Prince Edward-Gallion State Forest

Overview

Located in Prince Edward County, the 6,491-acre Prince Edward-Gallion State Forest was Virginia’s first state forest. It features diverse pine and hardwood stands managed for multiple uses.

The Sandy River and Little Sandy River flow through the property. Twin Lakes State Park is located within the forest.

historical highway marker (M-29) for a former Civilian Conservation Corps Camp is located on the forest.

 

×To ensure your safety and enjoyment, please read Before You Visit when planning your trip to a state forest.

At a Glance

Access Status: Open to the public
Hours: Open daily from dawn until dusk

Physical Address:
Latitude/Longitude:
37° 11.410, 78° 17.255
Green Bay, VA

Parking/Access:
From Route 360, access by Routes 696, 613, or 621.
From Route 460, access by Route 696.
Stoney Knoll Trail Parking Area is located at the end of Route 689 and beginning of Stoney Knoll Forest Road.

Restroom Facilities: None

Visitors are asked to adopt a “leave-no-trace” ethic when visiting the forest, as there are no restrooms or trash cans on the forest itself. ​ ​

Other Facilities: A few picnic tables in the forest

VDOF recommends that all forest visitors wear blaze orange or pink during hunting seasons.

Forest History

The Virginia State Forest system had its beginning in 1919 when Emmett D. Gallion bequeathed 588 acres to the Commonwealth of Virginia. Mr. Gallion donated his property to advance the course of forestry in the southern piedmont of Virginia. The Prince Edward portion of the state forest was established in 1939 as a result of Title III of the Bankhead Jones Resettlement Act of the U.S. Congress to demonstrate good forest management, provide a land base for applied forest research, wildlife habitat, watershed protection, and to provide for outdoor recreation.

When the Prince Edward-Gallion State Forest was originally acquired, the land was in a depleted condition, having been used almost exclusively for agriculture. The forest has continually improved due to the application of scientific forest management practices and good conservation practices. Forest growth continues to exceed harvest, site quality of previously-denuded soils has improved considerably, the quality of water originating from the forest is excellent, and biodiversity has significantly improved.

Historical Landmarks

From 1933 to 1941, Camp Gallion was home to Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Company 1390. This all-African American company performed extensive work in the present-day Prince Edward-Gallion State Forest. Company 1390 built five forest-fire lookout towers, 94 miles of forest-fire lanes, 62 miles of truck trails, 33 bridges, and both Goodwin and Prince Edward Lakes, now the centerpieces of Twin Lakes State Park. The men also thinned 500 acres of forest, planted 4,500 trees, and performed 3,142 hours of firefighting duty. In addition, the company conducted an education program to reduce illiteracy among its members.

Forest Management

The Prince Edward-Gallion State Forest is managed to develop diverse timber stands that support biodiversity, as a demonstration of scientific forest management, to protect water quality, provide forest diversity for wildlife, and provide opportunities for outdoor recreation. Dominant species include loblolly, shortleaf, and Virginia pine, transitional pine-hardwood stands, and both upland and bottomland hardwoods.

Recreational Opportunities

Popular recreational uses of the Prince Edward-Gallion State Forest include hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, canoeing and kayaking, hunting, fishing, and wildlife watching. A key feature of the forest is the Gallion Multi-Use Trail.

Visitors are asked to adopt a “leave-no-trace” ethic when visiting the forest, as there are no restrooms or trash cans on the forest itself.

ATV/ORV use, camping, and swimming are prohibited on all State Forests.

A State Forest Use Permit* is required for individuals aged 16 and older to hunt, fish, trap, horseback ride, or mountain bike on state forest lands. The permit can be purchased online at or where hunting licenses are sold.

Trails and Roads

  • 8.5 miles of forest trails – no vehicles
  • 12 miles of forest roads (vehicles allowed)
  • 23 miles of gated forest roads – no vehicles

Hiking

Hiking is permitted on all forest roads and the Gallion Multi-Use Trail.

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking is permitted on all forest roads and the Gallion Multi-Use Trail.

Horseback Riding

Horseback riding is permitted on all forest roads and the Gallion Multi-Use Trail.

State law requires that visitors carry a copy of a negative Coggins test report with each horse on state lands.

Fishing and Boating

Only non-motorized boats are allowed on state forest waterways.

Fishing is permitted in accordance with state fishing regulations. Both a State Forest Use Permit and Virginia fishing license are required.

Canoeing, kayaking, and fishing are allowed at Twin Lakes State Park in Goodwin Lake and Prince Edward Lake. Because these are State Park properties, a State Forest Use Permit is not required. However, a fishing license is required for fishing.

Hunting and Trapping

Hunting and trapping are permitted with a valid State Forest Use Permit and valid hunting/trapping license in accordance with state regulations. Note that some regulations may be different than on private land, so check Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources Hunting Regulations for specific state forest details.

Refer to the Hunter’s Map before hunting to locate “No Hunting Safety Zones,” primarily around State Park facilities. Note that the Gallion portion of the state forest is a Game Sanctuary per deed restriction, so no hunting is allowed.

Other Recreational Opportunities

Five picnic tables are available. Visitors should plan to pack out all trash.

Other passive recreational opportunities, such as wildlife watching and nature photography, are available.

Educational Opportunities
  • Self-learning opportunities are available.
  • Self-guided educational opportunities – interpretive signs.
  • Formal education programs are available upon request.

Tours of forest management activities for university and college classes and other organized groups can be arranged upon request.

Contact Us

For more information or questions, e-mail us or use our contact form.

State Forest Main Office
Located at Cumberland State Forest
751 Oak Hill Road, Cumberland, VA 23040-2511
E-mail | (804) 492-4121

Local Contact
Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest
1685 Francisco Road, Dillwyn, VA 23936
Email | (434) 983-2175

Maps. and Additional Resources
ImageTitleIDDescriptionContent Typedocument-category_hfilterMedia_hfilter