Outdoor Recreation

Explore the Outdoors!

Ideally situated on the Hampton Roads peninsula, James City County offers access to the Chickahominy and James Rivers, home to the John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail; the Colonial Parkway and the Historic Triangle; and lies along the Virginia Capital Trail. In addition to these great opportunities, James City County Parks offer a variety of amenities and programs for you to explore our area!

Brickyard Landing
Check out what we’re offering this season or find a facility or park that meets your outdoor adventure needs. Have you heard about the technical terrain for mountain biking? Freedom Park is home to some fantastic Eastern Virginia Mountain Bike Association trails as well as Go Ape, a treetop adventure course.

We would love to hear from you about offerings you would like to see in Outdoor Recreation.

  1. Classes
  2. Camps
  3. Special Events
  4. Trips

Fall Classes - Registration Now Closed

To see current openings for Parks and Recreation programs, click here

Fall Programs - No Registration Required


Freedom Park Night Hikes - All Ages

Come experience the sights and sounds of Freedom Park after dark! Join park staff on a guided nature walk through the park as the sun sets, and get a chance to see some of the nocturnal wildlife that roams the park! Weather permitting. 

  • Oct. 26: 6-7:30 p.m.

Forest Explorers Walk & Talk - All Ages

Join us on the first Saturday of every month this fall for a nature program and guided walk on the Living Forest Interpretive trail! One of our expert nature guides will present a nature program on a different topic, then lead children and their parents on a trip through the forest to learn about plants, wildlife, insects, and anything else we may encounter! The nature program will take place at the Freedom Park Interpretive Center. Guided walks will begin at the Freedom Park playground from 10 a.m. - noon. Weather permitting.

  • Oct. 6: Backyard Birds (9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.)
  • Nov. 3: Mammals (9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.)

Challenges of Gardening in James City County - Ages 16+

Whether you are new to gardening here or you want to get started, challenges meet you each season. Come learn about the soil, the weather, the critters, and other obstacles that you can overcome—or at least manage. Thursday, Nov. 1 from 6-7 p.m.at the Freedom Park Interpretive Center.

One Way Paddles Down Powhatan Creek - Ages 16+

Join a James River Association guide for a leisurely paddle down Powhatan Creek, taking in the historic waterway by canoe! Guides will help orient you to the vessels, provide basic paddling instruction, and provide interpretation of the ecology. James City County Parks and Recreation will provide participants a free shuttle back to their cars after the experience. For more information, contact Emily Cope at ecope@jrava.org. Powhatan Creek Park.

Holiday Ornaments from Nature - All Ages

Stop by Freedom Park Saturday, December 15 and transform acorns, sweetgum balls, and pine cones into adorable ornaments! Bring billfold size school photos if you would like to make a surprise for Grandma or a remembrance ornament for your tree. Drop in for free anytime between 10am and 1pm, spend an hour or so, and head home with some new tree ornaments! All materials will be provided.