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Leesylvania a ‘lesser known’ park? Not around here.

In a recent online list, Leesylvania State Park in Woodbridge was ranked as one of the most “lesser known” parks in Virginia.

The park is located along the Potomac River in Woodbridge. It’s the site of the home of Major-Gen. Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee who served in the Revolutionary War and as the ninth governor of the state. He was also the father of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Aside from its history, the park serves as a public gateway to the Potomac and is popular with fishers, and picnicking families.

“Leesylvania State Park (LSP) is well used and loved by many many people. I would guess the location makes a big difference. It’s located in a densely populated area of the County and is well suited to family picnics and gatherings,” said Kim Hosen, with Prince William Conservation Alliance. “LSP is easy to access, inexpensive and has a large open area with picnic tables and a nature center nearby. The only other site in this area suitable for this type of family gathering is the County-owned Vet’s Park, which also attracts large numbers of picnic-type family gatherings.”

Virginia’s state parks have a core mission of serving the recreational needs of people first. Becuase so many people from different backgrounds live near the park and visit, those who work at the park are well aware of that mission.

“Many seasonal employees are hired with additional language skills to better interact with the public. This has allowed the park to expand its educational programs to be presented in both English and in Spanish which in turn allows Leesylvania to better communicate its mission of conservationism and stewardship of Virginia’s natural and cultural resources to an even wider audience,” said Karen Lambey, the chief ranger at Leesylvania State Park.

The park is also hosting more family-oriented events and parking with other nearby state parks.

“In 2016, Leesylvania and Mason Neck State Parks partnered with the local social services office to host disadvantaged youths for our Great American Backyard Campout program, which was sponsored by several local businesses and non-profit organizations. These youths, many of whom had never been camping before, were introduced to basic outdoors skills and the joys of spending a night in a tent. It was so well received by those participating that both parks plan on establishing the program as a recurring annual event,” said Lambey.

Despite what the “lesser known” list states, Leesylvania is packed with people each weekend spring through fall. Those who are looking for a quiet stroll by the riverside or on one of the parks hiking trails should plan to visit on a weekday.

The park is open 6 a.m. to a half-hour after sunset Monday through Friday. 5 a.m to a half-hour after sunset on Saturday and Sunday. The park is located at 2001 Daniel K. Ludwig Drive in Woodbridge.

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