John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir
Tailrace Park is located just below John H. Kerr Reservoir, a 50,000-acre lake that extends 39 miles up the wooded, cove-studded shoreline of the Roanoke River in Virginia and North Carolina. Kerr Reservoir, also known as Buggs Island Lake, was created with the construction of the John H. Kerr Dam in 1952. Its 800 miles of wooded shoreline stretch across six counties and two states and offer countless recreation opportunities for visitors.
Visitors to Tailrace Park will enjoy the riverside view. There is a picnic shelter as well as flush toilets during peak season that make the park ideal for families.
Need to Know
If you have reserved the shelter and it is already occupied the day of your reservation, please call the office phone number at (434) 738-6143 to speak to a ranger or call the Powerhouse at (434) 738-6633.
Off-road vehicles and golf carts are not permitted.
Alcoholic beverages, camping and hunting are not permitted in the park.
Shelter does not have electricity.
Dogs are allowed but must stay on a maximum 6-foot leash.
Vehicles should remain on paved roads only.
For a full list of rules and regualtions please visit Title 36.
Please read through the fees and cancelation policy for Recreation.gov.
Tailrace park is a semi-wooded location with many fishing and birding opprotunities. There is a kayak launch avaliable for access into the Roanoke River. There is also a small peir that can be used for birding as bald eagles are often seen here.
Tailrace Park is located approximately 20 minutes from South Hill, Virginia. Shopping, gas, and groceries are available.
Public lands around the lake are open to hunting with appropriate state licenses. Game species include whitetail deer, wild turkey, bobwhite quail, mourning dove, gray squirrel, cottontail rabbit, fox and raccoon. Resident waterfowl species include wood duck, black duck, mallard and Canadian geese. There are 26 Wildlife Management Areas around the lake that provide year-round opportunities for hiking, wildlife viewing, birding and more. The lake is widely known for fishing, with large-mouth bass, striped bass, crappie, flathead catfish, channel catfish and blue catfish available. Virginia Dept of Wildlife Resources regulate hunting and fishing on Kerr Lake on the Virginia side (which is known as Buggs Island Lake) and North Carolina Dept of Wildlife Resources regulate hunting and fishing on Kerr Lake on the North Carolina side.
Changes & Cancellations
- Changing Reservations:
- There is no change fee if a visitor extends or shortens a reservation, as long as the change includes dates from the original reservation. Additionally, there is no change fee if the visitor wants to switch sites that are the same price with the same reservation dates in the same facility.
- If a visitor wants to switch dates that are entirely outside of the original reservation dates, there is a $10 change fee.
- If a reservation is made that includes dates beyond the maximum booking window, that reservation cannot be changed until 18 days have passed from the original booking date.
- Once a reservation date has begun, visitors cannot change a reservation using the online system or through the Call Center. Onsite staff will assist with changes or cancellations.
- Visitors may cancel their reservation prior to arrival both on-line and through the call center. A $10 service fee will be withheld from any refund for a cancellation.
- A visitor who cancels a reservation the day before or on the day of arrival will pay a $10.00 service fee AND forfeit the first night's approved rate including tax and applicable add-on. Cancellations for a one-night reservation will forfeit the entire amount paid and will not be subject to an additional service fee.
- Visitors who cancel a group overnight facility reservation less than 14 days prior to arrival date will pay a $10 service fee AND forfeit the first night’s rate.
- A no-show visitor is one who does not arrive at a campground and does not cancel the reservation by check-out time on the day after the scheduled arrival date. Staff will hold a campsite until check-out time on the day following the arrival date.
- No-shows are assessed $20.00 service fee and forfeit the first night's rate, taxes and applicable add-on for a campsite.
- Early Departures:
- Visitors are requested to notify staff at the facility if they depart early to allow others to use the site.
- If the visitor chooses to depart early, they may forfeit the approved rate and applicable tax and applicable add-on for the day of departure. If a visitor departs prior to the scheduled check-out date, they may be eligible for a partial refund. Visitors may notify the Recreation.gov call center to request a refund of remaining unused nights. If a visitor requests a refund for an early departure after the facility check-out time (3 pm) has passed, the visitor will not be refunded for that night and is eligible for a refund on any additional nights that will not be used.
- Visitors may submit a refund request through their Recreation.gov profile within 7 days of the end date of their reservation. Visitors may also initiate a refund request through the call center at any time after their reservation has ended.
- Refunds for debit or credit card payments will be issued as a credit to the original bank or credit card used to pay.
- For check or cash purchases, Recreation.gov will mail a Treasury check for refunds of cash, check, or money order payments to the address associated with the reservation. Treasury check refunds may take up to 6-8 weeks to arrive.
- In the event of an emergency closure, the Recreation.gov team or facility manager will refund all fees and will attempt to notify you using the contact information within the Recreation.gov visitor profile.
For campground inquiries, please call: Visitors Center Phone Number: 434- 738- 6143
Learn more about gear rental options for your trip
The physical address for Tailrace Park is 5458 Buggs Island Road Boydton, Virginia 23917. Tailrace Park is approximately 17 miles south of South Hill, Virginia.