So, we had planned to vacation for Memorial Day weekend camping at Kiptopeke State Park. My husband tore his ACL and had surgery on the 16th of May, so spending the weekend camping wasn’t really in the cards unless I took the kids on my own. I didn’t mind doing that, but I also didn’t want to leave him on his own for too long, so I just took the kids for the day.
It is a little less than a 3 hour drive from western Richmond….on any weekend that isn’t Memorial Day weekend. We spent over 4 and a half hours in the car on the way there. But, crossing the Chesapeake Bridge Tunnel is always fun so it wasn’t so bad.
It’s a pretty cool park. After you enter, you pass some campgrounds and then immediately are at the water. Boat launch, swimming area and trailheads. We immediately hit the gift shop and then headed out on the trail. We took the Wood Warbler Boardwalk and stopped at the water. It is always such a neat experience to emerge from the woods straight out to a beach.
The kids desperately wanted to swim, but I wanted to wait until we made it to the legitimate “swimming area” because it seemed like there was a lot of debris (shells, foliage, etc) on the particular beach we came out to.
We walked back onto the trails and and headed over to the Hawk Observatory and Butterfly Garden. We didn’t see anything in either place, but that could have been because the park was so busy for Memorial Day Weekend. But, we did encounter a little lizard on the way there!
We headed back (through clouds of mosquitos and picking ticks off as we went) to the beach via the Peregrine Boardwalk. We walked along the beach and crossed the road over to the swimming area.
The swimming area was just lovely. The perfect little bay beach area. Soft sand, almost no debris and shallow for days. The kids swam for the better part of an hour until we decided we were done for the day.
All in all, we generally liked this park. Aside from the ticks and mosquitos, it really had a lot to offer. The trails extended farther than we went and I would definitely be interested in heading back to explore those- perhaps in the winter time or very early spring.