Chippokes Plantation State Park

Quick Facts

Chippokes Plantation State Park

Virginia

(757) 294-3625

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Chippokes Plantation State Park is one of the oldest working farms in the United States. Chippokes is a living historical exhibit located in a rural agricultural area along the James River in Surry County. In addition, the park has a wide variety of traditional park offerings, including a swimming complex, visitor center, picnic facilities, and hiking and biking trails. The plantation has kept its original boundaries since the 1600s and has a variety of cultivated gardens and native woodland. The formal gardens surrounding the Chippokes Mansion are accented by azaleas, crepe myrtle, boxwood and seasonal flowers. The plantation grounds are also home to the Chippokes Farm and Forestry Museum.

Chippokes Plantation State Park is operated by the Department of Conservation and Recreation in cooperation with the Chippokes Plantation Farm Foundation. The Virginia General Assembly created the foundation in 1977 to establish, administer and maintain the model farm. Funding for the foundation comes from farmland rent payments, donations, admissions and gift shop sales.

Map of Chippokes Plantation (VA)

Latitude, Longitude: 37.137467, -76.727314

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Activities

  • Boating

    Canoe trips are offered on Saturdays and Sundays from April through Labor Day. The trip includes basic instruction, safety tips, a guided tour of Lower Chippokes Creek and plenty of canoeing. Two types of trips - Lower Chippokes Paddle and Exploring the James - are offered, depending on tides and the weather. The trips center on the unique nature and history of Chippokes. Call the Reservation Center, 800-933-PARK Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., to pre-register and for dates and times.

    Not all trips sell out, so those interested should visit the visitor center for walk-in availability. Participants may also transfer reservations by calling the Reservation Center up to seven days prior to the date the canoe trip is scheduled. A $10 cancellation fee will be charged. Transfers and refunds are unavailable after that deadline, but refunds will be made if the trip is cancelled because of small craft advisories or dangerous weather. If cancelled, Virginia State Parks will not waive cancellation fees for overnight cabin or camping reservations.

    Children 6 to 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Children under 45 pounds and pets are not allowed on the trips. All trips begin at the Jones-Stewart Mansion parking lot and include a one-mile wagon ride to the canoe dock. Bottled water, bug spray, sun screen and hat are recommended.

    However, there are no boat rentals or boat launching at this park.

  • Bird Watching

    Several species of birds and butterflies may be observed at the park.

  • Bicycling

    The park has 3.5 miles of biking trails.

  • Camping

    The park has two campgrounds; the maximum occupancy per campsite is six.

    Campground A:

    One area has 30 wooded sites (Camp A EW30ft) with electric and water; they can accommodate tents, pop-ps and RVs up to 30 feet long. Most sites aren't level. There's one ADA-compliant site here near an ADA-compliant bathhouse with showers. The amphitheater, just-behind the bathhouse, is also by this loop. Sites accept 20 and 30-amp current. Tent campers prefer these sites because they're shadier than those in Campground B.

    Also in Campground A is a group camping area with four tent sites (Camp A GrpStdTent). They're for tents only and have no electric/water hookups. Maximum occupancy is 24 (six per site). Group sites that accommodate more than six people have a higher cancellation fee than do regular campsites. The group sites are not near Campground B's group sites.

    Campground B:

    Campground B has 18 water and electric sites (Camp B EW50ft) that are up to 50 feet long and accept 30 and 50-am current. RV guests and those with longer rigs prefer these longer sites, which are less shady than those in Campground A. The sites are paved and level; some are pull-through, however such sites can't be guaranteed. The sites have a gravel "living space" area. Campground B has one ADA-compliant site near its ADA-accessible bathhouse, which has a laundry facility.

    Also in Campground B is a group camping area with four tent sites (Camp B GrpStdTent). They're for tents only, and have no electric/water hookups. Maximum occupancy is 24 (six per site). Group sites that accommodate more than six people have a higher cancellation fee than do regular campsites. The group sites are not near Campground A's group sites.

    Regarding Campgrounds A and B:

    Across from the pool area; some sites are closer than others to the pool. Fire rings are at each campsite; may make campfires or cook with charcoal. Firewood is for sale. Day visitors to overnight campers must leave park by 10 p.m. and park in pool area, which is also parking for overflow autos. Visitors will be charged parking fee. Swimming free with overnight cabin or campsite. No refunds are given should swimming be unavailable for any reason. All camping equipment and vehicles must fit within designated site borders. Overflow parking is at the pool area. One vehicle in addition to camping unit allowed per site. Total sites: Camp A EW30ft, 30; Camp B EW50ft, 18; Camp A GrpStdTent, 1; Camb B GrpStdTent, 1

  • Fishing

    Freshwater fishing is available with a valid Virginia fishing license.

  • Hiking

    The park has 3.5 miles of hiking and bicycling trails, a half-mile of which is accessible to people with physical disabilities, through the historic area, as well as an auto farm tour road. The park also has an equestrian area with about 10 miles of riding fun available around farm fields as well as two long, multiple-use trails.

  • Historic Sites

    Chippokes Mansion Tours: Tours of the 19th century Chippokes Mansion are available weekends April through October and other times by reservation for groups of 10 or more. In the spring, special tours of the mansion and gardens are offered in conjunction with Garden Week. During the Christmas season, the mansion is decked in Victorian period decorations and open for tours.

  • Picnicking

    Picnic areas include drinking water, grills and restroom facilities. Picnic shelters are also available on a reservation basis by calling the Reservation Center 1-800-933-7275.

  • Water Sports

    From mid-August through Labor Day, swimming may be available only on weekends and Labor Day. If your stay depends on using the pool, please contact the park before making a reservation. Olympic size swimming pool and separate kiddie pool open Memorial Day to Labor Day, Monday through Thursday, noon to 6 p.m.; on Friday through Sunday and holidays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

    In the summer, swimming is free for overnight guests in campsites, cabins and the lodge, however it cannot be guaranteed should circumstances beyond the park's control require that swimming be closed. The park does not give refunds for swimming to overnight guests under any circumstances.

  • Wildlife Watching

    Deer and skinks are some of the most commonly sighted wildlife at the park.

Seasonality/Weather

Spring and fall are generally comfortable with precipitation possible. Summers can be hot and humid with average temperatures in the high 80s and with sudden thunderstorms possible. July and August are the hottest months. Winters can be cold with average temperatures in the winter of 41 degrees with variable precipitation.

Directions

Driving

Surry County. From I-95 and I-295, take Route 10 towards Hopewell. Follow Route 10 East for approximately 40 miles to Surry. Turn left at the intersection of routes 10 and 31 (this continues on Route 10). Turn right at the stop light. Turn left at Route 634 (Alliance Road), and the park entrance is four miles on the left.

Drive Time: Northern Virginia: 2 - 3 hours; Richmond: 1.5 hours; Tidewater/Norfolk/Virginia Beach: 1.5 hours; Roanoke: 4 hours

Phone Numbers

Primary

(757) 294-3625

Links