GENERAL INFO: Deep in the heart of Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest, Holliday Lake State Park is a paradise for the outdoor enthusiast. Fishing for largemouth bass, yellow perch, crappie and bluegill is a popular activity in the 150-acre lake within the park. The nearby state Department of Game and Inland Fisheries delayed-harvest trout stream allows anglers to fish for brown and rainbow trout. The park also features excellent trails open to hikers, bikers and equestrians. Swimming is a popular summer activity at the park's life-guarded beach where the "Critter Hole" play area is a favorite of young visitors. Park facilities include a 30-site campground, a large shaded picnic area, two picnic shelters, two playgrounds, a boat ramp, a seasonal full-service concession stand, a camp store, and canoe, rowboat and paddle boat rentals. Interpretive and environmental education programs also are available for school and scout groups. This park is just minutes from the famous Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, the site of General Robert E. Lee's surrender to General Ulysses S. Grant in 1865.
AT-A-GLANCE: The pictographs directly below show park offerings. Click on those of interest or read below for more detail. Mouse-over the image for a short text description or to view a legend in which each pictograph's meaning is expressed.
Drive Time : Northern Virginia, three and a half hours; Richmond, two hours; Tidewater/Norfolk/Virginia Beach, four hours; Roanoke, two hours
Click here for a Google map.
OVERNIGHT FACILITIES: Camping. For information on availability of overnight accommodations, particular park amenities or to make a reservation, you can reserve online or call 1-800-933-PARK. Click here for park fees.
Click here for details on reservation cancellation and transfer policies. A fee is charged per pet per night for overnight stays.
E/W (Electric and Water) - Various equipment up to 30 feet; bath house with hot water nearby: eight sites.
E/W Tent/Popup20ft - (Electric and Water, Tents and Pop-ups only) - Bath house with hot water nearby: 22 sites.
Total sites of each type: E/W, 8; E/W Tent/Popup20ft, 22
Camping Lodge (bunkhouse) – Two-night minimum; no weekly requirement. The three-room trailer has seven bunk beds, a refrigerator, a microwave and a coffeepot. Outside the lodge is a deck, a fire ring with cooking grate, a water spigot, and a small picnic shelter with two tables and an outdoor sink (sink availability is seasonal). Cooking and smoking are not permitted inside the lodge. Parking for five vehicles is covered with rental of the lodge; all other vehicles must pay the park's daily parking fee. It's available only during camping season, from March 1 to the first Monday in December. This facility is not sold 11 months in advance; it goes online in January each year. Check-in is 3 p.m., and check-out is 10 a.m.
SWIMMING: Beach area. Open during the summer season, the swimming beach is complete with a bathhouse and concession operation featuring a range of sandwiches, snacks and drinks. Camping, fishing and beach supplies are available at the park store. Click here for park fees. In the summer, swimming is free for overnight guests in campsites, however it cannot be guaranteed should circumstances beyond the park's control require that swimming be closed. We do not give refunds for swimming to overnight guests under any circumstances. Late summer schedule: During late August and beyond, the beach and concession area are closed on weekdays and open on weekends and Labor Day weekend. If your stay depends on such swimming, please contact the park beforehand for details.
TRAILS: The park has five hiking trails and one aquatic trail. Lakeshore Trail is a 6.3-mile hiking trail that loops around the lake and the Holliday Lake 4-H Educational Center, passing through a hardwood forest, wetlands and managed pine plantation. Saunders Creek Trail provides access from the campground to the picnic area and is .1-mile in length. Dogwood Ridge Trail is a .7-mile loop that starts across from the campground. Northridge Trail is .4-miles and provides a ridge top walk from the picnic area to the northern end of Holliday Lake and hooks up with the Lakeshore Trail. The Sunfish Aquatic Trail is a self-guided water adventure that requires a boat and free trail brochure. A brochure map and numbered stop's provide information about the lake and environment as you paddle or peddle around its edges. The trailhead for Carter Taylor Trailis next to the amphitheater. This trail is a 12-mile loop in the Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest for hikers, bicycle riders and horseback riders.
Boat Rentals: (1st weekend April through last weekend September, weather permitting). Weekends only prior to Memorial Day and after Labor Day, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Daily Memorial Day-Labor Day 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; (half day and full day rentals available): rowboats, canoes, paddleboats and sit-on-top kayaks.
PARKS CALENDAR OF EVENTS: Click here to view park events, festivals, workshops and interpretive programs.
NATURE, HISTORY PROGRAMS: Click here to view park events, festivals, workshops and interpretive programs. Canoe tours, conducted hikes, campfire programs, environmental programs, specialty workshops.
PICNIC SHELTERS: The park offers lakeside picnicking near the swimming beach. Picnic facilities include tables, drinking water, grills and restrooms. Picnic shelters are available by reservation by calling the Reservation Center (1-800-933-PARK). Small shelters only.
Two shelters are available for rent. Parking and swimming fees are not included in shelter rental. Click here for park fees. Shelters can be rented from 8 a.m. to dark (all day).
Cancellation policy: No refund within 14 days before reserved date. Before then, there's a cancellation fee.
Amenities: Both shelters have grill, picnic tables and access to restroom.
HISTORY: The area encompassing Holliday Lake State Park and the surrounding state forest was cleared in the 1800s for farmland. In the 1930s the federal government, through the Resettlement Administration, began buying the farms to return the land to its former productive hardwood forest state. Construction of a dam was begun at Fish Pond Creek, then relocated to Holliday Creek where a lake could be developed. Traces of family cemeteries can still be found in the area. After Holliday Lake was completed in 1938, the Commonwealth of Virginia, through an agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, took over the management of the new day-use recreational area. In 1972, with the addition of campgrounds, the area became a state park.