Powhatan State Park Loop

  • Highlights: James River, wildflowers
  • Distance: 2.4 mile loop
  • Elevation Change 150 feet
  • Trail Surface: Dirt
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Trailhead Parking: Powhatan State Park Road, Trailhead/Equestrian Parking Area. Park entry fee required.
  • Website: AllTrails and Powhatan State Park
  • Beer Pairings: Hardywood Brewery West Creek—Pils & Great Return IPA

The Hike:

This hike combines several short trails into a pleasant trip through wildflowers, meadows and forests with some nice James River views. Stop at the Visitor Center to pick up a trail map. From the Trailhead parking area, follow the tan-blazed Turkey Trail as is meanders beside a meadow before entering the forest. 

Powhatan State Park is well-know for wildflowers, and on our mid-March hike, we were greeted with an impressive display of bluebells, yellow trout lily, white wood aster, maypops, and violets. At .7 miles, bear left on the blue-blazed River Trail and the path soon descends to the James River. 

As you reach the James River, stay right on the River Trail. Wildflowers continue to line both sides of the trail. There are a few unmarked trails on the left leading to the river. At 1.4 miles, reach the junction with the gold-blazed Gold Dust Trail. 

A short spur on the left leads to the river. Follow Gold Dust as it begins a gradual climb and stay right at the first junction following the gold blazes. The trail soon joins the tan-blazed Turkey Trail, stay straight to return to the parking area and your vehicle.

Hike Photos:

Click on an image below for an enlarged view.

Trail Map:

Beer Pairing: 

Hardywood has long been a favorite brewery of ours. They brew really good beer using local ingredients and renewable energy. With two locations, Hardywood was one of the pioneers in the Richmond beer scene.  The West Creek location is kid and dog friendly with indoor and outdoor seating, bocce courts, daily food trucks, and live music every weekend. 

Pete is a huge fan of Pils (5.2% ABV • 35 IBU) a German-style Pilsner brewed in strict accordance with the Reinheitsgebot Law. When our German friends visited several years ago, Hardywood Pils was bar far their favorite American beer. Great Return (7.5% ABV • 70 IBU) is an American IPA brewed with Apollo, Cascade, Centennial, Columbus, and Simcoe hops. This beer celebrates conservation efforts to restore the James River resulting in the return of the endangered Atlantic sturgeon. Hardywood donates a portion of the proceeds of this beer to the James River Association.

Hike and drink responsibly. Never drink and drive. Stay safe, be responsible, and leave no trace.