The Prince Edward-Gallion State Forest is open from dawn to dusk. Recreational opportunities include hiking, wildlife watching, biking, horseback riding, hunting and fishing. Visitors are asked to adopt a “leave no trace” ethic when visiting the forest, as there are no restrooms or trashcans on the forest itself. The eight-mile Prince Edward-Gallion Multi-Use Trail can be accessed from a parking area near Stony Knoll House on Route 689. The trail is closed except on Sundays from early November through mid-January due to heavy use by hunters. Hikers may also use the network of forest roads and trails that traverse the forest.
Twin Lakes State Park, operated by the Department of Conservation and Recreation, is located within the forest and provides a good starting point for visiting the State Forest.
To ensure your safety, read our complete state forest regulations before visiting a forest.
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. This donation is the core of the Prince Edward-Gallion State Forest, which was established to demonstrate good forest management, provide a land base for applied forest research, wildlife habitat, watershed protection, and to provide for outdoor recreation.
In the mid-1930s, much of the land in Virginia’s Piedmont had become unproductive and was highly eroded. At that time, the federal government began purchasing marginal farmland under the Bankhead- Jones Farm Tenant Act, enacted to help conserve and restore the health of the land. Much of this purchased land was soon leased to the state and in 1939 became Prince Edward Gallion State Forest. In 1954, the federal government deeded the land to the Commonwealth of Virginia, adding to the original land bequeathed by Mr. Gallion. Under the Virginia Department of Forestry’s management, the forest grew to its present 6,461 acres. Remnants of the area’s farming past can be seen in the old cemeteries and homesteads scattered throughout the forest.
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. The site quality of previously denuded soils has improved considerably, the quality of water originating from the forest is excellent, and biodiversity has significantly improved.
The State Forest will continue to be 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 opportunities for outdoor recreation.
The State Forests of Virginia are self-supporting and receive no taxpayer funds for operation. Operating funds are generated from the sale of forest products. In addition, up to 25 percent of the revenue received from the sale of forest products is returned to the counties in which the forests are located. You can support educational programs on your State Forests by donating a portion of your state tax refund to Virginia’s State Forests Fund.
The 6,496 acres of the Prince Edward-Gallion State Forest is located in the piedmont of Virginia. The forest is located 15 miles southeast of Farmville, 5 miles southeast of Burkeville along state route 696 and 613.
Twin Lakes State Park, operated by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, is located within the Forest. The Cedar Crest Conference Center at Twin Lakes is available for wedding receptions, family reunions and meetings on a reservation basis, call 434.767.2398. The park offers camping (water & electrical hook-ups), cabins, picnicking, boating, and hiking. Swimming and concessions are available during the summer only. To make a reservation for overnight accommodations, please call 1.800.933.7275. Campsites are installed inside the park.
A State Forest Use Permit may be required for visitors to the state forests.
There is one primary trail at Prince Edward-Gallion State Forest that is open for walking, hiking, horses, and mountain bikes. All motorized vehicles are prohibited on state forest lands.Trails are marked by blue blazes painted on trees approximately every 150-200 yards. The forest also has various gated trails and forest roads that can be used.
Prince Edward-Gallion Multi-Use Trail - This is an eight-mile non-loop trail leading through the state forest.
While traveling through the forest, you will observe several different and unique environments. Oak-hickory forests, stands of Loblolly Pine, and cut over areas attract many different forms of wildlife. White-tailed deer, wild turkey and bobcats are common residents of this productive and well-managed natural resource.
Flippen, Gallion, and Cheatham roads are open for vehicular traffic. Please be aware of this and stay to the right side of the roads.
Camping is only allowed in the Twin Lakes State Park.
Canoeing is permitted on the lakes.
A Virginia fishing license is required to use Twin Lakes within the Forest.
Horses are permitted on the Prince Edward-Gallion Multi-Use Trail.
Coggins Test Certificates must be available for each horse on State lands.
We recommend that equestrians dismount and lead their horse over bridges and across streams.
Hunting is permitted on the Prince Edward-Gallion State Forest. All persons, except those legally exempt under Virginia law, must carry a valid Virginia hunting license AND a State Forest Use Permit to hunt or trap on the forest.
State Forest hunting regulations and seasons follow those of the county in which the State Forest is located. Check the Virginia Department Of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) Hunting & Trapping Regulations and Information brochure or their website for special restrictions on State Forest lands, such as Either-Sex Deer Hunting Days.
Hunting is prohibited in the following safety zones (surrounding areas of):
Wear blaze orange during hunting season.
Permanent structures are available within Twin Lakes State Park.
Last modified: Wednesday, 12-Mar-2014 12:46:35 EDT