Breaks Interstate Park

Quick Facts

Breaks Interstate Park


(276) 865-4413

Map Directions

Things To Do


Breaks Interstate Park is located in the rugged Appalachian Mountains on the border of Virginia and Kentucky on State Route 80. The park is more than 4,600 acres in size, and contains a 5-mile gorge, plunging to 1650 feet, often called the "Grand Canyon of the South." While Virginia and Kentucky State Parks are sister organizations of Breaks, Breaks is operated independently by the Breaks Interstate Park Commission.

180 million years ago, in this area now lying across Kentucky and Virginia, a vast inland sea receded, leaving in its wake a veritable cradle of botany. Meanwhile, the river that is now Russell Fork got about the work of carving out an immense, spectacular gorge, renowned as the largest east of the Mississippi. Visitors will find delicate landscapes, timeless mountains, hidden ponds, craggy rock faces, and vibrant flora and fauna. Biking, hiking, riding, matter how you choose to move through The Breaks Interstate Park, you will find yourself exploring, just like John Swift, Daniel Boone, and others who came here first.

Map of Breaks Interstate Park

Latitude, Longitude: 37.286790, -82.296340



  • Boating

    Pedal boats, canoes and a Johnboat are available seasonally for rental by the hour or half hour on beautiful Laurel Lake. Visitors may use these boats as a means to explore, or for fishing. Our boat dock is open daily from 10 am to 8 pm from Memorial Day to August 15. The boat dock is open from 10 am - 6 pm on weekends from April 1 to Memorial Day weekend, and from August 15 to October 31.

  • Bird Watching

    As a part of the Virginia Birding and wildlife trail, Breaks Interstate Park is home to a wide variety of birds. Some of those include the Swainson's Warbler, Hooded Warbler, Black and White Warbler, Yellow Rumped Warbler, Turkey Vulture, Red Tail Hawk and Osprey.

  • Bicycling

    The Mountain Bike Trail offers breathtaking scenery. The trail is a stack loop trail system offering up to nearly 12 miles of riding, from moderate to difficult. Depending on the route chosen, bikers may plan rides of varying length, with the possibilities of good climbs and long downhill runs. Positive reviews for this trail are posted regularly on the websites for hiking enthusiasts.

  • Camping

    The heart of an authentic Breaks Interstate Park explorer's experience! Our 138 sites range from a great place to pitch your tent to full RV hook-ups. Most of these sites are wooded but if you prefer, grassy areas are available in C Bottom. Playgrounds, a basketball court, a well-stocked store and a laundry facility are available. And to make fetching and carrying way more fun, golf carts* can be rented by the hour or the day at the campground store. If you wish to bring a group, please contact the park for details on our overflow area. The campground is open each year from April 1 through October 31. Campsites may not be reserved in advance and are available on a first-come, first served basis.

  • Fishing

    Laurel Lake, Beaver Pond, and the Russell Fork River offer a variety of fishing experiences, and the promise of a good catch. Laurel Lake, a twelve-acre man-made lake, and our two-acre Beaver Pond are stocked with bluegill and bass. The Russell Fork River is stocked with Rainbow Trout by Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries officials.

  • Golfing

    Breaks Park has partnered with beautiful Willowbrook Country Club to offer our overnight lodging guests a great golfing opportunity! Located on State Route 609 only one and a half miles from the Breaks Park entrance, this private course offers a challenging game of golf for any skill level. But along with a great game of golf, you'll enjoy the scenic value of the course as well, surrounded by the beautiful Appalachian Mountains, and dotted with Willow trees. Nine holes of golf, cart included:$15 Eighteen holes of golf, cart included:$30 Prices do not include tax. Exclusions may apply. Offer not valid on tournament dates.

  • Hiking

    More than 25 miles of hiking trails lace the park, varying from easy to difficult. Most are less than one mile long, but interconnected trails offer the more ambitious hiker a good choice of routes over varying terrain. Maps with descriptions of each trail are available at the Visitor Center. Trail names give clues to the outstanding physical features of each: Cold Spring, Geological, Grassy Creek, Grassy Overlook, Lake, Loop, Overlook, Prospectors' Ridge, River, Towers, and Tower Tunnel. Both the Ridge and Geological trails are self-guided, with booklets available at the Visitor Center that detail points and notes of interest. But if you would prefer, guided hikes are scheduled throughout the summer. Additionally, if you call ahead, the Visitor Center staff will be happy to plan a guided hike to meet your family's or group's schedule.

  • Horseback Riding

    While the earliest travelers may have risked all on their boots alone, some had the beloved companionship and sure-footed support of their four-legged friends. The horse was--and still is--a trusted partner and a grand way to explore the park. A private stable inside the park offers trail rides for every level of rider. Hours of operation and pricing are set by this concessionaire and subject to change. Please contact the park for more details.

  • Water Sports

    A public, Olympic-sized swimming pool provides hours of fun to park guests and area residents. Located near Laurel Lake, the main pool area offers a diving board and slide, while an adjacent kiddie pool allows toddlers to enjoy the water as well. When hunger hits, a snack bar is located handily inside the pool house. Admission is $5. The pool is open daily from June 15 to August 15; and on weekends from Memorial Day weekend through June 15, and from August 15 through Labor Day. Hours of operation may vary. For the serious adventurer, whitewater rafting is available on the raging rapids of the Russell Fork River. Each Saturday and Sunday during the first four full weekends in October, water is released from the John Flannagan Dam and Reservoir, creating world class rapids on the Russell Fork through the Breaks Gorge. Different sections of the river provide varying levels of difficulty. Rafters will find Class Two and Three rapids closer to the Flannagan Dam area, and rapids up to Class Six through the Breaks Park area on sections of the river where names like "twenty stitches," "broken nose," and "triple drop," give some sense of the adventure to be had here. The gradient of the Russell Fork ranges from five feet per mile to an unbelievable 180 feet per mile. One violent 75-foot stretch, aptly named "El Horrendo," is considered one of the most difficult in the East.


The park is open year-round to visitors, but the restaurant and some activities aren't available during a portion of time in the off-season. Hours of operation vary depending on the season. Call for specific times.



Take US-460 W / US-19 S / US-21 W. Continue to follow US-460 W, crossing into Virginia - 73.3 miles At Vansant, turn left onto Lover's Gap Rd / VA-83. Continue to follow VA-83 - 13.8 miles Turn right onto Breaks Park Rd / VA-80. Continue to follow Breaks Park Rd / VA-80 approximately 7 miles to park entrance on left.

Phone Numbers


(276) 865-4413