Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day
In the event of an incident,
please call Mariners’ Security:
Emergency: (757) 591-7777 or 911
Non-emergency: (757) 591-7796
Come explore one of the nation’s largest privately owned and maintained parks that is free and open to the public. This 550-acre park offers visitors a quiet and serene place to walk, hike or run amongst rolling woodlands and features the award-winning five-mile Noland Trail that surrounds the 167-acre Mariners' Lake. Guests can also picnic at the famous Lions Bridge overlooking the tranquil James River, which is also a favorite spot for nature enthusiasts. Every visit to this beautiful urban oasis will bring a new experience every time!
The following rules were established to protect both the Lake and Park environments, and to help keep our pleasant, family atmosphere.
The following guidelines and restrictions are in addition to the normal Park and Trail rules in response to the COVID-19 pandemic:
The Mariners’ Park is 550 acres of privately maintained, naturally wooded property that offers visitors a quiet and serene place to walk, run, or picnic. Within the Park is the 167-acre Mariners’ Lake.
Following the shoreline of The Mariners’ Lake is the five-mile Noland Trail. Dedicated as a gift from the Noland Family in 1991 and with significant ongoing financial support from the Noland Family, the trail has 14 bridges, picnic areas, benches, and mile markers. Each fall, The Mariners’ Museum hosts a Park celebration that includes the Noland Trail 50K and Relay and a family-friendly fall festival.
The Mariners’ Park is open daily to the public. Benches at approximately every half-mile offer places of rest along the trail, and views of The Mariners’ Lake can be found around every corner.
The famous Lions Bridge, a dam that provides a breathtaking view of the James River, remains a highlight for visitors—a perfect family gathering place to enjoy the Park. The beauty of the dam is enhanced by several fine pieces of statuary designed by Anna Hyatt Huntington, sculptor and wife of Museum founder Archer Milton Huntington. Four stone lions were mounted on the ends of the parapets of the dam in October 1932. Anna also created and dedicated a monument entitled Conquering the Wild that overlooks the Lions Bridge, Park, and Mariners’ Lake.
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about Park History
While the Museum improves the boating and fishing opportunities for Park guests, boating and fishing are currently prohibited.
Each element of our Park – the forest, the wildlife, and the lake – are all connected to one another. At the end of January, we hosted a Town Hall meeting where we began to engage the people in our community who love the Park and the Lake in a discussion about the future of what we now call our “living collection.” We are thinking about the Park and Lake in three ways:
The health and sustainability of this important natural resource is our top priority.
At this time, we are concerned about the quality of our water. We’ve taken many steps to understand the health of the lake including having master naturalists test the water quality. You may have even seen them out on kayaks in recent months! We are striving to be as environmentally responsible as possible and ask for your patience while we strategically craft our plan to have sustainable fishing and boating on The Mariners’ Lake. We want nothing more than to open our waters to the community. We will get there. It will just take some time and we appreciate your patience with us as we work through it.
You will see more frequent updates from us going forward. Those updates will include status updates on our progress towards reopening water activities on The Mariners’ Lake. You can also expect to see more opportunities from us to weigh in with your thoughts and opinions, and to volunteer with us in the forest and on the Noland Trail to restore and maintain sections of each. This Park is not just our Park, we view it as your Park, too. We take great pride in maintaining this shared resource.
The Garden’s dual purpose is to provide healthy habitats for local pollinators, and to teach the community about the wonders of native, urban green spaces through curiosity and discovery.
The Mariners’ Park partnered with Newport News Shipbuilding and The Nature Conservancy to plant a longleaf pine grove in The Mariners’ Park this spring to help in the restoration of the tree species. Each tree also commemorates a ship commissioned at the shipyard and honors our shipbuilding heritage.
Join us for a fresh new take on a park outing with a guided tour of The Mariners’ Park and the Noland Trail! This unique walking trek will take 90 minutes and feature an in-depth narrative of trees and plants, including an overview history of the scenic 550-acre Park. Space is limited so register today!
Selected areas of the Park are available for special event rentals. Each area has its own unique views, access to the Noland Trail, and event capacity. Please direct all event inquiries to [email protected]
Picture your wedding along the James River, with views of boats going by, The Mariners' Lake over your shoulder, and a wooded area nearby. Our park offers a variety of spaces to accommodate groups.
Our park is festival friendly due to our great location in Newport News, our ability to work with a variety of groups, our available wide open field spaces, and our flexibility in scheduling.
Our park accommodates picnics of any size. You may choose one of our overlooks of The Mariners' Lake for a more scenic, intimate feel or use our fields to accommodate a few hundred guests.
A variety of races in Newport News call the Museum their home for their 5K, 8K, & 10K races. Our convenient location and park layout provides many scenic routes and ample space.
What goes into keeping 550-acres of park and lake open for the public? A lot of hard work. Five miles of trail and bridges must be kept clear of debris and maintained for thousands of walkers and runners who use the Noland Trail each year, despite generous support of the Noland Foundation and family. The Museum grounds crew works year-round to cultivate the extensive native flora and to make sure benches and mile markers are available for park patrons. We need your help in preserving this community treasure.
Created in 1930 by Museum founder Archer Huntington, The Mariners’ Park is the largest privately maintained park open to the public for free in America with The Mariners’ Lake as one of many highlights of the Park. In 1990, Lloyd U. Noland, Jr., approached the Museum with the offer to finance the creation of a walking trail in the Park.
Since the Trail’s dedication in 1991, the Noland Family has provided significant support for its maintenance and repair. The five-mile Trail, a popular walking and running destination, features 14 wooden footbridges. The famed Lions Bridge is another stunning Park landmark, noted for its four lion statues created by the Museum founder’s wife, Anna Hyatt Huntington.
With significant ongoing financial support from the Noland Family, the Noland Trail provides walkers and runners alike with a five-mile path through this urban oasis. Join our partners, the Noland Family, in supporting this natural gift to the community by becoming a Friend of the Park. Support your favorite Park today!