Posted in: Living Posted on: Sep 24th, 2015

Parks, Rec Leagues, and Other Ways to Enjoy Nature in Chester

Photo Credit: Public Domain

Located in Chesterfield County, Chester, Virginia is teeming with history, including the site of the second successful English settlement in America. Whether you want to explore the natural beauty of the area, play your favorite sport on a team, or learn more about the history of the English in the US, you'll find plenty of things to do when living in Chester, Virginia.

History in the Park

Henricus Historical Park is the site of the second successful English settlement in the Virginia colony. It dates to 1611, when Sir Thomas Dale traveled up the James River to establish Henricus at its current location. In addition to being one of the first English settlements in the area, Henricus played important roles during the two major wars fought on US soil, the Revolutionary War and the Civil War.

Today, the park is open as a historical site six days a week, from Tuesday through Sunday. Admission to the park is $8 for adults, $6 for kids under age 12, and free for toddlers under age 2. Special events are often held at the site, including living history days, when interpreters re-enact what it was like to live and work at Henricus in the early days of the settlement. There are also archeology days, which include special programs for people of all ages.

Athletic Leagues

No matter what anyone tells you, you are never too old to play a sport. As evidence of that, Chester is home to a number of adult athletic leagues. If you're a soccer fan, you can join the American International Soccer League, which usually has games on Sundays. Another option is the Central Virginia Soccer Association. Soccer's not the only game in town, though. You can also participate in an adult volleyball league, softball league, or basketball league through the Southside Churches Recreation Association.


Chesterfield County has miles of trails running through it, designed for hiking, biking and other recreation. The county is also working on further developing a bikeways plan and trail system to promote outdoor recreation and healthy activity throughout the area. Trails in the area aren't only for recreation, however. A half mile portion of the trail through Robious Landing Park is now a tree ID trail. Trees along the trail feature a small label, identifying the species of the tree and providing more information. Each label has a small QR code, which you can scan with a QR code app to get more information on the particular tree.

Exploring Nature

Several areas of parks in Chester and in Chesterfield County are designated natural areas. R. Garland Dodd Park at Point of Rocks, is one such park, and has a nearly 3-mile trail that takes you through several natural areas, including a floating boardwalk over a freshwater tidal marsh. Point of Rocks was once home to the Appamattuck tribe. The area also served as the headquarters for Benjamin Butler and the Union army during the Civil War.

The Rockwood Nature Center is located in North Chesterfield and is the only nature center that's operated by the county. Open Fridays through Sundays only, the center offers a host of programs for people of all ages. There are also 5 miles of trails surrounding Rockwood Nature Center, which take hikers through the woods and wetlands.