Archive for KLPW – Occoneechee State Park

OCCONEECHEE OPENS NEW SPLASH – SPRAY GROUND

According to news reports, since that is the only way Kerr Lake Park Watch can get information on Virginia’s two state parks on Kerr Lake, the new Splash – Spray Ground is now open at Clarksville’s Occoneechee State Park.

It was about 13 months ago on April 22, 2017, that Kerr Lake Park Watch broke the story about Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe attending a ground-breaking ceremony for the new park.  We attended uninvited, although some Kerr Lake Park Watch founders are also co-founders of the Friends of Occoneechee State Park, which unfortunately is fairly defunct.

                      Photo from Virginia State Parks/DCR

The Spray Ground, which cost just under $2 million and from news reports it looks as though the Splash Spray Ground will be open for fee participation on weekends, and will operate through the summer, generally from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

The water feature is the first of its kind offered on the shores and on public land of Kerr Lake.  In addition to supplying fun for kids of most ages, a key component of the design of the Splash Spray Ground is that it has its own water reclamation system.  That is a wise use of water since Occoneechee State Park is the largest water customer of the Town of Clarksville.

Posted in: KLPW - Occoneechee State Park, KLPW - WATER RELATED

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SPRING IS HERE & CAMPING IS HERE OR JUST AROUND THE CORNER!

Spring has sprung and camping season at Kerr Lake has begun and we at Kerr Lake Park Watch want to update on park openings.

Although there are some year-round sections that are open during the winter in some of the campgrounds around Kerr Lake, most of them open around Spring.

VIRGINIA STATE PARKS

The two Virginia State Parks on Kerr Lake opened recently according to Visitor Services Director for Virginia State Parks, Nancy Heltman who said, “We opened camping season the first Friday in March which was the 2nd. Yes, the weekend of the nor’easter and now a snow storm on the first full day of Spring. Been a tough start to the year.”

Heltman added that the new Splash Park at Occoneechee State Park in Clarksville will open when the weather warms but an exact date is not yet known.

NORTH CAROLINA STATE RECREATION AREAS

In North Carolina where there are seven State Recreation Areas, Superintendent Bryce Fleming updated Kerr Lake Park Watch with a comprehensive list of park and sectional openings:

Park Name                                            Opening Date                          Closing Date

Bullocksville    All Sites                      March 26, 2018                       October 1, 2018

County Line     All Sites                      March 26, 2018                       October 1, 2018

Henderson Point         Area 1             May 21, 2018                          October 1, 2018

Area 2                                                     March 26, 2018                       October 1, 2018

Group Area                                           March 26, 2018                        October 1, 2018

Hibernia                     Area 1              May 21, 2018                          September 3, 2018

Area 2              March 26, 2018                       October 29, 2018

Area 3              May 21, 2018                          September 3, 2018

Group Area     March 26, 2018                        October 29, 2018

Kimball Point             Area 1              May 21, 2018                          October 1, 2018

Area 2              March 26, 2018                       October 29, 2018

Nutbush                      Area 1              March 26, 2018                       October 1, 2018

Area 3              Open All Year                          Open All Year

Area 4              May 21, 2018                          September 3, 2018

Satterwhite Point/J.C. Cooper  Area 1 (Sites 1-42, 80-104, H1, H2, H3)

Open All Year                          Open All Year

Area 2 (Sites 43-79)    March 26, 2018                       October 29, 2018

Area 3 (Sites 111-123)    May 21, 2018           September 3, 2018

Group Area     March 26, 2018    October 29, 2018

 

US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS

The US Army Corps of Engineers operates several parks that offer camping as well as a number of day-use areas.  The campgrounds include North Bend Park, Rudd’s Creek, Longwood Park, and Buffalo Landing.

While there is no readily available list of campground opening and closing dates, there is a recreational link on the USACE website that gives some park information and contact info.  That link is:  http://www.saw.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation.aspx.

The weather is the major player in enjoying all these parks and campgrounds around Kerr Lake. So watch it, watch for it and plan accordingly.

