GENERAL INFO: A traditional family park for 75 years, Douthat is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for the role its design played in the development of parks nationwide. Amid some of Virginia's most breathtaking mountain scenery, visitors enjoy interpretive programs, two miles of stream fishing, a 50-acre lake stocked with trout, a sandy swimming beach with snack bar, boat rentals, a gift shop and camp store, cabins, and more than 43 miles of hiking, mountain biking and bridle trails. Plus, there are playgrounds, an amphitheater, picnic areas, tent and trailer camping, and a restaurant overlooking the lake. The park also has 32 cabins and three lodges that accommodate 15, 16 and 18 guests each.
Park Size: 4,493 acres. Lake: 50 acres.
Weather: Click here to visit the Weather Channel's site for this zip code.
AT-A-GLANCE: The pictographs directly below show park offerings. Click on those of interest or read below for more detail. Mouse-over the image for a short text description or click here to view a legend in which each pictograph's meaning is expressed.
LOCATION: From I-64, take Exit 27 near Clifton Forge. Turn North onto State Route 629 (highway at exit ramp). Travel north two miles to the park entrance sign and another four miles to the park office.
Its address is 14239 Douthat State Park Road, Millboro, VA 24460; Latitude, 37.896054. Longitude, -79.809300.
Drive Time: Northern Virginia, four hours; Tidewater/Norfolk/Virginia Beach, five hours; Richmond, three hours; Roanoke, one hour
From Interstate 64 and Interstate 81 North of Lexington: Follow I-81 south to exit 56 and exit 191 onto I-64 west (signed, Clifton Forge). Follow I-64 west to exit 27, turn right onto Route 629. The park entrance is two miles farther; guest registration is another four miles. Register at the green-roofed building on the right. Drive time from Lexington is 35 minutes.
From Interstate 81 South of Roanoke: Follow I-81 north to exit 150B (signed, 220 North, Clifton Forge). Bear right onto U.S. 11 south, then turn right at first light onto U.S. 220 north. Follow U.S. 220 north. After passing through Iron Gate, take the first exit to the right (signed, Covington). Once on the three-lane road (Exxon on your right), continue under the interstate. This road becomes Route 629, which leads into the park. Its entrance is two miles farther; guest registration is another four miles. Register at the green-roofed building on the right. Drive time from the intersection of I-81 and 220 north is 55 minutes.
From U.S. 460 East or West of Roanoke: Follow U.S. 460 to U.S. 220 alternate, turn north at light. Stay on U.S. 220 north through Iron Gate. After passing through Iron Gate, take the first exit to the right (signed, Covington). Once on the three-lane road (Exxon on your right), continue under the interstate. This road becomes Route 629, which leads into the park. Its entrance is two miles farther; guest registration is another four miles. Register at the green-roofed building on the right. Drive time from intersection of U.S. 460 and 220 Alternate intersection is 65 minutes.
From U.S. 220 South of Roanoke: Follow U.S. 220 north to the Roy L. Webber Expressway. Follow the expressway to Interstate 581 north. Follow I-581 north to intersection I-81, exit right onto I-81 north. From here, follow I-81 north to exit 150B (signed, 220 North, Clifton Forge). Bear right onto U.S. 11 south, then turn right at first light onto U.S. 220 north. Follow U.S. 220 north . After passing through Iron Gate, take the first exit to the right (signed, Covington). Once on the three-lane road (Exxon on your right), continue under the interstate. This road becomes Route 629, which leads into the park. Its entrance is two miles farther; guest registration is another four miles. Register at the green-roofed building on the right.
OVERNIGHT FACILITIES: Cabins, camping. For information on availability of overnight accommodations, particular park amenities or to make a reservation, you can reserve online or call 1-800-933-PARK. Click here for park fees.
Click here to visit a Flickr photoset of typical cabins and lodges at the park. Cabins and lodges vary; any given dwelling may not match what's shown in the photos.
Click here for details on reservation cancellation and transfer policies. A fee is charged per pet per night for overnight stays.
