Friday, April 28, 2017

Bear Creek Lake State Park, VA - Bear Creek Lake Loop

Bear Creek Lake State Park - Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation

This hike starts and ends at Cabin 5.   If not staying in a cabin, there is parking at the beach where the Channel Cat Trail crosses over and this hike can be started from that point also.
Parking where the Channel Cat Trail crosses. (37.52829, -78.270407)
Car passes issued at the time of registration for cabins or camping are valid for parking at all Virginia State Parks, otherwise there is a $4 parking fee.

Bear Creek Lake State Park Trail Guide - Virginia DCR
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HIKE DISTANCE:  3.35 miles

It's not often I get to hike at sunset so I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity on our last night in Virginia.  Shawnee had enough hiking for this trip so she was napping soundly when I left around 5 PM as the sun was starting to go down.   It's all different lighting, different sounds, a completely different experience.  This hike is all left turns circling the lake and although it does not look like you can make a loop on the map, a short road walk at the dam takes care of that connection.
I started out making a right off of the Otter Trail on to the Lost Barr Trail, then it was all left turns after that.
One of the left turns goes to that picnic area overlooking the lake.
At the dam, I believe this was a Louisiana Water Thrush clinging to the vertical surface doing something in the water rushing down the dam.
To make the road connection, cross the little bridge at the dam...
... continue across the field to the road ...
... turn left on the road and cross the bridge to the boat launch.
Bear Creek Lake from the road bridge.
At the end of the guardrail, turn left...
... entering a grassy woods road.
This runs right into the Lost Barr Trail.
Completing the loop at the Otter Trail which leads back to the cabin.
Busted.  Again.
All was forgiven when I stopped at Burger King and got her a Whopper, hold the bun and fixings, on the way home the following day.


  1. Beautiful shots, as always! Some parts of the hike reminded me of Parvin State Park back in NJ.

    Loved the Louisiana Water Thrush doing some sort of "extreme" activity on the waterfall/spillway! (Maybe there's a birds' version of American Ninja Warrior??)

    Glad all was well with Shawnee at the end...I dunno -- for a dog that was supposedly "tired" earlier...gotta wonder why she gave you the "busted" look this time!

    Looking forward to your next adventure!

    -- Jim

    1. Thanks, Jim! Yes, that Louisiana Water Thrush was hopping around and having a blast trying to hang on in that waterfall. All I saw was a speck moving around and had to zoom in to even see that it was a bird. Not that I would ever do this, but I bet you no matter how tired Shawnee is, she would not refuse to go on another hike with me. Like her chiropractor says, her body might not want to hike so much any more but her mind does.


  2. You got some great shots, especially the pictures of the turtles and Bear Creek Lake. Were there a lot of bugs around the lake? That's what I find on my hikes near water when the weather gets warmer. Shawnee looked so comfy on the bed but yes you got busted when you came back. Glad she got a special treat from Burger King. Thanks for sharing! :) Joanne from NJ

    1. Thanks, Joanne! Actually, the bugs were not bad at all. I heard a few mosquitoes buzzing by but was never bitten and I am the first one they come after. Never saw any ticks either. But I am sure they are all on their way! Just glad they were not out in force while we were there.