With regards to getting out on the waters of Kerr Lake, please remember this, LIFE JACKETS WORN, NOBODY MOURNS!

To all of the 580+ members of Kerr Lake Park Watch and on behalf of them, we who operate Kerr Lake Park Watch wish you a wonderful camping and park season!

Posted in: KLPW - Corps of Engineers Campgrounds, KLPW - N C State Recreation Areas, KLPW - Occoneechee State Park, KLPW - PARK LIST, KLPW- Staunton River State Park

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FIRST OF ITS KIND SPLASH PARK IS COMING TO KERR LAKE – Virginia Governor Announces Park Improvement at Occoneechee Ground-Breaking

The 64-year old John H. Kerr Reservoir has seen a lot of changes and improvements during its lifetime.  A lot of those changes have been positive and directly made for the public’s use and enjoyment; among them campgrounds, boat ramps, picnic areas, hiking trails, playgrounds, restrooms and more.

At a ground-breaking ceremony earlier this week at Occoneechee State Park in Clarksville, Virginia a new, attraction-type of venue was unveiled, that is a “splash park” to be built within the park.  A splash park is described as a recreation area for water play that has little or no standing water. This is said to eliminate the need for lifeguards or other supervision, as there is minor risk of drowning.  Designers and project managers for the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the Richmond design firm are calling Occoneechee’s new wet spot a “splashground.”

About 35 people attended the “by invitation only” event earlier this week at Occoneechee with most of those being public officials from DCR , the US Army Corps of Engineers (which has approved the project), Occoneechee and area park staff and a handful of local officials.

The main attraction was the combining of the ground-breaking and an official visit to Occoneechee by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, who upon election, promised to visit every state park in the Commonwealth.  Occoneechee State Park was park to visit and the Governor made his promise become truth.  Twice the same day the governor visited the other Kerr Lake Virginia State Park, Staunton River.  While at Occoneechee, the affable McAuliffe commented to Kerr Lake Park Watch’s Frank Timberlake that Occoneechee is a “gem” of a park with the added value of being on Kerr Lake.  He was surprised to learn that Timberlake has been visiting and/or camping at Occoneechee for over 50 years. McAuliffe asked Timberlake what has drawn him to the park and the Governor received a long, positive list.

McAuliffe was accompanied by some staff and security people, but he was also accompanied by some family members, including his niece shown below as they discussed the differences in the Kerr Lake parks from other Virginia State Parks.  She told Kerr Lake Park Watch that she particularly liked the fact that a major percentage of the water going out into the splashground will be recaptured and recycled through the system.  Kerr Lake Park Watch attempted to get more information on the reclamation system and its advantages from DCR but has received nothing by posting time.

Earlier this year commenting on the economic impact that Virginia State Parks make to the Commonwealth’s coffers, Governor McAuliffe said that the park system brought in visitor fees of $224 million in 2016.  Officials at the ceremony commented that Occoneechee State Park had revenues over $4 million last year.  The new “Splashground” will undoubtedly bring in more revenues as it will be a fee-based activity.  DCR officials anticipate that the Occoneechee splash park charge will be between $5 and $8 per person.   Park officials said that there’s a comparable sprayground at Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield, and the price there ranges from $5-$8, depending on the age and the day, with children under three getting free admission.  Projections on costs for the project that will take about a year to complete are between $1.5 million and $1.8 million.  The new splashground is expected to open Spring 2018.

Posted in: KLPW - Campground Facilities and Improvements, KLPW - Occoneechee State Park

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Kerr Lake’s Virginia State Parks Invite you to Walk, Run or Ride on National Trails Day

Whether you just want to quietly want to walk and observe or really move on down the trail, the Virginia State Parks around Kerr Lake have opportunities for you.  This Saturday, June 6th, is National Trails Days and you can do everything from pick your path at Occoneechee to help clean or build trails at the other parks.  Discover below how you can volunteer and or just enjoy!

