Colonial National Historical Park

Colonial National Historical Park

Quick Facts

Colonial National Historical Park

Virginia

(757) 898-3400

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Colonial National Historical Park (NHP) administers two of the most historically significant sites in English North America. Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in North America in 1607, is administered jointly with the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, and Yorktown Battlefield, the final major battle of the American Revolutionary War in 1781. These two sites represent the beginning and end of English colonial America. Situated on the Virginia Peninsula, these sites are connected by the 23 mile scenic Colonial Parkway. Colonial NHP also includes Green Spring, the 17th century plantation home of Virginia's colonial governor, Sir William Berkeley, and the Cape Henry Memorial, which marks the approximate site of the first landing of the Jamestown colonists in April of 1607. Colonial NHP has a variety of natural resources including extensive wetlands, forest, fields, shorelines and streams, as well as rare, threatened and endangered plants and animals.

Map of Colonial

Latitude, Longitude: 37.219120, -76.514969

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Activities

  • Bicycling

    Bicyclists may use all paved roadways within the park and should follow the same laws and regulations that apply to the safe operation of motor vehicles as required in local and state laws. In order to conform to state laws, bicycles should travel in single file and stay on the right side of the road. Bicyclists should be aware that these roads have vehicular traffic and practice good defensive cycling techniques. Regulations prohibit bicycling on the actual Yorktown Battlefield or Historic Jamestowne sites.

    Map of Colonial National Historical Park showing the Colonial Parkway connecting Yorktown, Williamsburg and Historic Jamestowne.

    The Colonial Parkway, a 23-mile scenic three-lane highway, connects Yorktown Battlefield, Colonial Williamsburg and Historic Jamestowne. (These three sites are known as the Historic Triangle.) The Parkway starts at the Yorktown Battlefield Visitor Center parking, heads west following the York River to Williamsburg, turns south to follow the James River, and ends up in the Historic Jamestowne Visitor Center parking lot.

    The National Park Service maintains and patrols the Parkway. Pull-offs of historical significance along the Parkway provides scenic views and historical information. In keeping with the natural beauty and the Colonial atmosphere of the route, the three-line roadway is not marked with white or yellow dividing lines. Composed of a cobble aggregate pavement, the highway simulates an early Colonial Virginia roadway and can present a rough, bumpy ride for bicyclists. The center lane of this three-lane roadway is for passing only; signs indicate no passing zones.

    The Parkway has a tunnel under part of Colonial Williamsburg and regulations prohibit pedestrians or bicycles in the tunnel for safety reasons. To access the bicycle tunnel bypass from Yorktown, take the exit after the Parkway passes under Lafayette Street. At the "T" turn right onto England Street. Turn left onto Lafayette Street. Follow Lafayette Street to Henry Street and turn left again. Follow Henry Street until you reach Newport Avenue. Turn left and follow the signs to Jamestown via the Colonial Parkway. Turn right onto the Parkway.

    There are two tour roads in Yorktown, the seven-mile Battlefield Tour Road, marked by red arrows, and the nine-mile Encampment Tour Road, marked by yellow arrows.

    The Battlefield Tour Road begins at the Visitor Center parking lot. Both routes utilize other park roads and heavily-traveled state highways. (The Encampment Tour road has less traffic.) Motor vehicles may use all streets in Yorktown, except Main Street. Main Street closes to vehicular traffic Spring through Fall. On the Tobacco Road footbridge, bicyclists must dismount and walk across for safety reasons. Pick up maps of the tour roads and town from the Battlefield Visitor Center. Map of Historic Jamestowne's Scenic Loop Drive Jamestown has a one-way three/five mile scenic loop drive of the Island. This loop drive is open to pedestrians, bicycles and motor vehicles. Safety issues prohibit buses, motor homes or vehicles over 5-tons from using the Loop Drive. From the Historic Jamestowne parking lot, follow the signs to the loop drive. All state and local traffic regulations apply.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Auto/motorcycle touring is not available.

  • Fishing

    Fishing is not available.

  • Historic Sites

    Colonial National Historical Park is a multifaceted park providing something for everyone. For the nature lovers they have bird watching with over 200 various species. Wild life abounds with deer, raccoon, opossum, Red Tail Fox, Mink, Bald Eagle, Wild Turkey and many others. During the spring the fields are a rainbow of colors with wild flowers blossoming everywhere. In the fall the forest and tree lined parkway become a kaleidoscope of reds, orange, and browns.

