The Powhatan area stretches over 272 square miles and includes a fantastic mixture of rural, urban and suburban living options; however, the vast majority of the county is dedicated to rolling rural terrain. Even with the out-of-the-way living this region provides, accessibility is never an issue. Several of Virginia’s highly traveled roadways and interstates either cut through Powhatan County or are set immediately outside the county lines. Route 60, which runs east to west throughout the county, is a major artery that connects Powhatan to more populated areas, such as Midlothian and Chesterfield, and even leads straight into Downtown Richmond. Branching off from Route 60 in the center of the county, U.S. Route 522 takes travelers north to the Blue Ridge Mountains and further into West Virginia and beyond. By taking Route 60 east all of the way through Powhatan County, drivers can connect with Highway 288 – a highway that runs north to south giving access to it all.
Traveling north on Highway 288 takes travelers to the shopping Mecca that is Short Pump Town Center (approximately 35 minutes away from Powhatan Courthouse), which includes the likes of Crate and Barrel, the Apple store and Pottery Barn, amongst many other nationally known retailers and eateries. Highway 288 also connects Powhatan’s residents with several of the region’s major employers – including Capital One, the Hospital Corporation of America and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, to name a few – at West Creek Business Park (approximately 25 minutes away) and puts Interstate 64 within easy reach. Once on Interstate 64, all of the amenities Virginia has to offer are accessible; the coastline and Virginia’s famous beaches are to the east, while the Blue Ridge Mountains are to the west. Charlottesville – with its nationally renowned college and abundant history – is also found along Interstate 64 to the west.
For those drivers heading south on Highway 288, Midlothian, Chesterfield and Pocahontas State Park are within a stone’s throw before hitting Interstate 95. Once on 95, all of the states and attractions along the East Coast are at your fingertips, as this Interstate runs north to south from Maine to Florida.
Back in Powhatan County, the main hub of the county is known as The Village. Centrally located in Powhatan, this region features the county seat, the courthouse and small-town charm that transports residents back to yesteryear. Moving over to the eastern edge of the county, residents find some of the more populated areas and those that are closest to all of the excitement of Richmond – the Powhatan Station/Dorset Road area and the Flat Rock/Judes Ferry/Manakin region just above. Back in the most central portion of Powhatan County, residents find the Bethesda/Academy district, as well as the 522/Lee’s Landing locality.
Moving in a westerly direction, the land in Powhatan becomes much more rural and farmlands abound; it is here that you find the Tobaccoville/Ballsville and Smith’s Crossroads/Trenholm regions. Best of all, as you drive through the county, historic by-ways and sites dating back to the Civil War complement the
lush country scenery to make for a beautiful ride each and every time.
With just over 28,000 permanent residents (source:US Census bureau-2013) – a number that continues to grow at a much faster pace than surrounding localities – Powhatan’s towns and municipalities feature a desirable small-town feel, while still providing all of the opportunity one could hope for. There is much more than meets the eye in this rural region.
Recreation in Powhatan, VA
The ever-changing terrain of Powhatan County is complemented by two of Virginia’s well-known waterways, which border the county to the north and south, respectively: the James River and the Appomattox River. These rivers pair with lakes, creeks and smaller bodies of water throughout the county to give residents ample opportunity for fishing, boating, swimming, skiing and general water enjoyment.
Powhatan State Park is set amongst the banks of the James River and provides over 1,500 acres of lush woodlands to explore. Further into Powhatan County, the Powhatan Wildlife Management Area contains over 4,460 acres of gentle terrain that is ideal for hiking, horseback riding, hunting, picnicking and other outdoor pursuits. This area is truly a refuge from the hustle and bustle that surrounds in Richmond and more populous areas. There are also a number of smaller parks throughout the county, including renowned Fighting Creek Park, with its walking trails, playgrounds and amphitheater.
Also found in the Fighting Creek area is Powhatan’s YMCA. This facility, which was built in 2004, serves the community by offering swimming, child care, youth and adult programs, sports and fitness classes. Those residents that prefer to get their exercise out on the links have access to three professionally designed 18-hole golf courses in Powhatan County: Independence Golf Course, The Mill Quarter Plantation Golf Course, and The Foundry Golf Club. While all of these are beautiful courses with much to offer, Independence Golf Course is home to the Virginia State Golf Association. Residents looking for a private golfing experience have access to the Foundry Golf Club. No time for 18? Check out Midlothian’s Windy Hill Sports Complex just west of Powhatan on Route 60. The complex boasts a 9 hole par three course, a 9 hole regulation length lake course, go karts, batting cages, and more.
