Tailrace Park

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

Natural Features

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. 

Nearby Attractions

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

Contact Information

Phone Number

For campground inquiries, please call: Visitors Center Phone Number: 434- 738- 6143

Rental Options

Learn more about gear rental options for your trip

Driving Directions

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. 

Available Campsites

Photo Gallery