CABINS: You must have with you either your reservation number(s) or confirmation letter at check-in. If you've arranged for someone else to check in for you, make sure that person has your reservation number as the number is needed to enter the cabin. All cabins are pet-friendly; there is a fee per pet per night. Camping and cabin guests should be prepared to show a valid ID if requested. Check-in is 3 p.m. and checkout is 10 a.m. Weekly rentals are required from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Quiet hours are from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Only overnight guests are allowed in the park after 10 p.m. Those visiting cabin guests are charged the daily parking fee and must park in an area designated by the park.
Guests who arrive late will find an envelope with their name on it to the left of the park office door. The information includes instructions on how and when to register the following morning. Park maps are provided so that these guests may find their way to the campground. The park office is the first building on the right after exiting I-64 and passing the collection booth. From cabins 1-9, the lake is seasonably observable. Cabins 22-25 are locally called Creek Row. The creek is about 30 feet from the cabins. The creek, however, cannot be seen from the cabins.
Douthat State Park 5 and 6-bedroom lodges (three). Please note that the cancellation fee for Douthat Main Lodge, Creasey Lodge and Beard's Mountain Lodge is higher than it is for cabins.
Douthat Lodge (atop mountain): Six-bedroom, rents Saturday - Saturday
This log lodge overlooks the park. It was built by the CCC. It accommodates 13 or 15 with rental of two cots. There are six bedrooms: one double bed, one double bed, one double bed, four twin beds, two twin beds and one twin bed. It has a fireplace, two bathrooms, a washer and a dryer.
Creasey Lodge (behind park's main office). Five-bedroom. Weekly rentals start on Friday. Fully universally accessible.
This one story woodframe lodge is next to the park office. It accommodates up to 18 guests. No cot rentals are available here. There are five bedrooms: one double bed, two sets of bunk beds, two sets of bunk beds, two sets of bunk beds, two sets of bunk beds. It has a fireplace and three bathrooms.
Beards Mountain Lodge: Six-bedroom, maximum occupancy is 16. No extra bed rentals. Weekly rentals start on Sunday.
This frame-built facility is midway up the mountain and is universally accessible. It accommodates up to 16 guests. No cot rentals are available here. There are three bathrooms and six-bedrooms; queen, queen, two twins, two twins, two bunk beds, two bunk beds.
Total sites of each type: One-room log efficiency: 5; one-bedroom log: 13; two-bedroom log: 7; two-bedroom cinderblock with cedar siding: 5; two-bedroom frame: 1; three-bedroom frame: 1; six-bedroom Douthat Lodge: 1; six-bedroom Beards Mountain Lodge: 1; five-bedroom Creasey Lodge: 1
Total sites: 35
CAMPING: Douthat is well-known for its delightful, inviting campsites. Some offering a splendid view of Douthat Lake. (Note: Water is unavailable at individual campsites in March and November because of freezing weather. As hot water is still available in the bathhouse, camping fees are not reduced.) The campgrounds are pet-friendly; there is a fee per pet per night. Generators may not be used in any campgrounds.
Total sites of each type: A-StdLake Lakeside, 19; B-EW Beaver Dam Horse, 14; C-EW White Oak, 31; D-EW Whispering Pines, 23
A - StdLake Lakeside - Various equipment. No hookups. Bathhouse and showers. Water faucets through campground. Dump station. Those needing electricity should use the Whiteoak or Whispering Pines Campground; generators are not allowed. Maximum length is 40 feet.
B - EW Beaver Dam Horse. Various equipment. Electric (30-amp) and water sites. Dump station and no sewer hook-ups. Maximum length is 40 feet. There are 14 covered stalls rented separately from camping sites. Guests must provide their own hay and water bucket and must clean up after their horses. The park provides a rake, shovel and wheelbarrow. Stalls measure 12 by 12 feet. Only one horse is allowed per stall. Horses are not permitted to stay in trailers or any other area of the park. At least one person must stay in the campground for the entire duration of the stall reservation.
C - EW White Oak - Various equipment. Electric (30-amp) and water sites. Bathhouse and showers. Dump station, no sewer hook-ups available. Maximum length is 40 feet.