Whether it is history or modern entertainment you seek, Powhatan County delivers. There are numerous historical sites to explore, including the “Old Jail,” which is set behind the county’s courthouse, and the Belmead Mansion. There is an annual county fair at the fair grounds in Powhatan, and this event is filled with fun, rides and attractions for residents both young and old. A seasonal farmers market is held each Thursday evening in Powhatan; here, shoppers have the opportunity to meet area farmers and purchase locally harvested goods. Further, Powhatan County hosts two annual festivals each year: Powhatan’s Festival of the Grapes and Powhatan’s Festival of Fibers.
Powhatan’s Festival of the Grapes is held in Courthouse Square and celebrates one of the region’s most delicious products, wine. Unlimited wine tasting, gourmet food offerings, live entertainment and clowns and face painting for children are just some of the highlights of this prestigious festival. The cost of admission includes a complimentary wine glass, and this allows visitors to sample the offerings of over 30 of the area’s wineries with minimal waste.
Powhatan’s Festival of Fiber is truly a unique event and celebrates all thing fiber: fiber animals, fiber farmers, fiber artisans and everything in between. Delicious food offerings pair with informative demonstrations and fiber-product vendors to create an enticing environment for locals and tourists alike. Those visitors that wish to get their hands on some fiber have access to numerous classes, including those on spinning, weaving, dyeing and shearing.
Employment in & Around Powhatan
Though Powhatan County makes the perfect retreat from city living, there are a plethora of employers to choose from that make the region the perfect area for live, play and work. Medical professionals have access to several hospitals within a 30-minute drive of Courthouse Village, including Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center, CJW Medical Center (Johnston Willis Hospital) and Chippenham Hospital, all in neighboring Chesterfield County. Also approximately 30 minutes away, the businesses located within West Creek Business Park provide ample opportunity for residents. There are myriad small businesses, retailers and small-scale medical facilities all in Powhatan County, as well. In all, there are over 700 businesses of various types found throughout the county (source: http://virginialmi.com/report_center/community_profiles/5104000145.pdf ).
Some of the most well-known employers in this region are Anthem, Moslow Wood Company and Colony Construction, amongst others.
Powhatan Retailers and Restaurants
The charm of Powhatan County is only enhanced by the mixture of nationally known chain stores and quaint local businesses. There is a Walmart, as well as several shopping centers, including Powhatan Shoppes at South Creek. Pharmacies, grocery stores, clothing shops, antique establishments and even specialty stores are all found within the county lines. Venturing just outside of Powhatan and into Chesterfield County gives residents access to Weschester Commons, a popular outdoor shopping mall, and Short Pump Town Center in nearby Henrico County.
After a day of shopping, discover the gem-filled dining scene of Powhatan. The Cafe at Maidens is famous for its delicious sandwiches, while The Mill at Fine Creek offers a fine dining option. Other local favorites include home-cooked delights at County Seat Restaurant and the authentic offerings at Italian Delight as well as a local family favorite, Four Seasons in the heart of The Village. Chain restaurants and fast food establishments are sprinkled throughout the county for convenience, as well.
The Youth of Powhatan
School-aged children of Powhatan are served by both public and private school options. Flat Rock, Powhatan and Pocahontas Elementary Schools; Pocahontas and Powhatan Junior High Schools and Powhatan High School are the public school offerings for the region. Those that prefer a private school experience have the option of a Pre-K through grade 12 education at Blessed Sacrament Huguenot Catholic School.
Outside of school, there are numerous youth groups and associations of children to enjoy. Girl and Boy Scout organizations, 4-H and team sports are just some of the options kids have to enjoy. The Powhatan County Public Library also has programs for the county’s youth, as well as over 50,000 materials for checkout and 15 computers with Internet access.
Life in Powhatan County is nothing if not enjoyable. The wide range of public services and private businesses, the historic culture of the region and the beauty of nature combine to give residents a peaceful and amenity-filled place to escape the city. With home styles ranging from Colonial masterpieces of yesteryear to modern architectural feats there truly is something for everyone in Powhatan County, Virginia.