Widewater State Park: A Comfy Potomac Hide

*This is normally where I would put the map for you to get your own view of the park, however it seems that due to the small size of the park, VA State Parks didn’t bother to make a map.

Widewater is an unusual state park due to its small size. Most state parks that are this small are usually centered around a certain historical or geographical feature such as Fort Washington National Park, Natural Bridge State Park, or Natural Tunnel State Park that make them unique. In the case of Widewater State Park, I couldn’t find anything that was overwhelmingly special about it. This conclusion might also be influenced by the fact that when I visited was during the COVID-19 lock downs. Therefore park facilities were closed, which also deprived me of a park map which I normally collect that could inform me of a particular landmark. That being said, there are still a few nice things to note about the park and some ideas to think about if you ever plan on making a short trip to the park.

As a hiker, I will let you know from the beginning that Widewater State Park is not a hiking destination. It has one trail in the park that is 1 mile long according to the park map, but I have also seen .8 miles on Alltrails and my Strava App recorded .7 miles after what I think was completing it. I will put emphasis on the ‘I think’ because the trail in the park was poorly marked after hitting a pond. I then took what I assumed to be the path. I will go ahead and say that is a big complaint I had with the park. The trail isn’t deep enough into the woods to end up lost by any means, but there was some frustration in being unable to find the path after a certain point due to a mess of branching paths.

The shining aspects of Widewater State Park lie in its location on the Potomac River. So if you have a boat, kayak, or canoe, then this would be a point of entry onto the Potomac. I know that if I visit this park again, I will make sure that I have my kayak with me to take advantage of the park’s water access. I’m sure the fishing in this area would also be wonderful. The park website for Widewater notes that the area is prolific for Largemouth Bass. Just another thing to think about if you ever plan on visiting this state park.

Otherwise the only other thing I think I would choose to do here would be to take advantage of the picnic sites. There were some people enjoying themselves in the sun (social distancing of course) and so one idea would definitely be to have a nice afternoon picnic with a short walk afterwards. Some playground sets were there as well, so if again you want that picnic afternoon there is that option as well. I will note though, this park does not have any designated swimming areas even though it sits on a pond and the Potomac.

Overall, this park is definitely on the smaller side with more limited options available to take advantage of. Personally I have to admit that Widewater State Park isn’t my favorite. The lack of hiking doesn’t really appeal to me, but if I was looking for a nice side picnic in the area? Widewater isn’t that bad of a choice to go to. At the end of the day though, this is another place to see and explore in lovely Virginia.

Graduate Student in International Security, Political Junky, History Buff, Star Wars Fan.

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