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5 Best Places to Take Your Boat this Summer in Virginia

Jon Fesmire | August 17, 2021 @ 12:00 AM

If you enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, and boating, then Virginia is a wonderful state. Whether you live here or you’re visiting, you’ll want to spend time at one or more of our lakes. Here are five we’d like to highlight.


Philpott Lake

Philpott Lake has so many twists and branches it looks like a map of the multiverse from above. From the lake and the surrounding foothills, you’ll get a lovely view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. And the lake is huge, with 3,000 acres of clear water. Surrounding it is 6,000 acres of land with hiking trails, bird watching, six beaches, campgrounds, picnic areas, a tournament fishing dock, and 100 miles of shoreline. The lake occupies parts of three counties, Franklin, Henry, and Patrick.

Speaking of fishing, whether you fish off your boat or on the dock, you’ll be glad to know the lake is full of largemouth and smallmouth black bass.

There are several boat launch sites for when you’re ready to get on the lake.


Lake Maury

Lake Maury is found in Newport News, near the James River coast of Virginia, so you can get extra boating when you come here. Spend a day on the lake, then another along the wide river. Also called The Mariners’ Lake, Lake Maury belongs to the Mariners’ Museum, which conducts scientific studies of the ecology and wildlife and teaches classes here. While in Newport News, we recommend visiting The Mariners’ Museum and Park, too.

Go boating and fishing on the lake and enjoy the forested areas surrounding it. Walk Noland Trail, and have a lakeside picnic. Call before you go, as there are some boat restrictions. If your boat isn’t allowed, don’t worry, you can rent one when you get there.


Lake Drummond

Lake Drummond is one of the most unusual lakes in the world as it forms a circle. No, the shape isn’t perfect, but most lakes are oddly shaped, so there’s some debate about what caused this one to take such a symmetrical form. Was it because of a meteor, or something else? The lake’s pH is unusually acidic, limiting the fish that can live in its waters. Still, you can certainly go fishing here for a variety of seafood, including bowfin, crappie, longnose gar, yellow perch, chain pickerel, flier, and bullhead catfish.

Lake Drummond is 3,142 acres large but shallow, as the waters are six feet at their deepest. This lake is part of the Great Dismal Swamp. Don’t let that name, which sounds like it’s straight out of a dark fantasy novel, fool you. The lake and surrounding wetlands are beautiful. Lake Drummond has a fishing pier and boat ramp on the southwest end, on the Dismal Swamp Canal along Route 17, so that’s where you’ll want to go for your boat launch.


Lake Anna

Another twisting and branching lake, Lake Anna, along with Lake Anna State Park is a beautiful family site with a boat launch site, a visitor center covering the history of the lake, a beach, hiking trails, and picnic shelters. Enjoy the lake and the surrounding forest, and spend a few nights in the campground.

The campsite includes six cabins, four yurts, two six-bedroom lodges, and 10 two-bedroom cabins. A few of the cabins have views of the lake. There’s also a concession building with a bathhouse, so you can shower after a long day and grab something to eat. The park comprises 20 square miles and even includes lighthouses and restaurants. You can purchase annual passes for boat launches and parking, and it’s good at all Virginia state parks.


Burke Lake Park

Whether you want to take your boat on the water, rent a boat, or take a tour on a pontoon boat, Burke Lake Park at Fairfax Station has you covered. Not only that, the fishing at this Northern Virginia park is excellent. The lake offers catfish, largemouth bass, perch, and walleye.

For safety reasons, the park does not allow paddle boarding, swimming, or windsurfing. However, you can rent canoes, fishing kayaks, jon boats, and rowboats.

Besides boating and fishing, the park has other fun offerings. These include a carousel, miniature golf, and a miniature train. You can also enjoy picnics, biking, hiking the 4.7-mile trail, and camping. Oh, and while you’re here, grab an ice cream. Before your trip, check the website for upcoming events.

When you’re done and need a place to store your boat, camping equipment, and fishing tools in Chesapeake, Norfolk, or Virginia Beach, visit us at Jack Rabbit Self Storage. Get your boat out of your driveway and equipment out of your home. When you’re ready to head to one of these lakes or another, stop by and it will be waiting for you, then return it when you get back. 

We offer superior protection at affordable prices.

Jon Fesmire
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