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“Classic State Park Experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Douthat State Park

Douthat State Park
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Visitors to this colorful state park will view rolling hills, birds and a beautiful lake.
Arlington, VA
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Classic State Park Experience”
Reviewed September 6, 2012

The main features of Douthat State Park in western Virginia have changed very little in the decades since it's founding. The central feature is a lake surrounded by mountains. There's beaches, boating and a lakeside restaurant. Miles of good hiking trails lead you through the forest and to the mountaintops. Fully furnished log cabins can be rented at a reasonable rate, and you can bring your pets. This is one place where the sum of the whole is really greater than the individual parts. If you're looking for great hiking in a classic state park, little changed from the 1930s, you'll be happy at Douthat.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank VirginiaRET
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Virgnia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Great Family Getaway”
Reviewed September 4, 2012

Just got back from spending Labor Day weekend with my husband, 2 children (ages 2 1/2 and 5) and our dog at Douthat State Park. We stayed in a one bedroom cabin at the park. The cabin was really cute and spaced a nice amount away from the other cabins. The scenery was beautiful. We enjoyed boating on the lake. There was a lot to do for children, nice playgrounds in several different areas, a swimming area, and lots of different boat rentals for fishing or playing in the water. The restaurant was nice as well. The food isn't amazing, but pretty good for a State Park! Nice atmosphere and they serve beer and wine as well.
The staff we encountered at the various locations were alll very friendly. This is a beautiful park, would love to go back in the fall.
Thanks to a couple notes left in the cabin log by previous vacationers, we learned that there was a bit of a mouse problem (to be expected, you are in the woods!) in the cabin. We put all of our food and paper products either in the fridge or in our cooler. The first morning we saw a couple of mouse droppings in the kitchen, however the second morning there were none. I think the mice may have found a better feast in another cabin!! We also were diligent about taking out the trash and putting the dog food in a sealable container.
We will definitely be back again!!

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank The5Rs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
57 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Great park for paddling and wlaking”
Reviewed August 28, 2012

This is a really fine park to go to if one wants to get away from it all. It is very clean and the staff is professional. Being an outdoorsperson, I had no problems finding my way around on the trails, and have helped folks from Northern Virginia and urbanized areas find their way around the forest at times as they re not used to it. The fishing is relaxing. Good for families and groups. My group was of 40 people and we had a great time.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank BobbieCia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Disappointed. Lake is so small. Beach so small. So many, many fees!”
Reviewed August 26, 2012

We were excited to go explore Douthat State Park. It had such high recommendations everywhere I read. I was surprised at how small the park is, how small the lake is, how small the beach is and how restrictive it was. On the beach there were signs about, "no balls after this point", among other things. The biking trails that we were interested in were not marked. Seems like they spent a maximum amount of money on the signage for fees and not enough on navigation! There are daily parking fees, daily swimming fees, transient dump station fees, transient shower fees, etc.. We joked amongst ourselves if there was a walking and breathing fee! (Thankfully there was not a restroom fee.) Seriously, there were signs everywhere about the fees! It was a real turn OFF. As a state resident, I have to wonder --- where are my taxes going? Why am I being charged again and again? We know of more user friendly parks. We won't be returning to Douthat. There are too many other great places to visit to be hounded for fees for this and fees for that.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
5 Thank Anne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VaStateParks, Guest Relations Manager at Douthat State Park, responded to this review, July 12, 2015
Overnight guests do not pay parking, swimming fees or the transient fees mentioned in this review. We do have campers from the national forest come in to the park to use these facilities because they are not offered in the national forest so we post the fees. Fees we collect cover more than half of our operating expenses, meaning tax dollars cover less than half of what it takes to operate the park.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport News, Virginia
Level Contributor
37 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Peaceful Getaway!”
Reviewed August 18, 2012

I love Douthat State Park! I have wonderful memories of family camping trips when I was a kid & finally made my way back as an adult. My boyfriend & I along with our 2 dogs rented cabin 25 for a few days in August & absolutely loved it! The cabin was extremely clean, comfortable & the kitchen was fully equipped with any & all cooking needs. We spent the evenings rocking on the porch listening to nature, a couple of thunder of thunder storms and even had a bat visitor one night. While the big storm in July caused considerable damage to much of the parks trails, we did enjoy a nice hike around the lake. We enjoyed a delicious lunch at the restaurant overlooking the lake. But the best part was "unplugging" from the world for a few days & we can't wait to go back & enjoy more of the park!

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
Thank Amber C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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