Tucked away on the banks of the York River, just north of Williamsburg, lies York River State Park. The park is over 3,000 acres and is home to countless recreational activities for all ages; including over 30 miles of multi-use trails, canoe and kayak rentals, and fishing opportunities. For hikers, the Taskinas Creek Trail is a 2-mile forested loop with plenty of lookouts over the marshlands of the park. This trail has ample opportunity for spotting wildlife such as osprey and fiddler crabs.
The best way to truly explore the area is by water. An access point where Taskinas Creek dumps out into the river allows paddlers to explore the twists and turns of the creek and paddle into the wetlands. Canoe and kayak rentals are available at the visitor center.
The park also boasts five mountain bike trails and several trails for use by horses. Fresh and salt water fishing can be done within the park (state fishing licenses required). Anglers can catch largemouth bass and bluegill in Woodstock Pond, or try and reel in a catfish from the muddy waters of the York River. The main section of the park is full of picnic sites and shelters, some of which include charcoal grills. A large playground and volleyball courts are also in the area.
The park has been designated a Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. This program was established by the nearby Marine Science Institute of the College of William and Mary. The rich marshlands help students and scientists study life where the freshwater of several creeks flow into the brackish waters of the York River. The area is home to many unique species that thrive in this environment.
York River State Park is for day-use only, and there is no camping or lodging of any type within the park’s boundaries. A day-use parking permit is $4.