The protection of 643 acres in Gloucester County is paving the way for Virginia’s 40th state park: Machicomoco. The park’s goal will be to increase awareness and understanding of the Virginia Indians tribes’ histories and futures, their use of the region’s natural resources, and their significance within the larger history of the commonwealth and ultimately the nation.

Identified as historically and culturally significant land, this property along the York River is thought to contain archaeological resources important to Virginia Indian heritage through the pre-Colonial and Colonial period.

Machicomoco is located just a few miles from Werowocomoco—a lost Indian settlement we helped preserve with the National Park Service in 2016 that was the headquarters of Pocahontas’ father, Chief Powhatan — where it will help enhance educational opportunities and public access. Once a state park, Machicomoco will be available for various recreational activities and will serve as an interpretive site where visitors can learn about the history of Werowocomoco and the tribes who call this region home.

Photo credit: Heather Richards

The landscape is stunning, bounded by water on three sides with significant frontage on the York River, Timberneck Creek, and Cedar Bush Creek. Formerly known as Timberneck Farm, it had been a working farm until 2007. The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) then identified the land as a potential state park site for its cultural significance and recreational opportunities.

The name “Machicomoco” was proposed by the tribes in the region who contributed to the park’s design and interpretive themes. It’s an Algonquian word translated to “special meeting place,” which acknowledges the importance and purpose of the site—to educate the public about the native tribes in Virginia and share their stories.

Machicomoco State Park will offer visitor interpretation facilities, archeological investigation and preservation associated with Werowocomoco, translated in the general sense from the Virginia Algonquian language as “place of leadership” — believed to have been the political and spiritual center in the Tidewater Indian world, just ten miles upriver. The Park is expected to open to the public in 2021.

"Machicomoco State Park will stand in perpetuity so that we may learn from the past, celebrate the present and aspire to a better future."

—Virginia Governor Northam

Photo credit: Heather Richards


We have worked to protect important natural and cultural resources in Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay area since our founding over 35 years ago. By partnering with the commonwealth, Virginia’s Indian Tribes, NGOs and private landowners, we’re creating new opportunities to preserve cultural heritage, expand public recreational access, and support local economic growth in communities.

We acquired the Timberneck property in 2017 in cooperation with the Virginia DCR and Dominion Energy, using funds from the Surry-Skiffes Creek-Whealton Transmission Line Mitigation Fund. In December of 2020, we transferred the 643-acre property to the DCR—an important step in the establishment of Virginia’s 40th state park.

Learn More: News Release from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation