Looking for a place to place to watch for birds, fish for catfish, paddle a kayak, stroll through the woods, or ride a bike? Then, Charles City is the place for you. Ironically the county has no “city,” indeed it has no stoplight. It is a rural oasis between burgeoning metropolitan areas to the east and west. But, what the county lacks in population it makes up for in natural beauty. It’s just a short drive from the hustle and bustle to this small corner of unspoiled America.
Chickahominy Wildlife Management Area
12510 Eagles Nest Road
The Chickahominy Wildlife Management Area includes 5,217 acres of woodlands, tidal creeks and marshy guts bordering the Chickahominy River and Morris Creek. The area is managed by the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries primarily for upland wildlife and is a stop on the Virginia Birding & Wildlife Trail. The Wildlife Area is a popular site for hunting during winter months and for fishing, boating and birding in the spring, summer and fall. Primitive overnight camping is permitted within the Wildlife Area. The area has a number of hiking trails, but they are not maintained. Amenities include a boat launch, fishing pier and firing range. For directions and printable map of the Wildlife Management Area visit www.dgif.virginia.gov/wmas/detail.asp?pid=1.
Lawrence Lewis, Jr. Park is a 24-acre site located on the James River and accessible from Route 5 via Willcox Wharf Road. This is a great place for fishing, bird watching, picnicking and launching your boat. The park is home to eagles, blue heron and other waterfowl. A Virginia Civil War Trails exhibit tells the story of Union army crossing the river from this landing in 1864. Six historical exhibits related to the 1600s connect the park to the John Smith Adventures on the James driving tour. The park is also a Chesapeake Bay Gateways site and a stop on the Virginia Birding and Wildlife tour. Park amenities include a picnic area, comfort station, fishing and birding pier, a short swamp boardwalk leading to a wooded trail and a boat ramp. The boat ramp is open: May 1st – September 30th Mondays to Fridays (1:00am – 7:30pm) and Weekends and holidays (7:00am – 7:30pm); October 1st to April 30th (open daily sunrise to sunset). A 5$ fee applies to non-residents. The park has separate entrances for the upper and lower levels – don’t miss half the park.
River’s Rest is located on the Chickahominy River, one of the cleanest, most picturesque in Virginia. The 60 slip marina includes floating docks, double finger piers and dual 30 & 50 amp 220 electrical service. All the supplies you might need for a day on the river are available here -- rinks, gas, oil, bait, maps, boat supplies and fishing tackle. A pontoon boat is available for rental. www.riversrest.com Follow us on Facebook - facebook.com/pages/Rivers-Rest-Motel-Marina-Lc/117384168279519
U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service Harrison Lake National Fish Hatchery
11110 Kimages Road
The Fish Hatchery is a 440-acre site, bordering Route 5. Its 90-acre lake is accessible to fishing and boating. A Nature Trail winds along Herring Creek through mixed hardwoods. Visits to this Virginia Birding and Wildlife trail site may yield views of numerous woodland songbirds and dragonflies.
Amenities include a boat ramp, handicap accessible fishing piers, picnic areas, a Nature Trail, and a Visitor Center. For information call 804-829-2421.