVER STATE PARK
Located 11 miles west of Williamsburg, York River State Park offers visitors an opportunity to experience the environment of a coastal estuary. This park is known for its rare and delicate environment, where freshwater and saltwater meet to create a habitat rich in marine and plant life. The main focus of the park is to preserve a portion of York River frontage and its related marshes while providing an area for passive day-use recreation for visitors. York River State Park served as a role model for all of Virginias state parks in developing resource management plans. The parks natural resources make it a significant place for environmental education at all levels.
York River State Park takes its name from the river along its border, which is formed from the joining of the Pamunkey and Mattaponi rivers at West Point, 10 miles upriver from the park. Croaker Landing, found within the park, is an archaeological site included in the National Register of Historic Places.
Known in its early history as Taskinas Plantation, this was the site of a 17th and 18th century public tobacco warehouse where local planters stored their crops to be shipped to England. Remnants of wooden "corduroy" roads dating from this period can still be seen along Taskinas Creek at low tide. The park was opened in 1980 to preserve the unique environment and the land that was so significant to the early history of the state.
The York River, where catfish, spot, croaker, striper and crabs are plentiful, is accessed at Croaker Landing. The landing has a boat launch dock, a 360-foot fishing pier, parking and restrooms. The pier is licensed so those fishing on the pier need no salt-water license. Those fishing from boats and the shore, however, must have a Virginia saltwater fishing license. You can buy an annual pass for parking, boat launching and pier fishing at the park or by calling 1-800-933-PARK. Parking and launch-fishing pier fees are required at all times.
Taskinas Creek, which has catfish and white perch, requires either a valid saltwater or freshwater Virginia fishing license. Canoes and kayaks are available for rent at the creek.
Motorboats are allowed only on the river. Rental boats have no motors. Guided canoe and kayak trips begin at the visitor center. Park guests learn about salt-marsh ecology on the Taskinas Creek canoe trip or about the natural and cultural history of the York River on the kayak trip. Paddleboats, jonboats, canoes and kayaks can be rented for use on the pond. Rental equipment is available for use on the creek and the pond from April 1 through the end of October.
You'll find great fishing in three areas of the park. Freshwater anglers will find bluegill and largemouth bass in Woodstock Pond. A Virginia fishing license is required. Boats are available seasonally for rent on pond. Only rental boats are allowed on the pond.
Only allowed in season during special controlled hunts annually (November/December). During the hunts, the park is closed to all other visitors. Please call ahead for closure.
York River State Park is located near Gloucester, Hayes and Williamsburg
Three picnic shelters that overlook the picturesque marsh or York River may be reserved by calling the Reservation Center. They can be rented for the entire day, 8 a.m. to dusk. Shelters 1 and 3 hold up to 35 people; shelter 2 holds approximately 75. Also, 40 picnic tables throughout the park are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Playground equipment also is available (three sets conveniently located near picnic areas).
For an additional fee, a special PLUS Package is available with shelter rentals. Packages are available any day Memorial Day through Labor Day. From April 1 through Memorial Day and from Labor Day through October 31, packages are available only on weekends. Packages are unavailable Nov. 1 through March 31. The package includes recreational equipment for up to 25 people in shelters 1 or 3, or the same for up to 40 people using shelter 2. Package tickets cover paddleboats, kayaks, jon boats, bikes, horseshoes, badminton sets, croquet sets, footballs, soccer balls, volleyballs and Frisbees (r). Extra tickets for additional people can be purchased the day of the reservation. Package and regular shelter rental periods are the same, except for recreational equipment, which is available only from 8 a.m. through 6 p.m. (i.e., not necessarily until dusk). Reservations for the PLUS Package may be made through the Reservation Center, 1-800-933-PARK. For more specifics, please call the concessionaire, York River Recreation Inc., (757) 258-4791, rather than the park. You can also prepay parking fees by calling the concessionaire. PLUS Package renters are not the sole users of this equipment; it is also available to other park users.
Amenities: All shelters have grill, picnic tables and access to restroom and playgrounds.
Shelter 1 (small): Near a playground, it overlooks Taskinas Creek with a partial view of the York River. Shelter can accommodate about 35 people under the shelter. Shelter is handicapped accessible with handicap parking and an adjacent walkway. Shelter is adjacent to shelter 2 and near the parking area. Vehicles may not be driven directly to shelter. There's no electricity at this shelter.
Shelter 2 (large): Located near playground, the shelter offers a partial view of Taskinas Creek. Shelter can accommodate approximately 75 people. Shelter is handicapped accessible with handicap parking and an adjacent walkway. The shelter is adjacent to shelter 1 and near the parking area. Vehicles may not be driven directly to shelter. There's one electric outlet at this shelter.
Shelter 3 (small): This shelter is close to a pond where rental boats are available seasonally and fishing available year round. It is situated atop a high bank above the York River, offers a partial view of the river and is near a playground. It can accommodate about 35 people. It is not handicapped accessible because it is 150 yards from parking area and restrooms. Vehicles may not be driven directly to the shelter unless accompanied by park staff. There's no electricity at this shelter.
Cancellation policy: No refund within 14 days before reserved date. Before then, there's a cancellation fee.
Amphitheater - This special offering can accommodate 100 people. It contains tiered bench seats, a stage and a partial view of the York. Wheelchair accessible. Call park, (757) 566-3036, or email [email protected]
Hiking, bicycle and bridle trails. More than 25 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails provide access to the park?s beautiful and diverse natural areas. There are six bicycle trails, some of which share use with equestrians and hikers. Two are exclusively mountain bike - a six mile single track mountain bike trail (Marl Ravine Trail), which is for advanced riders. Laurel Glen Trail is a 2-mile beginner/intermediate mountain bike trail. The half-mile Black Bear Run Trail connects the other two mountain bike trails.
Canoe trips on Taskinas Creek; kayak trips on the York River; Junior Rangers/Nature Explorers; Pre-school Prowlers; fossil hikes; nature hikes/games; wildlife observations; marine life; night canoe trips; ghost night hikes; seine netting and estuarine life studies; fishing clinics; children?s programs; hay rides; Virginia?s State Parks: Your Backyard Classrooms; various workshops.
Each month from May through October, moonlight canoe trips are offered on evenings with a full moon and starlight canoe trips are offered on evenings with a new moon. Call the park for current fees. Some interpretive offerings have a fee and require reservations - call the park for an up-to-date program guide.
Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown Island and Yorktown offer extensive opportunities for history and touring. Williamsburg Pottery, Lightfoot and Williamsburg Area Outlet Shops on Route 60 offer shopping opportunities. Busch Gardens, Water Country, Go-Karts Plus (miniature golf, etc.), Williamsburg Winery, etc., offer many opportunities for a range of entertainment. There are several restaurants, hotels and campground accommodations in the area.
The closest swimming is at James City County?s Upper County Park Pool (Memorial Day - Labor Day) or the County Recreation Center (indoor pool). Swimming is also available at the Chippokes Plantation State Park pool in Surry County, or at Yorktown Beach in Yorktown.
National Estuarine Research Reserve: Taskinas Creek and the surrounding watershed totaling 525 acres, is one of four sites along the York River designated as a Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Cooperatively managed by the park and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, the reserve is the first of its kind in the state and offers added protection and research opportunities.
Princess Anne The
1350 Richmond Rd
100 Waller Mill Rd # D
4870 Longhill Rd
From I-64, take the Croaker Exit 231B. Go north on Route 607 for one mile, then right on Route 606 about one and a half miles to the park entrance. Take a left turn into the park.