February 3, 2018
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Dan River Basin Association to Visit Staunton River State Park
You are invited to join members and guests of the Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) on Saturday, February 3 for a two-mile guided hike at Staunton River State Park in Virginia. Participants will meet at 10:00 a.m. at the park visitor center, 1170 Staunton Trail, Scottsburg, VA (GPS 36.698, -78.677). The guide will be the park’s chief ranger, Ben Isaacs.
This will be the first outing DRBA has held at the park, which is 18 miles east of South Boston, at the easternmost edge of the Dan River Basin. Located on a peninsula formed by the Staunton and Dan rivers, which converge as they pour into the John H. Kerr Reservoir (also known as Buggs Island Lake), the park landscape includes woodlands, meadows, and shorelines along both rivers.
Our guide, Ranger Isaacs, says, “The hike will be approximately 2 miles of easy to moderate terrain,” including a few hills. “We will start on the Staunton River side of the park and hike to ‘The Point,’” designated a Virginia National Landmark, where the rivers come together to feed the lake. “From there we will continue onto the Dan River side of the park. Along the hike we will stop at many different scenic views and hopefully see some wildlife.”
Staunton River State Park is one of Virginia’s six original state parks. Now comprising 2,336 acres, the park originated with land acquisition in 1933. By its opening in June 1936 a unit of the Civilian Conservation Corps had built many of the buildings and facilities still in use today. Isaacs promises, “We will get to observe some of the park’s original 1936 structures, such as picnic shelters and log cabins.”
Amenities offered at the park include fishing, boating, water skiing, swimming, equestrian camping, tennis, volleyball, and 17 miles of multi-use trails. As the first state park in Virginia to be named an International Dark Sky Park, Staunton River State Park is ideal for stargazing. Park staff members rent telescopes and conduct associated interpretive programs. More details about the park are at www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/staunton-river.
Participants in the hike should meet at 10:00 a.m. at the Staunton River State Park Visitor Center, 1170 Staunton Trail, Scottsburg, VA (GPS 36.698,-78.677). Bring lunch, water, and a hiking stick if desired; wear comfortable shoes or hiking boots; dress in layers of water-shedding artificial fabric or wool; and be prepared for rain or wind. All participants will be asked to sign a waiver form.
DIRECTIONS: To reach the park from the west, take US 58 east to the intersection with US 360 at South Boston. Turn left (north) onto US 360 (James D. Hagood Hwy). Drive about 8 miles and turn right onto Route 344 (Scottsburg Rd, continuing onto MacDonald Rd). Travel 11 miles to the park entrance. Parking is available in front of the visitor center and at the pool parking lot beside the visitor center.
Outings and meetings of the Dan River Basin Association are open to the public without charge. The park has graciously waived the usual parking fee for participants in this outing.
For more information about the hike, call the park visitor center at (434) 572-4623.