A traditional family park for 75 years, Douthat is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for the role its design played in the development of parks nationwide. Amid some of Virginia's most breathtaking mountain scenery, visitors enjoy interpretive programs, four miles of stream fishing, a 50-acre lake stocked with trout, a sandy swimming beach with snack bar, boat rentals, a gift shop and camp store, cabins, and more than 43 miles of hiking, mountain biking and bridle trails. Plus, there are playgrounds, an amphitheater, picnic areas, tent and trailer camping, and a restaurant overlooking the lake. The park also has 32 cabins and three lodges that accommodate 15, 16 and 18 guests each.
Douthat is known for delightful, inviting campsites. Some offer a splendid view of Douthat Lake. (Note: Water is unavailable at individual campsites from November through March because of freezing weather. As hot water is still available in the bathhouse, camping fees are not reduced.) The campgrounds are pet-friendly. Generators may not be used in any campgrounds.
Firewood is for sale. Because of the possibility of destructive invasive species, do not bring firewood.
Late arriving campers will find an envelope with their name on it to the left of the park office door. It includes instructions on how and when to register the following morning. Park maps are provided so that these campers may find their campground. The park office is the first building on the right after exiting I-64 and passing the collection booth.
Campsites have grills for cooking or a campfire. All fires must be kept within the grill. Picnic tables and lantern posts are also provided.
Two vehicles per campsite in addition to camping unit; extra vehicles must park in overflow parking area, and parking fees apply for extra vehicles. All equipment must be placed within site's gravel borders. Campsite vehicle area is crushed run gravel; tent pad is pea gravel for drainage.
Park visitors not registered for cabin/campground use must pay parking fee and leave the park by 10 p.m.
Total sites of each type: A-StdLake Lakeside, 19; B-EW Beaver Dam Horse, 14; C-EW White Oak, 31; D-EW Whispering Pines, 23
A - StdLake Lakeside - Nineteen RV or tent sites with gravel pads. Maximum RV length is 40 feet with parking for tow or towed vehicles on sites. The campground has dump stations, showers and flush toilets. Sites have no water hookup, but there are water spigots throughout the campground. Those needing electricity should use the White Oak or Whispering Pines Campground; generators are not allowed.
B - EW Beaver Dam (equestrian camping). Fourteen mostly shaded RV or tent sites (four pull-throughs) with gravel pads, electricity (30 and 50-amp service) and water (no sewer hookups at site). Maximum RV length is 40 feet with parking for tow or towed vehicles on sites. The campground has dump stations, showers and flush toilets. There are 14 covered stalls rented separately from camping sites. Guests must provide their own hay and water bucket and must clean up after their horses. The park provides a rake, shovel and wheelbarrow. Stalls measure 12 by 12 feet. Only one horse is allowed per stall. Horses are not permitted to stay in trailers or any other area of the park. At least one person must stay in the campground overnight for the entire duration of the stall reservation.
C - EW White Oak - EW White Oak - Thirty-one mostly shaded RV or tent sites with gravel pads, electricity (30-amp service) and water (no sewer hookups at site). Maximum RV length is 40 feet with parking for tow or towed vehicles on sites. The campground has dump stations, showers and flush toilets.
D - EW Whispering Pines - Twenty-three RV or tent sites with gravel pads, electricity (30 and 50-amp service) and water (no sewer hookups at site). Maximum RV length is 50 feet with parking for tow or towed vehicles on sites. The campground has dump stations, showers and flush toilets. A playground is nearby.
Total sites: 87
Hiking, bridle and mountain bike trails (no horse rentals). There are more than 40 miles of wooded hiking trails to choose from throughout the year, ranging from easy to difficult. Many park trails are open to mountain bikers, however hikers have the right-of-way. Douthat has 6 miles of bridle trails. Visit the park office for a map depicting trails at Douthat.
