Outdoor Recreation

Explore the Great Outdoors | Trails and Hiking | Boating and Water Sports | Motorsports | Camping and RVing | Historical Sites | Fishing and Hunting | Birdwatching and Wildlife Observation | Events and Festivals


Kayaking on the Mattaponi River near Walkerton, Virginia

Explore the Great Outdoors in King and Queen County, Virginia

Nestled in the heart of Virginia, King and Queen County is a hidden gem for outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure, natural beauty, and a taste of rural charm. From dense forests to pristine rivers, this idyllic county offers a wide range of activities to satisfy your wanderlust.

The county is adjacent to two major State Forests and within an hour’s drive of eight wildlife management areas. When the seasons overlap, you can even hunt in the morning and fish in the afternoon.

Just want to ride and observe? King and Queen County is a paradise for paddling, biking, and birdwatching. Read on to discover all that King and Queen County has to offer!

Trails and Hiking

Embrace the serenity of our lush woodlands as you venture along well-maintained trails that wind through the county. Whether you’re an avid hiker or just out for a leisurely walk, our trails offer something for everyone.

Check out the hiking, biking, horseback riding, hunting, fishing, and birdwatching that awaits in the Dragon Run State Forest, one of the most ecologically significant areas in Virginia. Or visit nearby Zoar State Forest for more hiking, biking, fishing, and birdwatching opportunities. You’ll also find amazing birding and paddling at Walkerton Landing.

A trail in the woods

Boating and Biking

King and Queen County is a water lover’s paradise. Our pristine rivers, including the York and Mattaponi, beckon you to explore their tranquil waters. Enjoy a day of kayaking, paddleboarding, or fishing. Bring your powerboat for some water skiing, tubing, and wakeboarding action.

For the bikers, King and Queen County is known as a wonderful place to ride gravel, with cycling routes ranging from 32 to 62 miles long.

Historical Sites

Immerse yourself in the rich history of King and Queen County. Visit the Newington Archaeological Site or explore the ancient burial grounds at St. John’s Church. Delve into the past while enjoying the picturesque landscapes that surround these historical treasures.

Be sure to visit our interactive map of places of interest, and take a drive to see for yourself the many Virginia Historical Markers that tell the story of how history was made in King and Queen.

Old Church United Methodist Church in King & Queen County
Camp site with food and drink on rug in summer forest

Camping and RVing

Pitch your tent under the starlit skies or park your RV at one of our campgrounds for an authentic outdoor experience. King and Queen County provides a rustic escape for camping enthusiasts, allowing you to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of daily life and reconnect with nature.

Rainbow Acres Campground is a full-service facility on the banks of the Mattaponi River offering 150 campsites, including a mix of full hook-ups for RVs, partial hook-ups for tents, pop-ups and RVs, cabin sites, and primitive tent sites. Boat ramps and boat storage is also available.

Tucker’s Recreation Park and Boat Rental is another waterfront destination located in Shackleford’s where you can fish from a pier, rent a boat, or swim in the York River.

Birdwatching and Wildlife Observation

For the wildlife enthusiast, King and Queen County boasts a diverse array of fauna. From graceful herons to elusive deer, keep your binoculars handy as you explore the numerous habitats that house these fascinating creatures. Visit Birding Virginia to learn more about the multitude of wildlife viewing locations throughout the county.

The King and Queen Fish Cultural Station, established in Stevensville in 1937, is one of a handful of fish hatcheries operated by the Commonwealth. It’s a great place to take kids and offers hiking trails and birdwatching as well.

Chincoteague October 13, 2023 visit for the Chamber of Commerce.
Father and son hunters going away through rural forest

Fishing and Hunting

The county offers an array of fishing and hunting opportunities. Catch a variety of fish species, including bass, catfish, and perch in our pristine waters, or embark on a hunting adventure in the lush forests that teem with wildlife. No fishing license is required to cast a line at the Old State Highway 33 Public Fishing Pier. Learn more about angling opportunities on the Mattaponi River on the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources website.

King and Queen County boasts more acres of public hunting land than anywhere else in eastern Virginia, much of which is ADA-compliant and accessible. Examples include the Browne Tract, a 274 acre-parcel in the Dragon Run Watershed featuring nine public hunting zones available for big game, small game, and waterfowl hunting. Visit the Virginia DWR website for information on hunting seasons and regulations.

Enjoy a hunter’s breakfast at a local church before you venture out, and have lunch with fellow outdoorsmen at Nick’s after the hunt is finished.

Motorsports

Join us on the banks of the Mattaponi River for the annual Mattaponi Madness drag boat races at Rainbow Acres Campground, hosted by the Virginia Outlaw Drag Boat Association (VODBA). Watch the East Coast’s fastest drag boats compete for the top prize while enjoying food, music, vendors, and more.

If racing on land is more your thing, check out the weekly “Beanfield Races” at Newtown Dragway. This world-class 300 foot sand drag strip races quads, dirt bikes, UTVs, trucks, and more. Bring your own vehicle to race or just watch others compete! Located at 3693 Byrd’s Mill Rd in Newtown, VA.

World class dirt track racing is also just a short drive away at Virginia Motor Speedway, a storied 1/2 mile oval that attracts drivers from up and down the east coast. The track also features competitive mud bog racing on select dates at The Pit at VMS.

Kayaking on the Mattaponi River near Walkerton, Virginia

Events and Festivals

Throughout the year, King and Queen County hosts a variety of events and festivals, from music and arts celebrations to local fairs and food festivals.

Check the King and Queen County Resource Council Facebook page, and the websites and social media pages of our local businesses to plan your visit during a special occasion. From local church events, fire department fundraisers, fish frys, and more, chances are there is something fun for everyone happening nearby.

Plan your adventure today, and let the natural beauty and warm hospitality of this charming county captivate your heart. Come and discover what makes King and Queen County the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts.