Follow all current directives from your governor and local health officials regarding staying at home. Help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Trespassing is not permitted on the beaches below Horsehead Cliffs, and there are “no trespassing” signs posted here. Erosion from the cliffs presents considerable danger.
Remember: safe use of rivers and any designated trails, at any time, is your responsibility! Water trail maps are for informational and interpretive purposes only and are not meant for navigational purposes, nor do they take into account level of skills or ability required to navigate rivers. The National Park Service, Chesapeake Conservancy and/or the individual trail associations assume no responsibility or liability for any injury or loss resulting directly or indirectly from the use of water trails, maps or other printed or web-based materials. Learn more about water safety.
We STRONGLY suggested that you review the marine forecast ahead of heading out for a paddling trip. To review the forecast for this paddle trip, visit:
In an emergency, dial 911
Nearest hospital: Riverside Tappahannock Hospital (618 Hospital Rd., Tappahannock, VA 22560): (804) 443-3311
There is a large parking area by the boat launch. Parking is $5 for Virginia residents and $7 for non-residents. On weekends and holidays from Memorial Day through Labor Day, admission for non-residents is $9. The park is open from dawn to dusk.
Restrooms are available at the visitor center (open 24 hours a day), pool, park office, conference center, and campgrounds.
Westmoreland State Park is situated between the birthplaces of two significant American historical figures. To the west stands the birthplace of George Washington, and to the immediate east stands Stratford Hall, the birthplace of Robert E. Lee.
The park was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a program designed by the federal government to help alleviate unemployment. Most of the roads and trails at this park were dug originally by hand by the CCC. The park also features cabins, picnic areas, and campgrounds built during this time period, all built as part of the New Deal.
Horsehead Cliffs, another notable park feature, is 150 feet high in some places. Fifteen million years ago, scientists theorize that the sediments which now constitute Horsehead Cliffs originally constituted the bottom of a shallow inland sea, which perhaps stretched to Richmond. Fossil Beach, which can be found beneath these cliffs, has been formed by ongoing erosion, and is full of shark teeth, whale ribs, and other fossils. These fossils have been locked inside Horsehead Cliffs for millions of years.