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Douthat State Park
IUCN Category V (Protected Landscape/Seascape)
Douthat Lake Douthat State Park Virginia USA.jpg
Douthat Lake
Location Bath / Alleghany counties, Virginia, USA
Nearest city Clifton Forge, Virginia
Area 4,545 acres (18 km2)
Governing body Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
Douthat State Park Historic District
DO - Douthat Lodge (3837146854).jpg
The lodge at Douthat State Park
Nearest city Clifton Forge, Virginia
Area 4,493 acres (1,818 ha)
Built 1933 (1933)
Built by Civilian Conservation Corps
Architectural style Log cabin style
NRHP reference No. 86002183
Significant dates
Added to NRHP September 20, 1986

Douthat State Park is a state park located in the Allegheny Mountains in Virginia. It is in Bath County and Alleghany County. The park is 4,545 acres (18 km2) total with a 50-acre (20 ha) lake.

History

The Douthat Land Company, a group of businessmen, donated the first portion of land — 1,920 acres (780 ha). In 1933, the Virginia General Assembly allotted $50,000 for the purchase of land for state parks, and the remainder of the present-day park was purchased with this money. Douthat State Park opened on June 15, 1936 as one of six original state parks in Virginia, all built with the men and resources of the Civilian Conservation Corps. The site of the park was originally almost completely covered by forests; all of the original cabins, campsites, trails, roads, and even the entirety of Douthat Lake were created by the CCC work crews.

Approximately 600 men from the Civilian Conservation Corps developed and constructed the majority of the modern-day park system between 1933 and 1942.

Attractions

  • Mountain biking: Douthat State Park has become a premier mountain biking destination. Twenty-four of the twenty-six trails at Douthat are open to biking. The park has been heralded as the best mountain biking destination on the East Coast. By spring 2009, almost all of the 45 miles of 70-year-old Civilian Conservation Corps trail at Douthat will be restored to its original condition with sustainable trail design techniques integrated to maintain a unique mountain biking experience.
  • Fishing: Douthat allows trout fishing in its stocked lake with a valid Virginia Fishing License and a daily permit.
  • Boating: A boat ramp launch is available April through October. Jonboats (including those with electric motors), canoes, paddleboats, hydrocycle and funyaks (similar to kayaks) are available for rental. No gasoline-powered boats are allowed on the lake.
  • Hiking: Over 43 miles (69 km) of varied difficulty trails are available, many of them created originally by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Horseback riding at the park is restricted to several trails on the Western side of the park and mountain biking is permitted on nearly all of the trails.
  • Swimming: The beach area of the lake is available from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
  • Restaurant/store: Douthat Lake View Restaurant was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and overlooks the lake. Next to the restaurant are a camp store and a gift shop.
  • Picnicking: There are three picnic areas with shelters that can be reserved for a group.
  • Hunting: Hunting is allowed by reservation with the appropriate permits.


View of the Douthat State Park lake from boat launch area showing blue sky, trees, mountains and water
View of the Douthat State Park lake from boat launch area showing blue sky, trees, mountains and water
Views of the lake from boat launch area

Awards and recognitions

  • 1986 – Douthat recognized as a national historic district
  • 1998 – Virginia Lakes and Watersheds Association Award for Best Operated and Maintained Dam
  • 1999 – Centennial Medallion from the American Society of Landscape Architects
  • 1999 – Named one of Outside Family Vacation Guide's top ten state parks
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