Saturday ยท June 15, 2024
Discover the Splendor of James River State Park: A Premier Horse Campsite in Virginia
Author: Admin
James River State Park Horse Camp in Virginia | Top Horse Trails

James River State Park, located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, offers an exceptional destination for equestrian enthusiasts and nature lovers. The park features rolling grasslands, serene forests, and breathtaking views, along with three miles of picturesque shoreline along the historic James River.

A Diverse Range of Recreational Activities

Visitors to James River State Park can indulge in a variety of outdoor activities. Whether you enjoy hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, or camping, the park provides ample opportunities to immerse yourself in nature. The park's facilities include cabins, lodges, campgrounds, a visitor center, a gift shop, a natural playground, picnic shelters, multi-use trails, and boat launches. For those with accessibility needs, the park features a universally accessible fishing pier and a wheelchair-accessible trail around Green Hill Pond.

Equestrian Camping at Its Finest

James River State Park is a haven for horse campers. The equestrian campsites come equipped with electric and water hookups, and the pull-through sites allow two trailers to share a common area. The park boasts 20 covered horse stalls and five tent pads, ensuring both comfort and convenience for equine enthusiasts. These facilities make it easy to explore the park's scenic trails on horseback, providing an unforgettable outdoor adventure.

Unique Attractions and Events

The park is renowned for hosting the annual James River Batteau Festival, where visitors can view a replica of the unique vessels used during the event at the visitor center. In 2019, James River State Park received the prestigious International Dark Sky Park designation, making it an ideal location for stargazing. Park staff conduct various interpretive programs throughout the year, offering visitors the chance to learn more about the night sky and the park's natural wonders.

Facilities and Accessibility

The park is designed to accommodate a wide range of visitors, with amenities such as picnic shelters and meeting spaces. While the livery operations are currently unavailable, cabins, lodges, and campgrounds remain open and available for rent. Limited interpretive programs are also scheduled, providing educational and recreational opportunities for all ages.

Environmental Stewardship

James River State Park operates as a trash-in, trash-out facility to minimize debris and its impact on wildlife. Guests will find trash collection sites at the canoe landing campground, near the cabin area entrance, and by the park entrance. This policy encourages visitors to take responsibility for their waste, helping to preserve the park's pristine environment.


Plan Your Visit

James River State Park is open daily from dawn to dusk, with the Visitor Center and gift shop operating from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. For more information on lodging, camping, prices, and fees, and to reserve cabins and campsites, visitors can contact the park via email at or check out the park’s website for detailed information, photos, and videos.


Buckingham County. From U.S. 60 West, turn right onto Route 605 (Riverside Dr.) at the James River Bridge. Travel seven miles, then turn left onto Route 606.

From Richmond, travel west on Rt. 60 towards Amherst for about 95 miles. Turn right onto Rt. 605 (Riverside Dr.), and go 7 miles to the park entrance on the left.

From Lynchburg, travel east on 460 to Appomattox. Take the Rt. 26 exit (Business 460). Turn left at the stop light onto Rt. 26 (Oakville Rd.). Continue about 12 miles to the stop sign at Rt. 60 and go straight across Rt. 60 onto Rt. 605 (Riverside Dr.). Continue 7 miles to the park entrance on the left.

From Charlottesville, travel south on Rt. 29 and take the Rt. 60 east exit in Amherst. Travel 15 miles, then turn left on Rt. 605 (Riverside Drive). Go 7 miles and turn left at the park entrance.

From Farmville, travel Rt. 15 north to Dillwyn, Sprouse's Corner. Turn left onto Rt. 60 west and continue for about 25 miles. Turn right on Rt. 605 (Riverside Dr.) and go about 7 miles to the park entrance on the left.


James River State Park offers the following facilities and amenities:

  • Equestrian trails
  • Water and electric hookups
  • Cabins
  • Primitive campsites
  • Covered stalls
  • Pull-through sites
  • Tent pads
  • Fire rings
  • Frill
  • Picnic tables
  • Lantern hanger
  • Bathhouse
  • Dump station


Cost Details:

  • Electric and Water - $40 (Non-Resident)
  • Primitive - $18 (Non-Resident)
  • Group Campground (tent camping) - $80 (Non-Resident)
  • Covered Stalls - $10



  • All equipment must be set up within site borders. Two vehicles are allowed per campsite. A fee is charged for additional vehicles, which must be parked in designated areas. Guests visiting campers must leave by 10 p.m.
  • A dump station is free for overnight camping guests; non-camper guests must pay a small fee to use it.
  • Firewood is available for a small fee; fire starters are available at the camp store, contact station, and visitor center.
  • Keep pets on a leash no longer than six feet when outside, and keep pets inside at night.
  • Groups with numbers greater than that typically allowed here must apply for a special-use permit at least three weeks before their stay.
  • Horses must be kept in a stall.
  • State law requires that visitors carry a copy of a current negative Coggins report with each horse brought to the park.
  • Camping reservations are highly recommended, and all campgrounds are site-specific - call 1-800-933-7275
  • Contact Details: Phone: 434-933-4355; Email: 


If you want to discover and explore other campsites and horse trails, here are some of them that you may visit:

FRANKLIN STATE FOREST - Franklin State Forest West Rim Loop

FRANKLIN STATE FOREST - West Side and West Rim Loop

SEWANEE, TENNESSEE - Sewanee Perimeter Trail



James River State Park does require reservations for overnight accommodations. Please visit their page here on Top Horse Trails - James River State Park for more information