King William needs to search out extra leisure alternatives in county – Each day Press

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KING WILLIAM — King William County hired a consultant to identify new recreational opportunities in the county.

At its June 27 meeting, the board of directors agreed to lease the Hill Studio in Roanoke to explore how to expand the facilities and open the district to more outdoor activities. Hill Studio also worked on Blueprint 2041, the county’s major plan update.

“King William needs more recreational opportunities and facilities. Numbers continue to rise with Parks & Recreation registration, particularly in youth football,” County Administrator Percy Ashcraft said.

“Water facilities can be put to better use in the state forests of Zoar and Sandy Point. Seniors are looking for more places to walk and places to play pickleball. Additional fishing and boating outlets have been requested,” Ashcraft said. “There is also an opportunity for the county to become more active in sports tourism with expanded facilities.”

Supervisor Stewart Garber said county residents are facing increasing obstacles in accessing Sandy Point Forest.

“We all went to Sandy Point. There are many memories. That’s where I learned to swim,” he says. “Years ago it was open to the general public. Now you kind of have to jump through hoops… you have to reserve to go back there.”

Most of King William’s recreational activities are centered around the King William County Recreational Park near the Central Garage. The park features a new playground and dog park, as well as baseball fields, softball fields, a tennis court, basketball court, picnic area, and indoor community area, but no soccer fields.

Sandy Point State Forest has three miles of hiking trails and access to tidal and non-tidal wetlands, creeks and the Mattaponi River.

The 2018 Virginia Outdoors Plan revealed that many residents want better access to hiking trails and King William County’s waterways.

Key recommendations of the plan included:

  • Support for the Mattaponi and Pamunkey River waterways connecting to the York River waterways.
  • The development by the Virginia Department of Transportation and local governments of access points for car-roof launching and crabbing along the Pamunkey River.
  • The Virginia Department of Forestry’s expansion of recreational facilities and road improvements to accommodate boating and water-related activities in the Sandy Point State Forest.
  • The Virginia Department of Forestry’s development of a demonstration model farm, improved hunting and fishing opportunities, and conservation and passive recreation activities in the Zoar State Forest.
  • The designation of portions of the Mattaponi and Pamunkey as State Scenic Rivers, including portions of the Mattaponi River from Route 628 to the Monday Bridge and from Aylett to West Point, and portions of the Pamunkey River from the line connecting King William County and Caroline County Route 614 and from Pampatik Landing to the York River.

Blueprint 2041 recommends additional features at King William Recreation Park, including soccer fields and more hiking trails, new river access points along the Pamunkey and Mattaponi Rivers, and expanded recreational programs at the King William Community Center in Aylett, as well as increased community use of school facilities.

David Macaulay, [email protected]