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Virginia: Staunton River State Park
Posted on Thursday, September 01 @ 16:56:33 MST by iljiana

Horse Rentals & Day Ride Trails 1170 Staunton Trail,
Scottsburg, Va. 24589-9636
(434) 572-4623

General Information: Staunton River State Park is one of the six original state parks that opened in June 1936. It is located on 1,597 acres along the shoreline of the John H. Kerr Reservoir (also known as Buggs Island Lake), as well as the Dan and Staunton rivers. The largest lake in Virginia is only one of the park’s many attractions, which include a swimming pool, camping, cabins, picnic shelters and nature trails.

Location: Staunton River State Park is 18 miles east of South Boston. Take U.S. 360 to Route 344. Follow Route 344 for 10 miles to the park, located southeast of Scottsburg, Va.

Horse Rentals: Horseback riders allowed on multi-use trail.

Trails: Hiking and self-guided trails; horses allowed on multi-use trail. Six wooded trails provide miles of hiking along the Dan and Staunton rivers as well as Buggs Island Lake. Some of the landscapes are little changed from the times when generals from the Revolutionary and Civil wars camped with their troops.

Multi-use trail open for hikers, bikers and horseback riders. Bring your own horse.

Estimated Driving Time to Park from: Northern Virginia, three and a half hours; Richmond, two hours; Tidewater/Norfolk/Virginia Beach, three hours; Roanoke, two hours

Park History: Staunton River State Park takes its name from the river that borders the park. The river was named for Captain Henry Staunton who, before the Revolutionary War, commanded a company of soldiers to protect early settlers from Indian attacks. The soldiers patrolled from the mountains to the mouth of the Dan River. This section of the Dan River became known as Captain Staunton’s River and later, Staunton River. Forty years later, in the 1810s, the river became an important means of transporting tobacco, a popular cash crop. Many large plantations were built in the area. During the Civil War, most of these plantations were destroyed.

In 1933, Virginia's Commission of Conservation and Development bought 1,766 acres of farmland bordering the river from several owners. From 1933 to 1935, a unit of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built most of the buildings and facilities that are still seen today at the park. The CCC barracks were located near what is today a nature trail in the park. Buggs Island Lake was formed with the construction of the Kerr Dam in 1952. More than 150 acres of the original park were flooded, leaving some structures completely underwater.

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