Chippokes Plantation State Park plans end-of-year/new year events

Published 4:36 pm Saturday, December 29, 2018

Is your upcoming resolution to get out and do more? Perhaps to explore what’s beyond the borders of your community? If so, Chippokes Plantation State Park could be a good place for you to start, beginning today, Dec. 29.

Saturday, Dec. 29 – Natural Decorations from 10 to 11 a.m.

Meet in the Farm and Forestry Museum Classroom

Using beautiful elements of nature to create holiday decorations for your home, that will wow your guests this season. Discover that you don’t always have to spend a fortune to get just the right rustic look using techniques from the past.

There’s no extra event fee, and children are allowed.

Saturday, Dec. 29 – River House Tour from 1 to 1:30 p.m.

Meet in the Farm and Forestry Museum parking lot

Take a peek inside this mesmerizing structure. The program will guide visitors through the rooms inside the River House, and will focus on how the dwelling fit into the property’s history. Participants will discover how the things left behind in the River House reveal details about the people who inhabited it.

There’s no extra event fee, and children are allowed.

Saturday, Dec. 29 – Jones-Stewart Mansion Tours from 2 to 4 p.m.

Meet on the Back Porch of the Jones-Stewart Mansion

The Jones-Stewart Mansion is a stunning example of an antebellum plantation house, built in 1854. The home offers a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the Jones and Stewart families. Enjoy the antique furniture, books, light fixtures, and domestic wares that are on display. Allow 30-40 minutes per tour.

If a Tour in Progress sign is posted, enjoy the porches, formal garden, and Brick Kitchen while you wait for the next tour. The last tour starts promptly at 3:30 p.m.

Visitors who wish to tour the mansion when it is closed can call 294-3439 to schedule a private tour. Please schedule private tours a month before the date that you want the tour.

There’s no extra event fee, and children are allowed.

Saturday, Dec. 29 – Discovering the Trace from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Meet in the Farm and Forestry Museum

Hidden within the woods lies a forgotten road that once took travelers and products to the James River. Join a ranger as we discover this road and what stories it may have to tell, and view the beauty of Chippokes along the way.

The Chipoax Trace Trail is a 1-mile trek through the woods and along agricultural fields, eventually ending with a salt marsh overlook. Guests will enjoy a short tram ride to and from the start of the trail. We recommend bringing water, close-toed shoes, bug spray, a hat, and sunscreen for this adventure.

There’s no extra event fee, and children are allowed.

Sunday, Dec. 30 – Pasture Pals from noon to 1 p.m.

Meet in the Museum parking lot

Meet our furry, and feathered, pasture friends as we discover how animals have been used on the farm. You will get the chance to come up close to some of our animals and even hand feed the goats. We’ll also find out why some of our animals act and look the way they do. Do you know why a donkey’s ears are so big? Are rabbits rodents? Join us to find out.

There’s no extra event fee, and children are allowed.

Tuesday, Jan. 1 – First Day Hike Activities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Meet in the Jones-Stewart Historic Area

• 10 to 11:30 a.m. – Discover the Trace. This 2-mile hike will take visitors on a journey to discover what is left of the original road that took travelers from Bacon’s Castle to the river. Guests will see some of the largest trees in the park, as well as a beautiful view of the College Run creek. Dress warm, as we will take the open air tram to the start of the trail. Space is limited to 25 guests, please contact the park office to save a seat.

• 1 to 2:30 p.m. – James River Walk. The hike will be about 3 miles round trip long grassy, sandy and hilly terrain. Meet at the Jones-Stewart Mansion Parking Lot. Due to the terrain, the hike is not accessible to strollers and wheelchairs.

• Noon to 4 p.m. – Jones-Stewart Mansion Tours. Warm up inside the mansion and take a tour before, during or after the James River Walk. The last tour begins at 3:15 p.m. The tour will include a short walk through the first floor, then up the staircase and through the second floor. Meet on the back porch of the mansion. Parking fees are waived for the day. The first 100 visitors will receive a First Day Hikes bumper sticker. Find out about our contests at – top prize is a $500 gift certificate for both contests.

There’s no extra event fee, and children are allowed.

Saturday, Jan. 5 – Eagle Walk from 10 to 11 a.m.

Meet in front of Visitor Center

Majestically soaring through the sky, the bald eagle is a symbol of power and strength. However, this hasn’t always been the case. Bring your favorite binoculars as we take a short hike to discover more about these beautiful creatures and their recovery from the brink of extinction. Along the way we’ll view and discuss other large birds that live near the river that can often be confused with the eagle. The park can provide binoculars for guests to borrow, but supplies are limited.

There’s no extra event fee, and children are allowed.

Chippokes Plantation State Park is at 695 Chippokes Park Road, Surry. For details, call 294-3728; email,; or visit