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Lawrence Lewis, Jr. Park

Description

This 24-acre park provides a wooded picnic area, fishing and birding pier, and a short swamp boardwalk leading to a wooded trail for visitors. A boat ramp is also available.

The large concentration of wintering bald eagles at this park is reason enough to visit, but the combination of habitat types makes it even more appealing for the nature observer. Eagles commonly frequent the high-tension wire towers (which are home to ospreys in the summer), exposed sand spits, and the wooded peninsula on the south side of the river. A great blue heron rookery is also located on this peninsula, and the nests are clearly visible from the park. The area also attracts gulls and waterfowl, which gather on the river by the hundreds.

Turkey and black vultures, pictured here, clean up fish remnants on the shoreline and piers. Photo Credit: Lisa Mease

Turkey and black vultures, pictured here, clean up fish remnants on the shoreline and piers. Photo Credit: Lisa Mease/DWR

In addition to river views, the park offers a mix of deciduous hardwoods and pines that are heavily utilized throughout the year by a variety of songbirds. A small bald cypress wetland near the river offers excellent viewing of resident dragonflies. Also worthy of the visitor’s attention is a ravine just before the park’s entrance that contains a large stand of dead timber and open water, which is prime habitat for wood duck. The standing dead trees also attract all species of woodpeckers.

On a historical note, at this small site, General Grant crossed the James River for a surprise attack on Lee’s Confederate troops as told on-site by a Virginia Civil War Trails exhibit.

Directions

Physical Address: 12400 Willcox Wharf Road, Charles City

From Charles City, head west on VA-5 W/John Tyler Memorial Highway, turn left onto Wilcox Wharf Road, and the upper parking area will be on the right, or continue to the end of the road to lower parking area.

Location & Directions

View on Google Maps

Site Information

  • Site Contact: 804-652-1601, kbarrow@co.charles-city.va.us
  • Website
  • Access: Fee to launch watercraft or camp, free to walk. Daily, dawn to dusk

Birds Recently Seen at Lawrence Lewis, Jr. Park (as reported to eBird)

  • Laughing Gull
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Black Vulture
  • Osprey
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Great Crested Flycatcher
  • Eastern Kingbird
  • White-eyed Vireo
  • Red-eyed Vireo

Seasonal Bird Observations

Facilities

  • Camping
  • Fee
  • Accessible
  • Hiking Trails
  • Information
  • Parking
  • Picnic
  • Restrooms
  • Kayak/Canoe Launch
  • Boat Ramp