Belle Isle State Park (Virginia)

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Not to be confused with Belle Isle (Richmond, Virginia), a public park on the James River in Richmond, Virginia.
For other uses, see Belle Isle.
Belle Isle State Park, Virginia, USA
Belle Isle - Bel Air Mansion (8266429959).jpg
2012 photo of Belle Isle Mansion
Coordinates 37°46′28″N 76°35′58″W / 37.77444°N 76.59944°W / 37.77444; -76.59944Coordinates: 37°46′28″N 76°35′58″W / 37.77444°N 76.59944°W / 37.77444; -76.59944
Area 733 acres (2.97 km²)
Established Georgian architecture
Governing body Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation

Belle Isle State Park is located in Lancaster County, Virginia, on the Rappahannock River. It sits between Deep Creek and Morattico Creek and is currently under public ownership. The park has an area of 733 acres (2.97 km2) and has facilities for camping, fishing, boating and picnics.

The park is a peninsula surrounded by Tidewater coastal marshes. Wildlife observed includes blue herons, osprey, hawks, bald eagles, white-tailed deer and various reptiles and amphibians. It is near the unincorporated towns of Litwalton, Morattico and Somers.

The park and Georgian style mansion were operated in the 19th century as a plantation. The property was acquired in 1692 by John Bertrand. Belle Isle mansion was built around 1760 by Raleigh Downman and restored in the 1940s. The architect for the restoration was Thomas Tileston Waterman, the first director of the Historic American Buildings Survey [1]. Some of the interior rooms and paneling can be seen today at the Winterthur Museum in Delaware[2]. The house, which is surrounded by the park but still privately owned, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. Bel Air, a colonial revival house on the grounds designed by Waterman, can be rented for overnight stays. In addition, there is a cottage that can also be rented.

The park has a campground with RV lots, tent sites, and trailer rentals. A boat launch and rental boats are also available in the park. The trail system includes a mix of hiking-only and multi-use trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding.

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