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“Not our cup of tea”

James River State Park
Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Gladstone
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 9 July 2013

We had reservations for JRSP for a Saturday and Sunday in early July. We knew we were going on a weekend, and that often means that campsites are more crowded but we read the reviews here on TA and thought we’d give it a shot anyway. We tent camped in the RV loop “Red Oak”. Camping with kids=needing to be close to bathrooms and showers.

The park was busy- in fact the loop was full. We had a VERY LARGE private site-not all of the sites were as private as the one we had, but they did all seem very large. We had trees on 3 sides of us! I think we were site 19. The bathroom was a regular camp bathroom- although there were 3 sinks which is nice to not have to stand in line to wash your hands. The showers were very nice. They were hot, and free! They also had good water pressure and a large dressing area. The campsite was nice and quiet after 10:15.

The visitor center was small but had lots stuff for the kids to touch. (skins, fur, leaves, bugs, twigs,) The day we were there the river was the color of caramel and was moving faster than normal so the park wasn't renting any watercrafts - bummer. But I’m glad they are keeping people safe.

It was HOT and HUMID here and it didn't cool down much at night. It also seemed to be a haven for ticks. I mean I think we tallied a total of 16 in a 5 minute span of sitting outside the tent at one point.

The road to JRSP is….ummmmm- well narrow, unmarked and rural- So be prepared for that. The park rangers there were less than welcoming. I don’t think they even said hello when we went into the visitor center- and we were the only ones there! The Jr. Ranger program costs 10.00!!!!!! Enough said!

There appeared to be a random private residence? Property? on the park road. It was a house with surrounding structures in varying degrees of completion or deterioration-

The last thing worth mentioning is that I think EVERYONE smoked in the park-EVERYWHERE! At the river, at the campground, IN THE BATHROOMS, even the park ranger outside the visitor center! We couldn't get away from it.

The park seemed designed for recreational activities as opposed to connecting with nature. The park did have some nature trials and a small meadow however, overall I would say James River State Park is there for people to use rather than to experience.

7  Thank travelbugs920
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"red oak"
in 10 reviews
"primitive camping"
in 5 reviews
"james river"
in 27 reviews
"the loop"
in 4 reviews
"rent canoes"
in 2 reviews
"visitor center"
in 5 reviews
"bath house"
in 3 reviews
"fire pit"
in 2 reviews
"central virginia"
in 2 reviews
"great camping"
in 2 reviews
"tye"
in 11 reviews
"livery"
in 8 reviews
"canoeing"
in 10 reviews
"bathhouse"
in 7 reviews
"tubes"
in 7 reviews
"float"
in 11 reviews
"campground"
in 15 reviews
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53 - 57 of 68 reviews

Reviewed 25 February 2013

the state park , offers hiking, a visitors center with history guides but most for me, a perfect venue for plein air painting. The foot bridge over the river makes the perfext location.

2  Thank janly j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 December 2012

Our latest trip in Oct, 2012 was by far the best. Weather and trails were perfect. My horsey friends and I have been coming here for years and the trails, campgrounds and staff are always wonderful. We make two trips per year where about 30 of us stay at the Horseshoe campground. In June we ride early, float the river after lunch and then ride again late in the day. The stalls are great and offer peace of mind knowing the horses are safe while we're enjoying the river. This is also a very dog friendly park as they are allowed to swim in the river. Fun times!

2  Thank ERQ86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 December 2012

I love this little park on the James River. a great place to picnic, camp or stay in their new, modern cabins. Fun for a day trip, a weekend or a week. Very child friendly. Horse trails and beautiful boarding facilities. All at low cost. I highly recommend this one for families.

1  Thank Bhagavan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 October 2012

This was my second visit to James River State Park, friends and I enjoyed both the small cabin and the lodge (which sleeps 16) on separate occasions. All of the cabins/lodges are strategically placed to take advantange of the scenic vistas while maximizing the privacy of each property. Interiors were similarly appointed with comfortable seating, a great fireplace and a large table that equally accomodates meals and late night board game competitions. In addition to the outdoor activities available at the park, the location is convenient for day trips to view foliage, or visit several highly regarded breweries/restaurants. Definitely planning another stay. If you're glued to your TV this probably isn't the place for you.

2  Thank Pogo408
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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