 

Occoneechee State Park 1192 Occoneechee Park Rd., Clarksville, VA 23927 Phone: 434-374-2210   Email Address: Occoneechee@dcr.virginia.gov Web Site: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/occoneechee.shtml

Event time: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

National Trails Day is a day to remember how lucky we are to have well-maintained trails for enjoyment in our community. So come out and celebrate at Occoneechee State Park and take advantage of one of the 8 trails the park has to offer.

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There are surprises at Occoneechee!

The 1.2 mile, circular Old Plantation Trail contains interpretive signs that can teach you about the various structures located on the old plantation grounds. It also encompasses the peaceful, scenic landscape of the Terrace Gardens.

Bird-lovers will enjoy the 1.1 mile long Tutelo Birding Trail which contains an elevated look-out that can be used to discover the various birds Occoneechee has to offer.

The Mossey Creek and Big Oak Nature Trails allow you to get away from everyday stress with tranquil, wooded landscapes that can help you reconnect with nature.

The 1.5 mile Mossey Creek Trail contains a small, peaceful creek and connects with the .4 mile Warrior’s Path.

If you’ve never seen a beaver dam, then hike the 1.7 mile Beaver Pond Trail to see all the hard work that beavers put into creating their homes.

There is also the 7.5 mile Panhandle Multiuse Trail, which can be used for horseback riding and biking.

No matter what kind of hike you prefer, Occoneechee has the perfect trail for you.

 

Staunton River State Park 1170 Staunton Trail, Scottsburg, VA 24589 Phone: 434-572-4623   Email Address: StauntonRiver@dcr.virginia.gov Web Site: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/staunton-river.shtml

Event time: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Hike the River Bank Trail along the Staunton River with a ranger as you conduct trail maintenance, remove debris out of the trail, and look for ways to improve the existing trail system. Along the hike, issues such as trail construction, erosion, and trail maintenance will be discussed so that volunteers will understand why trails require a little TLC from time to time. Virginia State Parks belong to the people, so visit your local state park and help improve it for your fellow nature lovers. At the end of the hike, you will enjoy a free wagon ride back to the Staunton River area.

 

Staunton River Battlefield State Park 1035 Fort Hill Trail, Randolph, VA 23962 Phone: 434-454-4312   Email Address: srbattle@dcr.virginia.gov Web Site: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/staunton-river-battlefield.shtml

Event time:  10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Seeking volunteers to join park staff in helping with the initial layout and construction of the new trail surrounding Mulberry Hill Pond. Meet at Roanoke Station.

If you would like information on these or other Virginia State Parks, contact, Pat Eastwood, Visitor Services Specialist, Virginia State Parks, Southern Virginia, 434-471-0154.

Posted in: KLPW - Occoneechee State Park, KLPW - Park Entertainment/Events, KLPW- Staunton River State Park

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Virginia’s Youth Conservation Corps Program Accepting Crew Applications

(RICHMOND) – Applications are being accepted through April 15 for two three-week summer sessions of the award-winning Virginia State Parks Youth Conservation Corps (YCC). The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation will notify selected participants via e-mail by May 1.  The program will be held July 19 to Aug. 8.

Teams of eight to 10 participants will be chosen from current high school students between the ages of 14 and 17 (participants must be 14 by June 1). Applicants must demonstrate an interest in protecting Virginia’s environment. While no prior experience is necessary, participants will work outside, and the service is physically demanding. A positive attitude, an interest in learning, curiosity about interpreting nature, and the physical ability and desire to work outdoors are also important factors in the selection process.

YCC crew members are provided room, board, T-shirts and equipment. They receive a $500 stipend at the end of the three weeks.

VA Youth Cons Corps 1

YCC participants help with assorted park projects, including wildlife and fisheries habitat improvement, trail and campground construction and restoration, timber and shoreline improvement, and landscape beautification. The YCC is modeled after the federal service program AmeriCorps and the depression era Civilian Conservation Corps that built the original six Virginia State Parks.

For more information about the YCC program, visit www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/youth-conservation-corps.shtml call 804-887-8933 or e-mail vspycc@dcr.virginia.gov.

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Posted in: KLPW - Campground Facilities and Improvements, KLPW - Occoneechee State Park, KLPW- Staunton River State Park

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