D - EW Whispering Pines - Various equipment. Electric and water sites. Bathhouse and showers. Dump station, no sewer hook-ups. Sites accept 30 and 50-amp current. Maximum length is 50 feet. A playground is within walking distance.
Total sites: 87
The beach area, complete with the bathhouse and concession stand, is open from Saturday of Memorial Day through Labor Day from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holidays, and from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
From mid-June through mid-August, times and days of operation may vary, depending of the availability of student labor. Swimming isn't permitted without a lifeguard on duty. Click here for park fees. In the summer, swimming is free for campers and cabin guests. Circumstances beyond the park's control, such as bad weather or lack of a lifeguard, may require that swimming be closed or halted. Under no circumstances do we give overnight guests refunds based on swimming availability.
Free wi-fi is available in the immediate vicinity of the beach bathhouse.
TRAILS: Hiking, horseback and bicycle trails (mountain bikes only). There are more than 40 miles of wooded hiking trails to choose from throughout the year, ranging from easy to difficult. Many park trails are open to mountain bikers, however hikers have the right-of-way. Douthat has six miles of bridle trails. Visit the park office for a map depicting trails at Douthat.
Visit the Explore Virginia Outdoors website for enhanced maps and video tours of Douthat's trails.
WILDLIFE: Virginia State Parks are great places to discover and reconnect with the wild world. Bring a camera and share your captures with the world. But please don't disturb or get too close to the animals. The park is, after all, their home. Here are a few recent natural encounters others have had at Douthat.
View all wildlife encounter photos from Douthat.
FISHING, BOATING: Douthat Lake is a 50-acre fee-fishing lake stocked with rainbow, brown and brook trout twice a week during the fee season. The lake also offers excellent largemouth bass fishing and fair opportunities for landing sunfish, black crappie, and channel catfish. It’s also an excellent lake for chain pickerel with October being the top month. A three-mile reach of Wilson Creek was opened to fee fishing in 1993. A special trout fishing area for the kids also has been created on a section of Wilson Creek just below the dam. Fishing is not allowed here during the five days before the first Saturday in April.
Special seasonal regulations apply at Douthat Lake. Those 16 and older (in-state) or 12 and older (out of state) need a valid Virginia fishing license. In addition, a Virginia Trout license or daily fishing permit is required, depending on the season. There is a daily creel limit of six trout with a seven inch minimum. One pole per person allowed, separate stringers required. Fishing hours are posted at the park.
Anyone planning to fish will need a valid Virginia fishing license. In addition, the following rules may apply, depending on when the person will be fishing. Licenses and permits are available at the camp store.
Special fishing rules applying to children:
Call (434) 525-FISH to hear a recorded message listing the trout stocking activity by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Licenses and regulations are administered by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, (804) 367-1000.
Boating: Boats can be rented from the first Saturday in April through the end of October. Jonboats with and without electric motors, canoes, paddleboats, hydrobikes and funyaks are available for rent during that time. If no one is at the boathouse, guests should go to the camp store for help.
A boat launch ramp is available for guests with their own non-gasoline powered boat. No launching fee is charged, but boats must be moored in designated areas. Year-round boat storage is also available from the park for a fee. No gas powered equipment is allowed on the lake.
ATTENTION: Clean plant debris, insects and mollusks (snails) from your boat and accessories before arriving at the park. Invasive species harm the lake by out-competing native species. Your vigilance ensures a quality fishing and recreational experience for you and future users of the park’s waters.
Douthat Lake is lowered for maintenance from the first Monday in December through the end of March. This impacts boating, fishing and the lake’s appearance. Fishing and boating are allowed, but the ramp at the north end of the lake is closed.
HUNTING: Click here to learn about this park's hunting opportunities.
HORSES: There's an equestrian campground at the northern end of the park. The campground offers access to the park's multi-use trail. There's also a horse trailer parking lot located at Flat Run trailhead.
EVENTS: Easter weekend activities and Earth Day in the spring (March and April). The Douthat Lake Run Car Show is in May. Fourth of July activities. Labor Day Weekend in September. Apple Day and Craft Fair in October. During the summer season, the park offers the Saturday Evening Showcase. The event may feature musical groups, magic acts or guest speakers. Click here to view park events, festivals, workshops and interpretive programs.
