Newport News Park
Coordinates: Newport News Park, located in Newport News, Virginia, is the largest park in the system of municipal parks maintained by the Newport News Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism. At 8,065 acres (32.63 km²), it is one of largest city-run parks in the United States. It offers a wide range of activities for residents and tourists alike.
Newport News Park is located in the northern part of the city of Newport News. Its main entrance sits on Jefferson Avenue, to the northwest of its intersection with Ft. Eustis Boulevard. Further up Jefferson Avenue is the entrance to its campsite. To the northeast of the intersection, on Ft. Eustis Boulevard, is the secondary entrance at Old Stable Road, and further up Ft. Eustis Boulevard is the main entrance for the Newport News Golf Club at Deer Run, located on park grounds. Newport News Park shares a long stretch of border with the Colonial National Historical Park and several of the park's biking and hiking trails cross over into the CNHP.
The mailing address for Newport News Park is 13560 Jefferson Avenue, Newport News VA 23603 USA.
During the American Civil War, the current park was the site of the Battle of Dam No. 1, part of the Battle of Yorktown (1862). In the days prior to the battle, the Confederate forces constructed rifle pits and other earth works from which they held off the Union Army forces commanded by Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan. The Lee's Mill Earthworks were preserved; though overgrown with woods, they are accessible from the White Oak nature trail on the camping side of the reservoir.
In the 1960s, as Newport News grew, the city found itself taxing its water supply. The solution to the problem was to purchase several lakes in the Lee Hall area and pump the water into the city. To protect the cleanliness of the water, a watershed around the new Lee Hall Reservoir was created. The watershed was developed into Newport News Park in 1966, primarily through the efforts of City Manager Joe Biggins, who considered the development of a large park important as the city continued to grow.
Campsites, hiking and biking
Newport News Park offers 188 campsites, ranging from basic sites with no utilities to sites with electrical and water hookups.
There are over 30 miles (50 km) of trails in the Newport News Park complex. The park has a 5.3 mile (8.5 km) multi-use bike path. The park offers bicycle and helmet rental, and requires helmet use by children under 14.
The Newport News Park Discovery Center was built to give visitors a look at the park in a more structured, educational way. There are numerous exhibits on the types of natural life in the park, as well as exhibits on the historical aspects of the land. Civil War artifacts found in the park are on display.
Newport News Park also offers an archery range, disc golf course, and an "aeromodel flying field" for remote-controlled aircraft, complete with a 400 ft (120 m) runway. The park welcomes geocaching, with over 50 geocaches in the park (as of August 2008).
- Rouse, Parke S., Jr.; John V. Quarstein (1996). Newport News: A Centennial History. City of Newport News.
- Salmon, John S. (2001). The Official Civil War Battlefield Guide. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. pp. 76–78ff.
- Newport News Park - official site