Learn more about the amazing outdoor destinations in the Northern region of Virginia by clicking the links below:
- Lake Anna State Park
The land in Lake Anna State Park used to be known as "Gold Hill" and contained the Goodwin Gold Mine. Gold was first discovered in 1829 with mining reaching its peak in the 1880s. In Virginia, the last gold found was in a zinc mine during the 1940s. In 1971 Lake Anna was created to serve as a water coolant for Dominion Powers nuclear plant. In 1972 work began on the acquisition and development of a water-oriented state park. Lake Anna State Park opened in 1983.While boating and fishing on this beautiful lake are major attractions, these are only some of the parks offerings. Lakefront picnic areas and wooded hiking trails are also popular. On summer weekends, interpretive programs on the nature and history of the area complement exhibits and displays in the visitor center.
- Leesylvania State Park
Leesylvania opened in 1992. In 1978, noted philanthropist Daniel Ludwig donated the land to the state for a park. A national historical society, the Society of Lees of Virginia, was instrumental in securing the donation. Locally the area is known as Freestone Point, referring to the sandstone early settlers took from the property for building. Henry Lee III (Light Horse Harry) was born here at what was then Leesylvania Plantation in Colonial America. This Revolutionary War hero would later father the Confederate General Robert E. Lee of Civil War fame. Today, Leesylvania State Park offers a variety of recreational opportunities, including hiking trails, a picnic area, a boat launch facility, and interpretive programming. The park covers 556 acres along the Potomac River in northern Virginia.
- Mason Neck State Park
Mason Neck State Park is on a peninsula formed by Pohick Bay on the north, Belmont Bay on the south and the Potomac River on the east. The peninsula is an active heron rookery. The park also attracts several other migrating and non-migrating species of birds, including whistling swans and assorted species of duck. Bald eagles also inhabit the area. The park boasts several hundred acres of hardwood forests consisting of oaks, holly, hickory and other species of trees. In addition, several wetland areas are also found in Mason Neck.Land was purchased over the years from the The Nature Conservancy. The park connects with a National Wildlife Refuge that includes over 2,000 acres. The park opened to the public in 1985.
- Sky Meadows State Park
Just an hour's drive from Washington, D.C., Sky Meadows State Park in Clarke and Fauquier counties, offers a peaceful getaway on the eastern side of the Blue Ridge Mountains. With rolling pastures and woodlands, the park boasts beautiful vistas of the foothills and access to the Appalachian Trail. Its rich history and pastoral landscapes are shaped by the development of agriculture from Colonial times to the present. Sky Meadows remains a working farm. Activities include hiking, fishing, picnicking, horseback riding, backcountry hike-in-camping, and nature and history programs.
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