VISITOR CENTER, GIFT SHOP: Located in the main office.
NATURE, HISTORY PROGRAMS: Programs are offered seven days a week from mid-June through Labor Day and on weekends only in April, May, September and October. Offerings include guided hikes, canoe tours, children's programs, crafts, lectures and much more. For details, click here or call the park.
Educational outreach program: During the school year, park staff members host environmental education programs in the park. They also visit schools in the six counties surrounding the park. Call (540) 862-8114 if you'd like to schedule such a school visit. Outreach opportunities are also available to scout groups, 4-H groups, civic organizations, church groups, senior groups and others.
To help make the park's goal of establishing an environmental education center a reality or to learn about the park's friends group, visit the Douthat State Park Environmental Education Group's website.
Click here to view park events, festivals, workshops and interpretive programs.
ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTER: None. To help make the park's goal of establishing an environmental education center a reality, contact Douthat State Park Environmental Education Group.
NEARBY ATTRACTIONS: Within an hour's drive of Douthat State Park you will find:
Alleghany County: Visit the Arts and Crafts Center, the Historic Stonewall Theater and the C&O Historical Society Archives in the Railroad Museum in downtown Clifton Forge. Further west is Virginia’s oldest standing covered bridge on Rt. 60, west of Covington. Travel Rt. 220, north of Covington and find Falling Springs, described by Thomas Jefferson as a "remarkable cascade . . . falling over a rock about 200 feet to the valley below."
Bath County: Visit the Garth Newel Music Center, the Warm Springs Baths and the Bath County Historical Society Museum. Bath County is the home of The Homestead, a National Historic Landmark covering 15,000 acres. Horseback riding, skeet shooting, golf and many other activities abound.
Lexington: The home of Natural Bridge, one of the seven natural wonders of the world! While visiting Natural Bridge, be sure to tour the wax museum and factory. Nearby is the Natural Bridge Zoo. Lexington is also home to the Virginia Military Institute, Washington and Lee University, the Lime Kiln Outdoor Theater and the Virginia Horse Center. Civil War history abounds throughout this historic town.
Staunton: Take a trip back in time and visit the Museum of American Frontier Culture. Also visit Woodrow Wilson's birthplace and historic Mary Baldwin College. Country and gospel music fans won't want to miss the Statler Brothers Museum complex. Also be sure to visit the museum of renowned artist P. Buckley Moss. Take in a fresh, energetic approach to Shakespeare at the Shendandoah Shakespeare Blackfriars Playhouse.
Roanoke: While in Roanoke, visit the Science Museum, Center in the Square, the Planetarium, the Museum of Transportation, the Explore Park and the market area in downtown Roanoke. Also be sure to tour the Dixie Caverns.
White Sulphur Springs, W. Va.: The Greenbrier, nestled in 6,500 acres of the Alleghany Mountains, features golf, tennis, horseback riding, mineral baths and spacious accommodations.
PICNIC SHELTERS: Douthat has three picnic areas with shelters, grills and restroom facilities. All picnic areas available on a first-come, first-served basis with the exception of the shelters, which must be reserved by calling the Reservation Center at 1-800-933-PARK.
Douthat State Park Picnic Shelters
Three shelters are available for rent. Parking and swimming fees are not included in the shelter rental fee. Click here for park fees. Shelters can be rented from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Cancellation policy: No refund within 14 days before reserved date. Before then, there's a cancellation fee.
Camp Douthat Shelter 1: Large shelter can accommodate 100 people under the shelter and approximately 200 additional people around it. Has electric hookup and two fireplaces with both ends of the shelter closed in. Three horseshoe pits available (bring your own horseshoes). Water spigot and hiking trails close by.
Camp Carson Shelter 2: Large shelter can accommodate 70 people under the shelter. Restroom is universally accessible via ramp approximately 100 feet from shelter. No electricity, but water is available. Horse shoe pit available (bring your own horseshoes). Hiking trails and playground nearby.
