Brickyard Landing Park Master Plan Update

James City County thanks the more than 250 citizens and visitors who participated in Parks & Recreation’s Brickyard Landing Park master plan update process. We received your feedback through online surveys, in-person survey stations at the James City County Library and the James City County Recreation Center, attendance at the June 28 community meeting as well as through calls, letters and emails. The waterfront park, located at 990 Brickyard Road off Forge Road in the upper end of the County, offers a public boat ramp that provides access to the Chickahominy River. The current site also features picnic shelters, a fishing/tending pier and wildlife viewing. The James City County Comprehensive Plan requires the development and update of master plans for County-owned parks to coordinate construction phasing and validate capital improvement requests. Based on the survey results received, trails, parking and site improvements, playgrounds, restrooms and ramp improvements were the top five requests for new facilities and improvements. 

The feedback is being compiled and reviewed. Following this public engagement period, the plan will be submitted for approval to the Parks & Recreation Advisory Commission, the James City County Planning Commission, and the James City County Board of Supervisors. Improvements will be completed based on community and citizen needs as well as available funding. Help us determine how to provide the services important to you and your family over the next ten years and beyond.

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Park History

Brickyard Landing has a unique history. The area was formerly known as Hog Neck and from 1646 to the 1760s it was used as a tobacco inspection site, warehouses, wharfs and for shipping. In the late 1800s the property was used to make and store cordwood and railroad ties, shipping products via the Chickahominy and James rivers. From the early 1900s, the land’s clay rich soil was used by several brick making companies until 1953. From 1955 until 1997, Newport News Shipbuilding owned the property and used it as an employee recreation area with restrooms, fireplaces, athletic equipment and picnic shelters. During the period the shipyard owned the property it was named the Shipyard Recreation and Picnic Area on the Chickahominy River, but became commonly referred to as Brickyard Landing due to the properties’ most recent history. In 2020 James City County purchased the 119-acre property through a Land and Water Conservation Fund grant for use as a public park.

Existing and Proposed Amenities

Some of the recreational amenities created by Newport News Shipbuilding are still present on the site. Existing picnic shelters have been restored, and the existing pier was repaired and expanded to serve as a tending pier for the boat ramp. Restroom facilities on site were no longer structurally sound and are in the process of being removed. The existing boat ramp is the focal point of the park but lacks suitable parking for boat trailers. Additional parking will also be needed to support other included amenities. 

Using these challenges as a starting point, staff incorporated citizen feedback and data from the 2017 Parks & Recreation Master Plan and the 2018 Virginia Outdoors Plan as a guide to potential future amenities. The Parks & Recreation Master Plan classifies Brickyard Landing Park as a special use park, primarily serving residents at the upper end of the County, specifically boaters using the boat ramp. The Parks & Recreation Master Plan identified a lack of several park amenities in this region, notably hard and soft surface trails. The Virginia Outdoors Plan additionally identified trails and water access as a high priority for citizens in this region. James City County’s Comprehensive Plan requires compliance to strategy PR 1.3 to update and develop masters plans as well as  PR 4.2 to develop recreational components in accordance with approved Master Plans.

Based on these guidelines and community input, the following amenities have been incorporated into the Brickyard Landing Park master plan draft plan. Please take a moment and review the background information and proposed amenities. Unlike site plans that are exact engineered drawings to show building footprints, utilities, drainage and water layouts before construction, Master Plans are long-term planning documents. The map provides a conceptual layout to guide the future growth of each park and are adaptable to changes. While consideration was given to incorporate building codes, environmental and zoning requirements, it should be noted that the elements in the map are not drawn to scale nor located in their exact future position.

Brickyard Landing Park Master Plan with Legend Opens in new window

A.    Tending Pier

  • Existing tending pier along boat ramp, turning 90 degrees and running parallel to shoreline. Pier is used for tying off boats that are using the ramp, fishing and wildlife viewing.

B.    Boat Ramp

  • Existing concrete boat ramp used for launching trailered boats in the Chickahominy River.

C.    Picnic Shelters

  • Two repaired and existing picnic shelters with picnic tables can accommodate 20-25 users each.

D.    Utility Shed

  • Utility shed to be constructed over a portion of an old bathhouse site. The shed will be used to protect electrical panels and well pump that were located in the back room of the bathhouse.

E.    Boat trailer parking

  • Approximately 25-30 parking spaces for boat trailers using the boat ramp.

F.    Car parking lot

  • Approximately 25-30 parking spaces for cars, with two ADA Accessible parking spaces

G.    Restroom Facility

  • Restroom facilities to support recreation amenities.

H.    Multiuse Trail

  • 0.25 Mile ADA accessible asphalt multiuse trail with connections to park amenities. Opportunities for interpretation of park site history and environmental education

I.    Playground

  • Standard park playground with mulch surfacing, separate playground features for different age groups.

J.    Meadow 

  • Natural area/meadow with demonstration riparian buffer plantings closer to shoreline to educate visitors on shoreline plantings and to improve stormwater runoff. 

K.    Hiking/Mountain Biking Trails

  • Approximately 2-4 miles of hiking and/or mountain biking trails, Opportunities for interpretation of park site history and environmental education

Stay Informed

  • James City County Parks & Recreation
    5320 Palmer Lane, Suite 2A
    Williamsburg, VA 23188
    Attn: Park Master Plans
  • Call Alister Perkinson, James City County Parks Administrator, 757-259-5370.

If you would like to stay informed of our progress on this project, please send your contact information (email or mailing address) to us at so we can stay in touch!

Planning Resources