    For the health conscious you can walk, run or bike the Battlefield Tour roads, the Jamestown 3-5 mile loop drive or the Colonial Parkway. Or, if you prefer, you can drive these roads in the air-conditioned comfort of your automobile.

    For the history minded the park spans the timelines from pre-colonization, through Colonial Virginia; from the end of English Colonial America through the American Revolutionary War; from America's Independence to the Civil War.

  • Picnicking

    Picnic tables are available.

Seasonality/Weather

Summers in the Southeastern United States are humid during the day. The best times to visit are fall and spring.

Directions

Driving

Colonial National Historical Park is located near Interstate 64 (I-64). For Jamestown from Interstate 64 take exit 242A (Route 199 west). At the second stop light, S. Henry, turn right. Make another immediate right (50 feet). This will bring you to the Colonial Parkway. Turn right onto the parkway and follow it to its end.

For Yorktown from Interstate 64 east take exit 242B (Route 199 east) and follow the signs to the Colonial Parkway. Follow the parkway to its end.

From Interstate 64 west take exit 250B (Route 105 east/Fort Eustis Boulevard). Follow Fort Eustis Boulevard until you come to Route 17/George Washington Memorial Highway and turn left (North) onto Route 17. Follow the signs to the Yorktown Battlefield.

Flying

From Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (20 minutes from Yorktown), Norfolk International Airport (one hour east) and Richmond International Airport (one hour west) provide commercial air service.

Public Transportation

Various public and private transportation services are available throughout the area. AMTRAK has stations in Newport News and Williamsburg, Greyhound has commercial bus service to Newport News and Williamsburg, and rental cars and taxi service are sometimes available from all of these locations. For air service there are three airports within one hours drive of Colonial National Historical Park: Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (20 minutes from Yorktown), Norfolk International Airport (one hour east of the park) and Richmond International Airport (one hour west of the park).

Historic Triangle Shuttle From March 22 through October 31, 2010, the Historic Triangle Shuttle will provide shuttle service from the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center to and from the Jamestown and Yorktown areas. This shuttle service travels the scenic Colonial Parkway. There is no charge for the service, although a shuttle pass is required. Service to both Jamestown and Yorktown depart the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center every hour and half-hour between 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. daily.

Service to Jamestown departs from the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center daily on the half-hour between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. and upon arriving at Jamestown, makes stops at both Historic Jamestowne and Jamestown Settlement. Return service to Colonial Williamsburg departs every half-hour from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and makes a final departure at 5:15 p.m from March 22 through October 31, 2010.

Service to Yorktown departs from the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center daily on the half-hour between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. and makes stops at both the Yorktown Battlefield Visitor Center and the Yorktown Victory Center. Visitors can board for return service to Colonial Williamsburg from either the Yorktown Battlefield or the Yorktown Victory Center, with pickups every half-hour between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., and a final pickup at 5:15 p.m. Visitors should note that the Historic Triangle Shuttle merely provides transportation to Yorktown; it does not provide interpretive tours or transportation to individual attractions around the Yorktown Battlefield.

Jamestown Area Shuttle

Once arriving at Jamestown on the Historic Triangle Shuttle, visitors have the opportunity to visit all that Jamestown has to offer by making use of the Jamestown Area Shuttle. Completing a loop approximately every 10-15 minutes, the Jamestown Area Shuttle makes stops at Historic Jamestowne (including the Visitor Center and Glasshouse), the Jamestown Settlement and the Jamestown Information Station along the Colonial Parkway (seasonal operation).

The Jamestown Area Shuttle service is free of charge and operates daily from March 22 through October 31 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Yorktown Trolley

Upon arrival in Yorktown, visitors can ride to the many historic sites throughout the village by means of the Yorktown Trolley. Provided as a free service by York County, the trolley provides transportation throughout the village of Yorktown from the Yorktown Battlefield to the Yorktown Victory Center, as well as several stops in between, including Riverwalk Landing (NOTE: The trolley does not travel to or make any stops along the Yorktown Battlefield tour roads).

The Yorktown Trolley is free of charge and operates daily from March 22 through October 31, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(757) 898-3400

Links