Virginia state parks offer fishing opportunities for all ages

Who can forget the excitement they felt when catching a fish for the first time? Virginia’s state parks offer plenty of opportunities for kids of all ages to experience the success of reeling in that first big catch, or even a small fry. Size really doesn’t matter to the child on the other end of the line.

14720099652_cb5d499db7_hVirginia State Parks have provided fun fishing opportunities since June 1936, when the system opened with just six parks. This year, the park system commemorates its 80th anniversary with 36 locations, and more in development. Wherever you are in Virginia, you’ll find a state park about an hour away.

From the Chesapeake Bay to the cool mountain streams of western Virginia, most Virginia State Parks offer convenient access to water. Virginia’s largest lakes all feature state parks, including Kerr Reservoir, Smith Mountain Lake, Claytor Lake, and Lake Anna. Parks are also located on Virginia’s major rivers, while others feature smaller lakes. From tubing to stand-up paddle boarding, many parks also offer boat rentals and guided paddling programs.

State parks in Virginia offer many programs and events for the beginning angler. Kids, as well as grown-ups, can learn about baiting hooks, fishing techniques, removal of hooks, and fish identification. Many parks even offer kids’ tournaments or special fishing days.

Virginia State Parks offer thousands of campsites and hundreds of cabins for overnight accommodations, and more than 500 miles of trails to explore.

Remember to check license requirements before you go. Virginia fishing licenses are required for ages 16 and up. Licenses may be purchased in most parks, or online at

For more information about specific offerings and events, or to make overnight camping or cabin reservations, visit or call 800-933-PARK (7275).

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