Read an Excerpt
Bear Creek Lake State Park, unique for its archery range, is a small park located near Richmond in Central Virginia's Cumberland State Forest. It features a variety of outdoor and water activities to keep both vacationers and urban refugees happy. The park's three campgrounds, designated A, B, and C, are nestled in the shade of mature towering sweet gum, oak, and tulip polar trees. 24 sites are restricted to tents only.
Campground A sits on a hillside overlooking 40-acre Bear Creek Lake just behind the camp office. The campground host's site is adjacent to the picnic shelter at site A-25. The sites are adequately sized but fairly close together. If given a choice, try to snag site10, 11, or 17, all of which hug the lake. The small loop encompassing sites A5-A13 has no hookups and is suited to self-sufficient tent campers.
Campground B, with electric and water hookups, is the busiest of the three. It is located across the road from the camp office. It features 20 sites on a single loop under a roof of hardwoods. The sites are close together and the loop lacks a bathhouse.
Tent camping is popular in Campground C as the sites lack hookups. The single campsite loop is flat and has its own bathhouse. Campground C contains ten sites with numbers 8 and 10 being the most private. The quarter-mile Running Cedar Trail is just across the road and provides access to the Lakeside Trail and swimming beach.
Bear Creek Lake State Park's archery range is the only one in the Virginia State Park system. Ten bale targets bearing faces of assorted big game -- such as deer, bear, and turkey -- are set against natural backdrops. Shooting stations are designated by color to alloweasier, more consistent scoring. The range is open year-round, although closing times are dictated by light conditions and safety. Archers must bring their own gear.