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Places to Explore Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest
Holliday Lake
Holliday Lake © Virginia Department of Forestry

There's something for everyone to get excited about at Virginia's largest State Forest. Bring the kids out for a swim at the Critter Hole on Holliday Lake, or experience the thrill of your very first Geocaching adventure. Successful conservation efforts could ensure that you'll be enjoying this Forest for many years to come.

Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest
Park ranger at Holliday Lake SP
Old sawmill equipment at the forest office
Trail at Holliday Lake State Park
Kids swimming area at Holliday Lake

Located just two hours outside Richmond, the 19,808-acre Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest is Virginia's largest Forest and takes its name from its two host counties. The Department of Forestry has been extremely successful in turning these once abandoned farmlands into places where sustainable timber production, good management, and conservation practices have resulted in diverse forests containing a wide variety of tree species at various ages. As a result, biodiversity has improved, with animals such as deer, turkey, and even black bears calling this place their home.

Much like Cumberland and Bear Creek Lake, at the heart of Appomattox-Buckingham lays the beautiful Holliday Lake and its 555-acre State Park. Area visitors have enjoyed the convenient gathering of rugged wilderness and developed facilities.

The Forest affords all of the activities that nature-lovers have come to expect–hiking, biking, picnicking, hunting and fishing are among the myriad of possibilities. The lake also provides relief from the summer heat with a lifeguarded swimming beach and canoe/kayak rentals (available seasonally). The "Critter Hole" beach play area is a favorite with children. Other amenities include roughly three dozen campsites, a bathhouse, camp store, and a full-service concession stand.

For those who prefer to move about, the park is host to four hiking trails, the 12-mile multi-use Carter-Taylor loop, and the Sunfish aquatic trail—a self-guided “water adventure” (a boat and the free guide map are required). Visitors with hand-held GPS units may participate in the Forest's geocaching adventure, where each clue must be found in order, leading to the next in the series. Along the way, you will learn about the history of land use in the area, from pages you will find in the caches.

The first waypoint for "Farming, Forestry, and Bygone Days" is N 37° 24.421, W 078° 45.096.

If none of that sounds like your cup of tea, maybe fishing for largemouth bass, yellow perch, crappie, and bluegill on the 150-acre lake piques your interest—just don't forget to bring your fishing license!

For more information about the Forest, visit the Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest homepage on the Virginia Department of Forestry website.

To learn more about the use of facilities at Holliday Lake, visit the Holliday Lake State Park homepage on the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation website.


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