Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Lake Anna State Park
Our uncharacteristically moderate summer temps gave way to a few days of real Virginia heat, so yesterday, we headed down to Lake Anna State Park for a little “beach” time. The 13,000 acre lake is man-made, created to provide cooling for the North Anna nuclear power plant (no, there are no two-headed fish, as far as I know). The swimming beach is very popular, filling up by early afternoon on the weekdays, and can get so crowded on the weekends that the park has to close to additional people. For us, this is a weak substitute for an oceanfront beach—there’s no surf, no ocean breezes, no salty sea air. But if you are looking for a safe place for the kids to splash on a hot day, it's a nice outing. The water is warm, there are clearly defined swimming areas for different levels of swimmers, and there is a lifeguard on duty.
Besides the swimming and picnic areas, the park has a camping area, with campsites for tents and RVs, as well as cabins ranging from 2 bedrooms with all the amenities, to tiny, rustic one-room cabins. We checked out the campground, but decided that it really wasn't our kind of place. We like to tuck our tent in the woods, out of the way of the RVs, and at this park, all the campsites are pretty out in the open.
Here's the beach area. If you need to stay out of the sun, you can set up in the grass under a shady tree:
There's a snack bar if you don't feel like lugging the cooler:
Next to the sandy beach is a shaded picnic area with grills: