Lawrence Lewis, Jr. Park
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. 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.
Physical Address: 12400 Willcox Wharf Road, Charles City
From Previous Site on the Plantation Loop of the VBWT:
From Westover Plantation, return to SR 5 and continue east 4.7 miles. Turn right on Rt. 618/Willcox Wharf Road. Proceed to Lawrence Lewis, Jr. Park, which is 1.0 miles on the right.
The park has separate entrances for the upper and lower levels – don’t miss half the park.