Between the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day, guarded beach swimming is available for a fee. Operating hours are 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Friday to Sunday and on holidays, and 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday to Thursday. Weather and other issues may at times force suspension of guarded swimming. When guarded swimming is unavailable, guests may swim at the beach’s designated area but do so at their own risk. Swimming elsewhere in the park is prohibited
Douthat Lake is a 50-acre fee-fishing lake stocked with rainbow, brown and brook trout twice a week during the fee season. The lake also offers excellent largemouth bass fishing and fair opportunities for landing sunfish, black crappie, and channel catfish. It’s also an excellent lake for chain pickerel with October being the top month. A special trout fishing area for the kids also has been created on a section of Wilson Creek just below the dam. Fishing is not allowed five days before the first Saturday in April in Douthat Lake or in Wilson Creek upstream of Douthat Lake and from the base of the dam to the Bath-Allegheny county line. Licenses and permits required vary during the year.
Special seasonal regulations apply at Douthat Lake. Everyone 16 and older must have a valid Virginia freshwater fishing license. In addition, a Virginia Trout license or daily fishing permit is required, depending on the season. There is a daily creel limit of six trout with a seven inch minimum. One pole per person allowed, separate stringers required. Fishing hours are posted at the park.
In addition to the fishing license requirement, the following rules may apply, depending on when and where the person will be fishing. Licenses and permits are available at the camp store and wherever Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) licenses are sold.
Changes to the fee fishing area at Douthat State Park: The lower end of Wilson Creek, from the Bath-Alleghany county line downstream to the end of park property, will no longer be stocked during the fee season. This segment of Wilson Creek will be category
“C” stocked trout water Oct. 1 through June 15 and will be referred to as "Wilson Creek (Lower)." Also, the segment of Wilson Creek upstream of Douthat Lake, within park boundaries, will be extended. Beginning April 6, 2019, that area will include
Douthat Lake and Wilson Creek upstream of Douthat Lake and from the base of the dam to the Bath-Allegheny county line. All other rules and regulations pertaining to the fee
fishing area will be unchanged.
When stocking is suspended between June 16 and Sept. 15, the daily permit fee or trout stamp is not required, and fishing is allowed until 10 p.m. (Virginia freshwater fishing license still required.) Feel free to contact the park for status.
Between the first Saturday in April to June 15 and from Sept. 16 to Oct. 31, the lake and stretches of Wilson Creek are stocked twice a week, water conditions permitting. At these times, requirements include purchasing a Virginia freshwater fishing license and a daily permit. They are sold at the park and wherever VDGIF licenses are sold.
November 1 through the last weekend in March: Stocking continues on a random basis. Requirements include a Virginia freshwater fishing license and Virginia trout stamp.
Special fishing rules applying to children:
Those less than 16 years old don't need a license. Virginia residents under 13 may fish the entire park without a permit if under the direct supervision of an adult who has a fishing license and daily fishing permit, if applicable. The combined creel limit for all children and the adult fishing under that permit is six trout.
A special area is available in the park for those 12 and under. They must have their own permit or must be accompanied by an adult who has purchased a daily permit. Only children are allowed to fish in the area.
Call 434-525-FISH to hear VDGIF's recorded message listing trout stocking activity. DGIF administers fishing licenses and regulations; call 804-367-1000
Boating: Funyaks and Jon boats, with and without electric motors, can be rented from the first Saturday in April through the end of October. Also, canoes, paddleboats, hydrobikes and paddleboards may be rented from the Friday before Memorial Day through Labor day. If no one is at the boathouse, guests should go to the camp store for help.
A boat launch ramp is available for guests with their own non-gasoline powered boat. No launching fee is charged, but boats must be moored in designated areas. Year-round boat storage is also available from the park for a fee. No gas powered equipment is allowed on the lake.
There's an equestrian campground at the northern end of the park. The campground offers access to the park's multi-use trail. There's also a horse trailer parking lot located at Flat Run trailhead. No horse rentals.