What To Do

Boat Rental

View information on pricing and rules (PDF) for boat rental at Sandy Bottom Nature Center:

  • All rental paperwork must be signed by an adult (18 or older).
  • Someone 16 years of age or older must be in the boat at all times.
  • The last boat rental is an hour before the Nature Center closes.
  • Electric trolling motors are allowed on Jon boats but we do not provide them.


Nine individual camping sites are available on a first-come / first-served basis. These can accommodate two four-person tents, and as with all camping at the park there is no electricity, running water or adjacent parking; however, fire pits, barbecue grills and picnic tables have been used to improve the sites. The park also maintains two large group sites which can support up to 10 four-person tents.


For slightly more civilized camping, you may want to check out our "Yurts" (tent cabins), permanently installed on wooden platforms overlooking Crystal Lake. No pets are allowed in the yurts or on the yurt decks. View information on pricing and rules (PDF) for yurt rental at Sandy Bottom Nature Center.


Fishing is allowed only on Sandy Bottom Lake, and only from the fishing pier or from one of our Jon boat rentals. Anyone over the age of 16 must have a Virginia freshwater fishing license. Fishing licenses can be obtained from any Wal-Mart or Bass Pro store. They can also be purchased online. Largemouth Bass are currently catch-and-release.

Walking Trails

Numerous trails crisscross our 456 acres. Some are recent additions, like our new multipurpose horse trail, while others have existed since before the area became a protected city park.

The scars from ATVs and four-wheel drive vehicles still cut deep into the terrain in many places as the land continues to heal from the long-term abuse.

Please note that the trails are natural or have crush-and-run gravel for emergency vehicles. Some trails might not be suited for strollers or wheelchairs.