Park & Lake

The Mariners’ Museum 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 Lake Maury, named for the famed 19th-century oceanographer and native Virginian, Matthew Fontaine Maury.

Following the shoreline of Lake Maury 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 fourteen bridges, picnic areas, benches, handicap access, and mile markers. Each fall The Mariners’ Museum hosts a 10K run on the Noland Trail.

The Mariners’ Museum Park is open daily to the public. Benches at approximately every half-mile offer places of rest along the trail, and views of Lake Maury can be found around every corner.

The famous Lion’s 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 Museum 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 Lion’s Bridge, the park, and Lake Maury.

 

Park & Lake Rules

Museum Maintenance and Protection Services staff members are in the park at various times. Feel free to seek them out if you have questions or need assistance. The following rules were established to protect both the lake and park environments, and to help keep our pleasant, family atmosphere.

  • Motorcycles, bicycles, and trail bikes are not permitted on The Noland Trail.
  • For the comfort of all park visitors and the protection of wildlife, dogs must be on leashes at all times. Please be sure to clean up after your pet.
  • Trash cans are located throughout the park for the convenience of visitors.
  • For the safety of visitors and for environmental reasons, no fires of any kind are permitted.
  • Swimming and wading in the lake are not permitted.
  • No alcoholic beverages are permitted within the park.
  • Visitors are expected to observe all applicable Museum, city, state, and federal rules, regulations, and laws.
  • Weapons are not permitted.

Boating & Fishing

For decades the local community has treasured our scenic lake, hiking its trails, marveling at its statues, skipping rocks across its shore. Now those same children bring their own families to create cherished memories. Early mornings are spent listening to its whispering waves and the soft plunk of a fishing lure sinking beneath its tranquil surface. The sweet sound of laughter ripples across its surface as you laugh with your buddies over “the one that got away.” Whether a die-hard fisherman or just in need of a relaxing day, visit us and start creating your own memories of Lake Maury today.

Paddle Boats

Paddle Boats on Lake Maury

Location

Lake Maury boat rentals are operated from the boat dock area on the cove adjacent to the front entrance to the Museum. Visitors can rent john boats, paddle boats, and canoes for fishing or exploring on Lake Maury on weekends.

Rental boats seat one to six people weather permitting. Motors are not provided. Visitors may provide their own trolling (electric) motor and battery, but gas-powered motors are not permitted. Fishing is catch-and-release. A state fishing license is required. All guests using kayak, canoe or boats on Lake Maury must wear life jackets.

Boat Dock Hours

The rental season is from April 11 – July 26. 

Saturday 7:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Sunday 7:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Boat Rental Prices

14′ John Boats $4 /hour $15 /day
Canoes $5 /hour $20 /day
Paddle Boats $5 /half-hour $8/hour

 

Please call (757) 591-7792 for more information.


 

Fishing

On the shore: You may only bank fish from the Boat Dock Cove, after paying a $5 fee per-person per-day (children 5 and under are free.) On weekends, when a boat dock attendant is present, you can pay at the outside register location. During the week, when no attendant is on duty, you must pay inside at the Museum’s Admissions Desk. Fishing from the cove is at your own risk, since there is not always an attendant on duty.

On the lake: Off a Boat Dock rental. No private boats/kayaks/canoes are allowed on the lake.

A current Virginia fishing license is required on shore and on the lake. The Mariners’ Museum does not provide fishing licenses.

No fishing off the trail or the foot bridges, the Lions Bridge, James River shoreline, Kettle Pond or any location within the Park & Lake aside from designated areas.

Park Rentals

The Mariners’ Museum Park is the largest privately maintained park open to the public for free in America. The Park boasts 550-acres of naturally wooded areas and the 167-acre Lake Maury bordered by the five-mile Noland Trail, as well as breathtaking views of the James River and the stunning Lion’s Bridge featuring the sculptures of Anna Hyatt Huntington. 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.

 

Weddings

Picture your wedding along the James River, with views of boats going by, Lake Maury over your shoulder, a wooded area nearby. Our park offers a variety of spaces to accommodate groups and an easy location for your guests to find.

Festivals

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.

Picnics

Our park can accommodate group picnics of any size. You may choose one of our overlooks to Lake Maury for a more scenic, intimate feel or use the expansive Williams Fields to accommodate a few hundred guests.

Races

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.

 

Information on all our park rentals.

 

Help Support The Mariners’ Museum Park & Noland Trail!

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, mile markers, and handicap access are available for park patrons. We need your help in preserving this community treasure.

A Fitting History

Created in 1930 by Museum founder Archer Huntington, The Mariners’ Museum Park is the largest privately maintained park open to the public for free in America. Highlights include Lake Maury, named for Virginia’s own Matthew Fontaine Maury, the famed 19th century oceanographer. 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 fourteen wooden footbridges. The famed Lion’s Bridge is another stunning Park landmark, noted for its four lion statues created by the Museum founder’s wife, Anna Hyatt Huntington.

Your “Friend of the Park” Gift

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! 

Give Here