Camp Malone Shelter 3: Small shelter can accommodate 50 people under the shelter (other picnic tables are not close to shelter area). Overlooks dam area and lake. A children's play area is nearby. Access to restrooms. Water spigot close by. Two horseshoe pits available (bring your own horseshoes). Hiking trails and playground nearby. Electricity is available.
Amphitheater: Douthat's amphitheater is nestled on a point by Douthat Lake. Its bench seating accommodates up to 125 with room for blankets and lawn chairs. Electricity is available, and the facility may be rented for weddings, performances, etc., by calling the park office at (540) 862-8100. The cost is $100 per day.
Alleghany Room: Above the Douthat Beach House is a small conference room that seats up to 60 people. This room can be rented for business meetings, private parties and family gatherings. Call the park office at 540-862-8100 for more information.
SPECIAL FEATURES: Douthat is a popular wedding spot. Click here to learn more about the park's fine wedding options.
CONCESSIONS: Douthat has a camp store next to Lakeview Restaurant and a concession at the beach. Concessions operate from the Saturday before Memorial Day through Labor Day. They have a snack bar and rental facility for boats and floats.
LAUNDRY: Ten minutes from the park on Rt. 60 toward Clifton Forge.
RESTAURANT: Douthat Lakeview Restaurant, an original CCC facility, is a full-service restaurant that overlooks the lake and has recently been renovated. It features a glass enclosed porch overlooking the lake, and central heat and air.
From the first Saturday in April through Memorial Day, the restaurant is open only on weekends; on Friday from 4 p.m to 8 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The restaurant hours are the same from Labor Day through Oct. 31 as well.
From Memorial Day through Labor Day, the restaurant is open Wednesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
The restaurant is available year-round for special catering needs.
This park has a snack bar in season.
Adjacent to the restaurant is a camp store with convenience items, camping goods and fishing necessities. It's open from 1 to 6 p.m. on the Friday before the first Saturday in April (for special trout licenses). From April 2 through June 15, it's open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. From June 16 through Sept. 14, the camp store is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, it's open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
There's a gift shop in the main office complex. The shop opens at 8 a.m. each morning and closes when the park office closes. It has gifts, crafts, books and clothing.
HISTORY: Douthat was one of six state parks planned by the Commonwealth in the early 1930s. The initial 1,920 acres of the present-day park was donated by the Douthat Land Company, a consortium of Virginia businessmen. The rest of the land was purchased with a portion of the $50,000 in funds allocated by the General Assembly in 1933 for park land acquisition. The establishment of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) as part of the emergency Conservation Works by President Roosevelt in 1933 provided the means for development of the parks. An estimated 600 men lived and worked at the three camps responsible for building Douthat's facilities. Between 1933 and 1942, these men cleared trails, built a dam and spillway, cabins, a restaurant, an information center, superintendent's residence, swimming beach, picnic areas and maintenance building, hinges, as well as hand-wrought iron hardware, light fixtures and door and shutter latches. The built and natural features of the park have remained virtually unchanged since construction. In 1986, the 50th anniversary of Douthat State Park and the Virginia State Park System, Douthat was recognized as a Nationally Registered Historic District. In 1998, Douthat won the Virginia Lakes and Watersheds Association award for best operated and maintained dam for its Douthat Lake Dam. In 1999, Douthat received the Centennial Medallion from the American Society of Landscape Architects.
FRIENDS GROUP: The park enjoys the support of a nonprofit citizen group, Douthat State Park Environmental Education Group. Its mission is to raise funds and provide labor and materiel for activities that enhance the park's educational and recreational opportunities. To join or learn more about the group, click here.
Master plans must be written for parks before they're built.
The plans are updated at least once every five years thereafter.
The plans cover the size, types, infrastructure and locations of facilities as well as the site's special features and resources.
Three public meetings are held during the initial development of each plan.
Click here (PDF) for this park's master plan.
CONTACT INFO: Douthat State Park, 14239 Douthat State Park Road, Millboro, VA 24460; Phone: (540) 862-8100; email douthat. Learn more about park offerings by calling 1-800-933-PARK or e-mailing resvs. Be sure to specify the park of interest.