Douthat State Park

Douthat State Park is a state park located in the Allegheny Mountains in Virginia. It is in Bath County and Alleghany County. The park is 4,545 acres (18 km2)[1] total with a 50-acre (20 ha) lake.

Douthat State Park
IUCN category V (protected landscape/seascape)
Douthat Lake
Location of Douthat State Park
Douthat State Park (the United States)
LocationBath / Alleghany counties, Virginia, USA
Nearest cityClifton Forge, Virginia
Coordinates37°53′51″N 79°48′40″W
Area4,545 acres (18 km2)[1]
Governing bodyVirginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
Douthat State Park Historic District
The lodge at Douthat State Park
Nearest cityMillboro, Virginia
Area4,493 acres (1,818 ha)
Built1933 (1933)
Built byCivilian Conservation Corps
Architectural styleLog cabin style
NRHP reference #86002183[2]
VLR #008-0136, 134–5088
Significant dates
Added to NRHPSeptember 20, 1986
Designated VLRJune 17, 1986[3]


Douthat State Park opened June 15, 1936. It was one of the original six state parks of Virginia. The Douthat Land Company, a group of businessmen, donated the first portion of land — 1,920 acres (780 ha). In 1933, the Virginia General Assembly allotted $50,000 for the purchase of land for state parks, and the remainder of the present-day park was purchased with this money. Approximately 600 men from the Civilian Conservation Corps developed and constructed the majority of the modern-day park system between 1933 and 1942.[4]


  • Mountain biking: Douthat State Park has become a premier mountain biking destination. Twenty-four of the twenty-six trails at Douthat are open to biking. The park has been heralded as the best mountain biking destination on the East Coast. By spring 2009, almost all of the 45 miles of 70-year-old Civilian Conservation Corps trail at Douthat will be restored to its original condition with sustainable trail design techniques integrated to maintain a unique mountain biking experience.[5]
  • Fishing: Douthat allows trout fishing in its stocked lake with a valid Virginia Fishing License and a daily permit.[5]
  • Boating: A boat ramp launch is available April through October. Jonboats (including those with electric motors), canoes, paddleboats, hydrocycle and funyaks (similar to kayaks) are available for rental. No gasoline-powered boats are allowed on the lake.[5]
  • Hiking: Over 43 miles (69 km) of varied difficulty trails are available, many of them created originally by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Horseback riding at the park is restricted to several trails on the Western side of the park and mountain biking is permitted on nearly all of the trails.
  • Swimming: The beach area of the lake is available from Memorial Day through Labor Day.[5]
  • Restaurant/store: Douthat Lake View Restaurant was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and overlooks the lake. Next to the restaurant are a camp store and a gift shop.
  • Picnicking: There are three picnic areas with shelters that can be reserved for a group.
  • Hunting: Hunting is allowed by reservation with the appropriate permits.

Views of the lake from boat launch area

Awards and recognitions

  • 1986 – Douthat recognized as a national historic district
  • 1998 – Virginia Lakes and Watersheds Association Award for Best Operated and Maintained Dam
  • 1999 – Centennial Medallion from the American Society of Landscape Architects
  • 1999 – Named one of Outside Family Vacation Guide's top ten state parks[6]

See also


  1. "Douthat State Park".
  2. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  3. "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Archived from the original on 2013-09-21. Retrieved 2013-05-12.
  4. "Douthat State Park". Virginia State Parks. Department of Conservation and Recreation. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
  5. Glover, Jeremy (August 9, 2015). "Five things to love about Douthat State Park". Richmond Times-Dispatch. BH Media Group, Inc. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
  6. Puterbaugh, Parke. "Unsung Heroes: Ten top-ranking parks you might not have heard of — but then, no one else has either". Outside Online. Mariah Media Network LLC. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
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