For a dog-friendly, nature getaway in central Virginia, look no further than Bear Creek Lake State Park! Situated in the heart of the expansive Cumberland State Forest, this 329-acre site draws outdoor enthusiasts with its 40-acre lake, well-kept cabins, and various recreational activities. It's also conveniently located just less than an hour west of Richmond. So pack up your stuff and hop into the car with Fido—it's time for some R&R at Bear Creek Lake!
Many activities in the park revolve around the lake, which features a boat launch, fishing pier, and swimming beach. Four-legged guests are not allowed on the beach, however, so water-loving pups will have to make do with a boat ride. If you don't have your own watercraft, you may rent one between Memorial Day and Labor Day. During the shoulder season, boat rentals are available only on weekends.
If your pooch prefers to stay on land, they'll be pleased to know that there are several trails to explore at Bear Creek Lake. All paths are open only to hikers and range from easy to moderate. The longest trails in the park are the Channel Cat Loop and Lost Barr Loop, which span 1.75 miles each. For a more challenging hike, you and Fido can venture into the adjoining Cumberland State Forest by following the 14-mile Cumberland Multi-Use Trail or the 16-mile Willis River Trail, which are also used by bikers and equestrians.
For overnight accommodations, Bear Creek Lake offers cabins and campgrounds. There is an additional nightly charge for pampered pooches who stay in cabins, while there is no extra fee for canines who ruff it in the campgrounds. Service animals are welcome in all facilities for free.
Wherever your adventure takes you, make sure to always keep your furry friend on a 6-foot leash and clean up after them. Bringing proof of current rabies vaccination is strongly recommended by the park as well.
Expect to have a pawtastic time with Fido at Bear Creek Lake State Park!