Bear Creek Lake State Park

22 Bear Creek Lake Road
Cumberland, VA 23040


Nestled in the heart of the Cumberland State Forest in central Virginia, Bear Creek Lake is less than an hour west of Richmond. It's the perfect getaway for the outdoor enthusiast. Activities center on the 40-acre lake with a boat launch, fishing pier, boat rentals and a swimming beach. Other attractions include a meeting facility, cabins, camping, picnicking, an archery range and playgrounds. Guests also enjoy the park's trails and access to the adjoining 16,000-acre Cumberland State Forest, including the 14-mile Cumberland Multi-use Trail, which is available for hiking, biking and horseback riding.


Please note that the bunkhouse is not Bear Creek Lodge. The bunkhouse is next to the park's group campsite.

Bear Creek Lake allows campsite-specific reservations in the Acorn and Chestnut loops.

Check-in is 4 p.m. Checkout is 1 p.m.
Sites have metal fire-rings that may be used for campfires or as charcoal grills.
Firewood and ice can be purchased at the park office.
Two vehicles are allowed per site in addition to a camping unit. Some sites, however, can accommodate only one vehicle. Additional vehicles should be parked at the office parking area adjacent to the campground. The parking fee is charged for more than two vehicles per site.
Guests visiting campers must park in the parking area and leave by 10 p.m. Daily parking fees apply.
A campground host is available at most times in site 14 next to the Acorn Loop Campground picnic shelter. The host may also help with firewood and ice sales after the office is closed.
Acorn and Chestnut loops have campsite specific reservations. Campsites in the Black Oak loop may be reserved by site type only (setup is first come, first-served).
In Acorn Loop, the only campground by the lake, there are 11 water view tent sites (10' x 10' tent pads) with no electric and water hookups. There are also five sites there that offer no view of the water but that have electric and water hookups to accommodate popups and equipment up to 20 feet long.
Black Oak Loop has 11 sites with water and electric hookups to accommodate pop-ups and equipment up to 20 feet long, and nine sites with such hookups to accommodate equipment up to 35 feet long. (Note: The 35-foot length includes the combined length of the camper and tow vehicle. Those attempting to place equipment with a combined length exceeding 35 feet risk damaging their equipment.)
Reserve large RV sites through the Customer Service Center - 800-933-7275 or online.
Chestnut Loop has 11 electric and water sites. The campground can accommodate tents and small pop-up units.
Most sites are shaded.
Please keep pets on a leash no longer than six feet. Pets are not allowed on the beach. Pets must be attended at any time.
Quiet hours are 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
State law permits alcohol use only in private areas (inside a cabin or camping unit) or in areas designated on permits issued by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
Campers arriving late will find at the park office door an envelope including instructions on how and when to register the following morning. Maps are provided designating the campsite location.
Number of each site type: EW, 28; RV35, 9; Waterview TENT, 11; BC Group Site, 1

EW – Electric-water sites; gravel parking area; can hold various equipment up to 20 feet; accepts outlets 20 and 30-amp current.

RV35 – Electric-water sites; gravel parking area; holds equipment up to 35 feet long; accepts 20 and 30-amp current; all in Black Oak Loop.

Waterview TENT - Tents only. No hookups. Gravel parking area; tent pads and natural surface for setting up tent.

Total: 48 sites

Group Campsite

The park rents a group campsite that has no hookups and is for tents only. It's near Chestnut Loop and next to the bunkhouse. The site accommodates up to 36 and is near a restroom. It has six picnic tables, a large pedestal grill and a stone fire pit surrounded by three benches. All equipment must be set up on gravel-covered areas. The campsite is available April 1 through Oct. 31. Group campsite guests use restrooms in nearby Chestnut Loop and Acorn Loop (about 200 yards away). There is a nonrefundable transaction fee plus a cancellation fee when reservations for this site are cancelled. The fee to cancel any group site that accommodates more than six people is greater than that for single campsites.

Dogs are allowed but must be kept on a leash no longer than six feet. Dogs must be attended at all times and are not allowed on the beach.
Sites are primitive; no water or electricity.
One vehicle is allowed per campsite. No more than eight vehicles are allowed in the group campsite area. Additional vehicles may be parked at the park office, and a daily parking fee is charged.
Check-in is at 4 p.m. and checkout is at 1 p.m.
State law permits alcohol use only in private areas (inside a cabin or camping unit) or in areas designated on permits issued by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
A burn ban is in effect from midnight to 4 p.m. Feb. 15 to April 30.


All trails within the park allow only hiking. The park also provides access to the Willis River Trail, a 16-mile long trail winding through Cumberland State Forest. Also, the 15.7-mile Cumberland Multi-use Trail is available for bicycles, horses and hikers (this trail does not loop back to the park and is located in the state forest). Those interested in riding horses or mountain bikes in the Cumberland State Forest must obtain a State Forest Use Permit; call (804) 492-4121

Between the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day, guarded beach swimming is available for a fee. Weather and other issues may at times force suspension of guarded swimming. When guarded swimming is unavailable, guests may swim at the beach’s designated area but do so at  their own risk. Swimming elsewhere in the park is prohibited.

The swimming beach has restrooms and Lakeside Snack Bar, which offers sandwiches, snacks and drinks.

A 40-acre lake supports largemouth bass, crappie, bream and channel catfish. The Willis River, a small, slow tributary of the James, winds through the Cumberland State Forest. Those with a canoe or small boat can enjoy fishing there. Two canoe launches with access to the river are in Cumberland State Forest. A boat ramp at Bear Creek Lake is available for non-gasoline powered boats. The park also has a universally accessible fishing pier.

Boat rentals are available from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Shoulder season rentals are offered on weekends only from mid-April through Columbus Day Weekend. Parental supervision is required for all rentals. Rentals are sometimes cancelled during the shoulder season because of bad weather or staff shortages.

Canoes, rowboats, trolling motors, paddleboats, paddleboards and kayaks are for rent. Call the park for prices. A valid Virginia fishing license is required for fishing. Those 16 and older must have a license with them.

Those interested in fishing in the Cumberland State Forest lakes, including Arrowhead, Bonbrook, Oak Hill and Winston lakes, must obtain a State Forest Use Permit (in addition to a regular freshwater fishing license). Call 804-492-4121

None within the park. There is a trailhead to the 15.7-mile Cumberland Multi-use Trail, which is popular for horseback riding. It's a day-use only trail. Those interested in riding horses there should call 804-492-4121 or visit the state forest department's website for details. Riders are required to carry a copy of a negative Coggins report for each horse brought to the park.

Hunting is allowed in nearby Cumberland State Forest. Call the state forest at (804) 492-4121 for specific dates.

The park has a 10-lane archery range with excelsior bales and 3D targets. The range, which is managed by the park and Friends of Bear Creek Lake State Park, is open from the first weekend in March through the first weekend in December. No archery equipment is available for rent. Call 804-492-4410 for details.

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