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Bear Creek Lake State Park

Located in Cumberland, Virginia, Bear Creek Lake State Park is a recreational and camping facility surrounding an artificial 30-acre lake.


Bear Creek Lake State Park
22 Bear Creek Lake Road
Cumberland, VA 23040
Phone, (804) 492-4410

Bear Creek Lake was built in 1938 as a project of the Virginia Department of Agriculture through the State Forestry Division.

Although this project was undertaken during the closing days of the Great Depression, the 100 men who built the lake were not members of the Civilian Conservation Corps. 

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They were simply carpenters, farmers and unskilled laborers seeking jobs. Along with the lake, these men built two pavilions, a concession stand and six fireplaces. The land was given to the Division of State Parks in 1940, and it was operated as a day-use recreation area. In 1962 the division added campgrounds and the area's name was changed to Bear Creek Lake State Park.

Bear Creek Lake State ParkThe park is surrounded by the 16,000-acre Cumberland State Forest, which provides opportunities for a wide range of outdoor activities. Four small lakes in the state forest are managed by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries for recreational fishing. A network of gated and ungated forest roads provides hiking, mountain biking and nature observation.

LOCATION: The park is about 4.5 miles northwest of the town of Cumberland. From U.S. Route 60, go west on Route 622 and south on Route 629 to the park entrance.

Drive Times: Northern Va., three hours; Richmond, one hour; Roanoke, two hours; Tidewater/Norfolk/Virginia Beach, three hours

TRAILS: Hiking; no bicycle trails or rentals, however horses and bicycles allowed on multi-use hiking trail. The park also provides access to the Willis River Trail, a 16-mile long trail winding through the surrounding area. The 14-mile Cumberland Multi-use Trail also is available for bicyles, horses and hikers (this trail does not loop back into the park and is located on Virginia Department of Forestry property).

FISHING, BOATING: The 40-acre lake supports healthy populations of largemouth bass, crappie, bream and channel catfish. The Willis River, a small, slow moving tributary of the James, winds through Cumberland State Forest providing fishing opportunities to anyone with a canoe or small boat. Two canoe launches are located in Cumberland State Forest for access to the Willis River.

Boat rentals are available daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day. A boat launching ramp is available for non-gasoline powered boats. Shoulder season rentals are offered on weekends only during May and September. Parental supervision is required for all rentals, and pets are not allowed in rental boats. Rentals are sometimes cancelled during the shoulder season because of bad weather or staff shortages.

In addition, canoes, rowboats, trolling motors and paddleboats are available for rent. A valid Virginia fishing license is required for fishing.

HUNTING: Fall hunting in nearby Cumberland State Forest. Call the park at (804) 492-4410 for specific dates. The park also has a 2-D multi-station archery range. Please call the park, (804) 492-4410, for details.

VISITOR CENTER, GIFT SHOP: Merchandise can be purchased at the office, concession stand and boat house.

NATURE, HISTORY PROGRAMS: Campfire get-togethers, music activities, night hikes, nature crafts, survival skills, canoeing and many more activities are offered on weekends from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Weekday programs are available on a limited basis. Groups may request special programming any time of year if they provide advance notice and the subject matter is relevant to Bear Creek's natural and historic resources.

PICNIC SHELTERS: The park offers lakeside picnicking near the swimming beach. Picnic facilities include drinking water, grills and restrooms. Picnic shelters are available by reservation by calling the Reservation Center at 1-800-933-PARK.

Shelters can be rented from 8 a.m. to dusk (all day), or 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. or 3 p.m. to dusk (half day). Please note the hour in between for half day rental times. The shelter is rented April 1 through Oct. 31; boat rentals and swimming are available Memorial Day through Labor Day. Shelter parking is very limited so carpooling is recommended.

See Also:
Bear Lake Website

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