Explore the Outdoors!
Ideally situated on the Hampton Roads peninsula, James City County offers access to the Chickahominy and James Rivers, home to the John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail; the Colonial Parkway and the Historic Triangle; and lies along the Virginia Capital Trail. In addition to these great opportunities, James City County Parks offer a variety of amenities and programs for you to explore our area!
Fall Classes - Registration Now Open!
Archery 101 - Ages 9-15
In this course designed for beginner to intermediate ability, learn the safe use and handling of recurve bows and arrows in addition to proper range procedures. All equipment provided. Register by 9/22 to reserve your spot. Sessions take place between 9/29-10/20 at Warhill Sports Complex.
Archery for Adults - Ages 16+
Do you remember shooting bows and arrows at camp when you were a kid or maybe you’ve always wanted to? In this course, designed for beginner to intermediate ability, you’ll learn the safe use and handling of recurve bows and arrows as well as work on your concentration and upper body strength. Register by 9/22 to reserve your spot. Sessions take place between 9/29-10/20 at Warhill Sports Complex.
Freedom Park Night Hikes - All Ages
Come experience the sights and sounds of Freedom Park after dark! Join park staff on a guided nature walk through the park as the sun sets, and get a chance to see some of the nocturnal wildlife that roams the park! Friday, Sept. 21 from 7-8:30 p.m. and Friday, Oct. 26 from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Freedom Park Interpretive Center, weather permitting.
Forest Explorers Walk & Talk - All Ages
Join us on the first Saturday of every month this fall for a nature program and guided walk on the Living Forest Interpretive trail! One of our expert nature guides will present a nature program on a different topic, then lead children and their parents on a trip through the forest to learn about plants, wildlife, insects, and anything else we may encounter! The nature program will take place at the Freedom Park Interpretive Center. Guided walks will begin at the Freedom Park playground from 10 a.m. - noon. Weather permitting.
- Oct. 6: Backyard Birds (9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.)
- Nov. 3: Mammals (9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.)
ABC's of Starting Pollinator Gardens - Ages 16+
Would you like to see more birds, bees, and butterflies in your yard? Not know where to start? Fall is the best time to plant perennials - join us at Freedom Park to learn where to begin. Get ideas for trees, shrubs, and perennials, which will have your yard buzzing with activity next summer! Thursday, Oct. 18 from 6-7 p.m. at the Freedom Park Interpretive Center.
Challenges of Gardening in James City County - Ages 16+
Whether you are new to gardening here or you want to get started, challenges meet you each season. Come learn about the soil, the weather, the critters, and other obstacles that you can overcome—or at least manage. Thursday, Nov. 1 from 6-7 p.m.at the Freedom Park Interpretive Center.
Be a Kid Again: Bike, Kayak, and Hike
Like being outside? Discover what our county parks have to offer and join us for hiking, biking, and kayaking in some of the county's most beautiful spots. Cap the week off on Thursday with a tour of the James River on the Jamestown Discovery Boat tour! Bikes and Kayaks provided. 10/8-10/11 from 9 a.m. - Noon at the James City County Marina.
Kids' Fishing Clinic - Sept. 22, 2018
Learn the basics of fresh-water fishing from local experts out at Little Creek Reservoir Park. “Tackle” knot tying, learn to cast, bait, and also learn about local aquatic species and conservation. The clinic, in joint collaboration with Nelsen Funeral Home, Hooker Bait and Tackle and Parks and Recreation, is designed to introduce fishing skills and techniques to set children up for success in freshwater environments. Parent participation is required for ages 6-8 and encouraged for ages 9-12. Registration closes September 17 and includes a t-shirt. Weather permitting*
James Riverfest - Sept. 29, 2018
Join us at Jamestown Beach Event Park for free, fun and hands-on educational activities for the whole family! Presented in partnership with the James River Association, James Riverfest is a family friendly, environmental festival promoting protection of and recreation on the James River! Event hours are 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Weather permitting*
Capital Color Ride - Oct. 6, 2018
You’ve heard of The Color Run™, but how about a color ride? Enjoy this family friendly biking event along a 15-mile stretch of the Virginia Capital Trail. Venture from Chickahominy Riverfront Park to the James City County Marina and back while encountering color stops, snacks, water and more at the rest stops. Preregister for $5 at a payment location or online by Sept. 30. Registration includes a free shirt and lunch while supplies last. The ride will kick off at 9 a.m. Weather permitting*
Pool Battleship! - Nov. 16, 2018
Too cold for canoeing? Then why not bring the canoes inside and try out this wet and wild event! In this battle to the end, the last canoe floating takes home the championship. Teams of four attempt to sink opponents by throwing water into their opponent’s boats, try to claim the prize. All canoes will be provided, but bring your own buckets and shields. Preregister by Nov. 2 under your Captain’s Name! Space is limited. For more information, email email@example.com. Fee includes team of four people.
Fall/Winter Trip Information Coming Soon
Adventure is Out There!
Check out what we’re offering this season or find a facility or park that meets your outdoor adventure needs. Have you heard about the technical terrain for mountain biking? Freedom Park is home to some fantastic Eastern Virginia Mountain Bike Association trails as well as Go Ape, a treetop adventure course.
We would love to hear from you about offerings you would like to see in Outdoor Recreation.