unique, inspiring, off-the-beaten-path Virginia

Virginia's National Parks

Virginia is home to several dozen scenic and historic National Park Service trails, parks, drives, seashores, monuments, battlefields and wildlife refuges. These national treasures offer a wealth of leisure and learning opportunities for the whole family. Here are a few to get you started - and be sure to check back soon as more parks are added to the list.

National Monuments

Booker T. Washington National Monument

booker t washington national monument cabin

At the age of 16 a young newly-freed slave named Booker T. Washington walked and hitchhiked 400 miles to Hampton, Virginia to attend a new college for African Americans. Washington later distinguished himself as an educator and founded the famed Tuskegee Institute.

George Washington Birthplace National Monument

Featuring the Washington family's recreated home and gardens, George Washington Birthplace National Monument features a visitor center, guided tours and talks by National Park Service Rangers and nearly two miles of scenic nature trails with water views and a farm.

Colonial and American Revolution Parks

Yorktown Battlefield

yorktown battlefield monument

Part of Colonial National Historical Park, Yorktown Battlefield commemorates the last battle of the American Revolution. The park features a visitor center, orientation film, tours and talks conducted by National Park Service Rangers, a museum, and a gift shop. The battlefield driving tour features hiking trails with interpretive signs at each stop as well as original and recreated field fortifications and artillery displays.

Civil War Parks

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park

appomattox court house jail

It is said that the Civil War began and ended at Wilmer McLean's house as the first shots were fired near his home in Manassas, and by coincidence the last shots were fired and the surrender occurred at his second home in Appomattox Court House, both of which are now part of Virginia's National Park system.

Beaver Dam Creek Battlefield

beaver dam creek battlefield trail

Here at Beaver Dam Creek, Richmond National Battlefield Park owns and protects 365 acres of battlefield lands. There is a foot bridge over the creek and a short trail that takes you to the site of the heaviest fighting of the Battle of Beaver Dam Creek.

Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historic Park

cedar creek millers mill

The site of the Union's first victory in The Valley during the Civil War, Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historic Park features a staffed park office with exhibits, tours and talks led by National Park Service Rangers, a book shop, park brochures and maps as well as a self-guided driving tour of the battlefield.

Chancellorsville Battlefield

chancellorsville mclaws trail hills creek

The site of Robert E. Lee's 'Perfect Battle' during the Civil War, Chancellorsville at Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park features a visitor center and offers tours and talks led by National Park Service Rangers as well as a film, exhibits, bookstore, gift shop, battlefield driving tours and scenic hiking trails.

Chimborazo Medical Museum

chimborazo visitor center church hill

Located in the Richmond National Battlefield Park Visitor Center, the Chimborazo Medical Museum is located in Chimborazo Park in the scenic and historic Church Hill section of Richmond. The museum is staffed by park rangers and features a film, gift shop, and numerous Civil War medical artifacts and exhibits.

City Point at Hopewell

city point at hopewell

Now part of Petersburg National Battlefield Park, Abraham Lincoln met with Generals Grant and Sherman aboard the River Queen at City Point to plan 'liberal and honorable' surrender terms for the Confederates.

Cold Harbor Battlefield

cold harbor battlefield hikers

Part of Richmond National Battlefield Park, Cold Harbor contains some of the most well-preserved original Confederate earthworks you'll find anywhere. The park features a visitor center, exhibits and guided tours by park rangers as well as walking trails and a driving tour that take you past the entrenchments.

Drewry's Bluff Battlefield

drewrys bluff earthworks fence

Part of Richmond National Battlefield Park, Drewry's Bluff features a foot path that meanders through the forest among the mounds and trenches of an old Confederate fort overlooking the James River and is truly a step back in time to 1862. The park features scenic views and an artillery display.

Five Forks Battlefield

five forks battlefield

Part of Petersburg National Battlefield Park, Five Forks was the site of a major humiliation for Confederate General Pickett who, at the time of the battle was off at a shad bake unaware of the Union attack against his troops. Five Forks features a visitor center, a driving tour with interpretive signs as well as 8 miles of multi-use equestrian, hiking, and biking trails.

Fredericksburg Battlefield

fredericksburg battlefield artillery

Part of Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park, Fredericksburg features a visitor center with a museum and film and the 1/2-mile Sunken Road Walking Trail. The park driving tour includes Robert E. Lee's command post and Stonewall Jackson's line. The park includes Chatham Manor, a Union headquarters and field hospital located two miles east of the battlefield.

Gaines Mill Battlefield

gaines mill battlefield artillery

Part of Richmond National Battlefield Park, Gaines Mill features the historic Watt house and farm and an artillery exhibit. The Gaines Mill Breakthrough Trail takes you to the area where the Confederates broke the Union line, as well as Wilcox's Brigade Monument, and a Battlefield Overlook.

Malvern Hill Battlefield

malvern hill tree sunset

Part of Richmond National Battlefield Park, Malvern Hill is one of the most well-preserved Civil War Battlefields and appears much as it did in the mid 19th century. There is a 1-1/2 mile loop trail where you can walk the path of the Confederate attacks and view the Malvern Cliffs, artillery exhibits, Crewe House, West House, and Parsonage Ruins.

Manassas National Battlefield Park

malvern hill confederate battery

A leader in battlefield biodiversity and conservation, the 5,000 acre Manassas National Battlefield Park commemorates the Manassas I and Manassas II battles with over 40 miles of trails in a pristine battlefield that appears much as it did 150 years ago.

Petersburg National Battlefield Park

the crater mahone monument

Petersburg National Battlefield Park features a visitor center, museum, and film as well as tours and talks led by National Park Service Rangers. The park driving tour includes eight stops with interpretive signs, exhibits, audio stations, recreated fortifications and scenic hiking trails. The tour features a stop at the notorious Crater.

Spotsylvania Court House Battlefield

spotsylvania bloody angle monuments

Part of Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park, Spotsylvania Court House Battlefield features a 7-mile driving and walking tour of the major battle sites and includes hiking trails and interpretive panels at each stop. This highly scenic park and its trails are popular with hikers, runners and cyclists.

Stonewall Jackson Shrine

Confederate Gen. Thomas J. 'Stonewall' Jackson earned his nickname at Manassas for his composure on the battlefield. During the Battle of Chancellorsville Jackson was shot during a night-time reconnaissance and was taken to the Chandler Plantation at Guinea Station where he later died. The shrine offers tours and talks by National Park Service Rangers.

Wilderness Battlefield

wilderness battlefield saunders field artillery

Part of Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park, the The Battle of the Wilderness opened Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's Overland Campaign and was the first confrontation between the new Commander of All Union Armies and the indefatigable Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The battlefield features an 8-stop driving tour with interpretive signs and hiking trails at each stop.