Henricus was the second successful English settlement in North America. In 1611 Thomas Dale led several hundred settlers west from Jamestown to a piece of land laying high above a loop of the James River where they built a fortified town and planted tobacco. The town was abandoned after the Indian Massacre of 1622. By that time tobacco plantations were fairly well established along the river outside of the town limits.
Stop at the gift shop to pay admission and watch the short video about Henricus. The park consists of two areas representing a Native American village with a few dwellings and an English settlement with nine buildings. The Native American area needs some maintenance and the plastic matting used instead of reed matting on the exteriors of the dwellings is disappointing. The English settlement buildings are constructed better especially the posts and beam church which is beautiful. Costumed interpreters, who greet visitors at each area, are very well informed and do a great job of explaining the history. Few interpreters were working on the day we visited so we did not see many demonstrations.The park has special events several times a month with more interpreters and more demonstrations.
The gift shop is accessible. The grounds of the park are packed dirt and gravel so it’s not hard to roll around. The buildings have very high thresholds and lumpy dirt floors. The park is doable with help but would be very difficult to visit without help.
A road (walkable, cars not permitted) to a view of James River and several trails in the Dutch Gap Conservation Area can be accessed from the Henricus parking lot. We viewed the river but did not have time to check out the trails.
The parking lot is large enough for RVs. The road into the park goes through the Dominion Power Plant property so it’s seems like you’re going the wrong way. Follow the directions from the website and you’ll get there! Park 37.37455, -77.36278