These park rules and tips ensure that everyone who uses the parks can enjoy them to the fullest and stay safe.
This information can also be found in the Henrico County Code. If you have any further questions, please feel free to reach out to us.
Enjoying the Parks
Park Hours & Closures
Our parks are open 365 days/year, dawn to dusk, even if our offices are closed.
Dogs are welcome to enjoy the parks with you, but must on a leash. Dogs can play off leash in our dog parks at Dorey Park and Short Pump Park.
Feeding Ducks, Turtles, and Other Wildlife
Per guidelines from DWR and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, we strongly discourage the feeding of ducks, geese, and other animals in the parks.
Feeding wildlife leads to a variety of problems for both you and the animals, including:
- bacterial and algal blooms in the water
- wildlife nutritional disorders
- unnatural or aggressive animal behavior
- larger populations of rodents and other pests
- spreading of disease
- and an overabundance of animal feces.
We know that it’s fun to bring them snacks, but keeping the “wild” in the wildlife will keep you and the animals healthier.
If you have a valid state fishing license and abide by Virginia’s fishing regulations you are welcome to fish in our parks. Note: there are a few park areas where fishing is prohibited. Be mindful of signage to avoid a fine.
Parks where you can fish include:
- Deep Bottom Park & Boat Landing
- Deep Run Park
- Echo Lake Park
- Meadow Farm Museum at Crump Park
- Osborne Park & Boat Landing
- Three Lakes Park
- and Tuckahoe Creek Park.
Several of our ponds and lakes are periodically stocked by the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources. We are not provided with this schedule, as it can depend on a number of factors. For more information on the stocking schedule, you can visit DWR’s website or give them a call at (804) 367-1000.
There are just two venomous animals common in this part of Virginia: the black widow spider and the Eastern Copperhead snake.
Black Widow Spiders
Black widows are native to Virginia, but bites are still quite rare. The best and most effective way to prevent coming into contact with a black widow is to avoid reaching your hands or feet into somewhere you can’t see clearly (a log, a rocky crag, etc.).
Black widow bites can be quite painful, but most do not require special treatment. Children, elderly, adults with weakened immune systems, and those who have not had a tetanus shot in the last 5 years should see a doctor if bitten to prevent complications. Read more about black widows on Poison Control’s website.
Henrico is home to just one type of venomous snake: the Eastern Copperhead. Copperheads live in wooded areas and are generally calm-natured; they would rather lay still and attempt to remain hidden than to bite you, but will strike if stepped on or otherwise threatened. Stay on park paths and avoid thick vegetation to minimize your chance of encountering one.
Bites can be quite painful, but human fatalities from copperhead bites are extremely rare. Read more about how to identify copperheads and what to do if you encounter one in our Copperhead Fact Sheet.
We do not have any swimming areas in our parks. However, children may enjoy our spray parks at Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, Short Pump Park, and Twin Hickory Park.
Boats, Canoes, RC Boats, etc.
We don’t allow the use of RC boats in our ponds, lakes, or waterways. We do allow the use of human-sized boats at Deep Bottom Park & Boat Landing and Osborne Park & Boat Landing. Canoe/kayak launches can also be found at these two sites.
If you have a drone, you may use it in any of our parks. We do ask that you remain mindful of the safety of yourself and others and only operate drones in open fields, away from others.
We do not maintain any camping areas in the county. All of our parks are closed after sunset.
Alcohol is not permitted in our parks or recreation centers.
Reserving a Recreation Facility/Shelter
Check out our guides for reserving a recreation facility or shelter for details. Our rentals are open to everyone, both Henrico residents and non-residents. We do not offer recreation center memberships.
Reserving an Athletic Field or Gym
To formally reserve an athletic field or gym space, reach out to one of our Sports League Coordinators by calling (804) 652-1405 or emailing email@example.com. Our fields and gyms are public spaces that are first-come, first-served, unless they have been reserved with us ahead of time.
In addition to the athletic spaces in our parks and recreation centers, the newly-renovated turf fields at Freeman High School, Hermitage High School, and Varina High School are available for reservations on the weekends during the school year, and Monday-Friday during the summer.
Note: reservations at Glover Park operate slightly differently than our other athletic spaces, so be sure to visit the Glover Park page to learn more.
Memberships to our gym at Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, also known as “Fitness Passes,” are available to all Henrico residents 16 & up.
Fitness Passes are $120/year ($10/month) for individual passes and $240/year ($20/month) for family passes. Passes include all fitness programs held at EHRC. Complete the Fitness Access Application, PAR-Q, and sign the Fitness Center Access Agreement to join.
Registration dates for our classes and summer camps are posted on the Registration page of our website. Once registration is open, you can sign up for any available program up to one business day prior to the start date.
To learn more about signing up for a Youth or Adult Sports Association, visit our Sports page.