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!

Project 547: Longest Day of Play
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. 

Make sure you are enjoying the outdoors safely! Before heading out, take a look at these Outdoor Safety Tips.

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

Winter & Spring Classes

To register for any Parks and Recreation programs, click here.

Archery (Ages 9+)

These courses are designed for beginner to intermediate ability.  Learn the safe use and handing of a recurve bow in addition to proper range procedures while learning balance, focus and technique.

  • Archery for Adults - Ages 16+
    •  Saturdays, March 28-April 25, no class April 11
    • Tuesdays, April 14-May 5
  • Archery 101 - Ages 9-15
    •  Saturdays, March 28-April 25, no class April 11

Campfire Socials

Enjoy s’mores, activities, storytelling and more around the campfire overlooking beautiful Gordon Creek at Chickahominy Riverfront Park! No preregistration required.

  • Saturday, April 4 - 7-8 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 2 - 7-8 p.m.

Forest Explorer Fridays - All Ages

Join us the third Friday of each month to explore the plants and animals of Freedom Park! Youth ages 12 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Program runs from 6-7:30 p.m., weather permitting and no preregistration required.

  • March 20: Decomposers
  • April 17: Plant Identification
  • May 15: Reptiles (Meet at Greensprings Trail near Jamestown High School)

Williamsburg Botanical Garden Programs

The Williamsburg Botanical Garden, located in Freedom Park, offers its FREE Learn-and-Grow Series on topics for the home gardener (ages 18+). Sessions are held at the Freedom Park Interpretive Center. Seating is limited! Register to guarantee a spot. All programs are free, but donations at the door help the garden continue its mission. Request WBG’s eNews and program details to your inbox at www.bit.ly/wbgnews or by texting WBGARDEN to 22828.

  • January 18: Winter Pruning Clinic, 10-11:30 a.m.
  • February 15: Orchids & American First Ladies (held at Williamsburg Library), 10:30 a.m. - noon.
  • March 21: Compost is Garden Gold, 10-11:30 a.m.
  • April 18: Planting for Pollinators, 10-11:30 a.m.
  • May 16: Rain Gardens: Why & How?, 10-11:30 a.m.

Stargazing with NASA - Ages 13+

Come Stargaze with NASA Skywatcher Astronomy Club! The NASA Skywatcher Astronomy Club will have an observing session to share their knowledge, experience and love of astronomy. Program runs 8-11 p.m. at Upper County Park, weather permitting. No preregistration required. 

  • Saturday, March 28, 8-10:30 p.m.