The State Park at Lake Anna.
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Lake Anna State Park...
Lake Anna State Park
By Steve Mudre
It is hard to imagine Lake Anna without its signature state park of the same name. The 2,300-acre park, with its 8.5 miles of shoreline on the clear waters of the lake, is one of the most popular day-use facilities in the state system, serving over 200,000 visitors annually. The day-use designation is about to change.
After a much-anticipated groundbreaking and construction, the 10 rental cabins are finally a reality. Opening for visitors on July 1, 2005 the first season was a success. Park Manager Doug Graham expects more weekly reservations in 2006, now that people can make their plans well in advance. The cabins are a welcome addition to the Lake Anna landscape. All cabins have central heat and air plus a corner fireplace insert. Kitchen amenities include: refrigerator, stove, coffeemaker, dishes, dishcloth, dish towels, silverware, cooking utensils, pots, pans, microwave oven, toaster, electric can opener, and clock radio. The cabins are located near or along the Pigeon Creek shoreline.
Cabin prices for the Lake Anna State Park are expected to reflect those in other Virginia parks. For more information on cabin rates please visit the DCR website: http://www.dcr.state.va.us/parks/parkfees.htm
Foremost among the park’s attractions are opportunities for boating, fishing and seasonal swimming at the park’s sandy beach. Now 23 years old the park continues to undergo improvements, recently adding a number of new multi-use trails--trails open to foot traffic as well as equestrian and bicycle travel. There are 11 trails within the park, offering a total of 13 miles of pathways, most of that distance being multi-use. While 11 of the trails are categorized as easy, two offer more strenuous hiking opportunity for those so inclined. Fifty-four campsites, with water & electric, are slated for opening in 2006.
Lake Anna is one of 34 facilities in the Virginia State Park system. In October of 2001, that system took top honors with a gold medal from the National Sporting Goods Association and National Recreation and Parks Association for the number one system of state parks in the nation.
Set on a historic gold mining site, the park takes advantage of its colorful past, offering seasonal interpretive programs and all-season self-guided hikes through the its gently rolling forested lands. In the early 19th century, prospectors discovered gold at the site, which came to be known as Gold Hill. Mining of gold and other metals continued there until as late as the 1940s.
In the summer months, kids can learn from experts about panning for gold. Rangers will offer guided tours to the site of the Goodwin Gold Mine, which flourished on the park land long years ago.
The Visitor Center is a popular stop with wildlife and historical exhibits plus a small gift shop. It is open on the weekends from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Memorial Day through Labor Day.
The Lake Anna park is also a popular warm-weather picnic site, offering shelters available to larger groups, by reservation.
A boat-launching ramp is available and rentals of a variety of smaller watercraft, pontoon boats and jet skis are available from several commercial operators on the lake.
The park beach is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day and offers a snack bar, bathhouse and lifeguard.
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