Colonial National Historical Park | COLONIAL PARKWAY

Yorktown entrance to the Colonial Parkway

Yorktown entrance to the Colonial Parkway

Completed in 1957, the Colonial Parkway is a 23-mile parkway managed by the National Park Service that runs between the Yorktown Battlefield and Jamestown, passing through Williamsburg on the way (Williamsburg is not part of Colonial National Historical Park or any other National Park). The road is three lanes wide, but keeping with the rural Colonial-era atmosphere, there are no painted dividing lines. The center lane is a universal passing lane and can only be used for this purpose. There are limited access ramps, most of which are in the Williamsburg area. The speed limit is 45 MPH.

The Colonial Parkway is not the quickest way to get between Jamestown and Yorktown, but it is certainly the most scenic. The first five miles after leaving Yorktown run along the York River, and for about five miles from Jamestown the Parkway runs along the James River. The segment that does not border either of the two rivers cuts through the forest. The Parkway was designed to shield drivers from views of modern development.

Lanes of the Colonial Parkway

Lanes of the Colonial Parkway

There are sixteen pullouts near historical locations, most along the sections of the road that border the rivers. Information signs describe the history that took place. There are no existing historical structures or other exhibits, as the signs simply state what “used to be here.” There is no real reason to pull over unless you want to get a photo of the scenery, are really interested in reading the signs, or need a break from driving. Other than that, Colonial Parkway is just a road. There are no trails or campgrounds along it as there are on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Nathaniel Bacon pullout on the Colonial Parkway

Nathaniel Bacon pullout on the Colonial Parkway

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Last updated on April 3, 2020
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