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Virginia's Heartland

Virginia’s Heartland has a treasure trove of recreational areas:

High Bridge Trail State Park,
Prince Edward, Cumberland, & Nottoway Counties.

High Bridge Trail State Park is a linear rails-to-trails park ideally suited for hiking, bicycling, and horeseback riding. The Park gets its name from the majestic High Bridge, originally built in 1853 as part of the South Side Railroad. The bridge is more than 2,400 feet long and 125 feet above the Appomattox River. The entire 31 mile trail is now open.  The High Bridge portion of the trail opened in April of 2012.

Amelia Wildlife Management Area, Amelia County.
Amelia Wildlife Management Area encompasses more than 2000 acres, with picnic facilities, fishing pier, and areas for hunting, boating, hiking and exploring.

Bear Creek Lake State Park, Cumberland County.
Bear Creek Lake State Park provides opportunity for camping (40 sites with full hook-up). The focal point of Bear Creek is the lake, surrounded by campgrounds, five hiking trails, a natural area, swimming beach and shoreline fishing. Bear Creek also provides access to the Willis River Trail, a 16-mile trail that winds through Cumberland Forest.

Sailor’s Creek Battlefield State Park, Amelia, Nottoway, and Prince Edward Counties.
Sailor’s Creek Battlefield State Park was the scene of the last major battle of the Civil War in Virginia. Sailor’s Creek has 321 acres of land and is rich in history. Within Sailor’s Creek is the Overton-Hillsman House, which was built in the 1770s. The house overlooks the battlefield and served as a Federal field hospital. The House is open to tours seasonally. There is also a visitor center on the grounds.

Staunton River Bridge Battlefield State Park, Charlotte County.
Staunton River Bridge Battlefield State Park is a historic park where, on June 25, 1864, 700 men and boys from Southside, Virginia responded to a call to assist a volunteer Confederate force of 296 men in defense of a railroad bridge over the Staunton River, against a Union Cavalry of more than 5,000. The Park is now the site of historic re-enactments and it also has a self-guided tour trail called Battlefield Trail.

James River State Park, Buckingham County.
James River State Park has 1,500 acres of rolling farm meadows, quiet forest and beautiful mountain vistas, as well as three miles of frontage along the James River. There are 20 miles of multiple use trails for hikers, bikers and equestrians. The park also includes three fishing ponds, picnic shelters, a fishing pier and boat ramp.

Briery Creek Lake, Prince Edward County.
Briery Creek Lake, within the Briery Creek Wildlife Management Area, offers outstanding fishing opportunities for largemouth bass and other species. There are two boat launch facilities that have concrete ramps, courtesy piers, restroom facilities, and paved parking. A handicapped fishing pier is also available.

Sandy River Reservoir, Prince Edward County.
The Sandy River Reservior offers superior fishing opportunities. There are two boat ramps and a handicapped accessible fishing pier. Kayaking and canoeing are popular on this 740-acre man-made lake.

Twin Lakes State Park, Prince Edward County.
Twin Lakes State Park encompasses 495 acres of land with two lakes – 36-acre Prince Edward Lake and 15-acre Goodwin Lake. The Park offers camping, group camping, cabins and a lodge. Swimming, boating and hiking are also available. The Cedar Crest Conference Center, a day-use facility, is within the Park.

Birding and Wildlife Trails.
The Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail celebrates the Commonwealth’s natural habitat diversity. In fact, it is the first statewide program of its kind in the United States. In Virginia’s Heartland four loops of the trail link wildlife viewing sites. Those loops are:

 Heart of the Piedmont Loop
 James River Loop
 Roanoke-Meherrin Summit Loop
 Staunton River Loop

Organized Outdoor Recreational Opportunities

Golf courses.
There is a mixture of private and public golf courses throughout the region. The region also has a large offering of county recreation programs, including adult and youth sports leagues, country clubs and social organizations.

Shooting Ranges.
The Amelia Wildlife Management Area has a rifle sighting-in range, a clay-bird shotgun range, and an elevated station for archery practice. Facilities are not available for handguns. The ranges are normally open to the public from September 1 – March 31 on every day of the week except Monday.