National Park Access Free

2014 National Park "Free Entry" Dates!! January 20th Martin Luther King Jr. Day; February 15-17th Presidents Day weekend; April 19-20th opening weekend of National Park Week; August 25th National Park Service Birthday; September 27th National Public Lands Day; November 11th Veterans Day

Sunday, March 2, 2014

#10 - Lake Anna

Pending snowstorm? Temps in the 20s? Not today in Spotsylvania County. As temps reached 60 degrees, Bonnie, Riley and I drove down to explore the trails and surroundings of Lake Anna State Park. What we found was a beautiful place to spend a day, with a nice network of 15 miles of trails, perfect for the day hike we had planned.

Riley at Sawtooth Trail

We started off on Sawtooth trail, and of course, any time we're hiking with Riley, and there is a creek nearby, she knows that is her cue to cool off, stick her head underwater, and splash and play about. Riley doesn't slow us down, particularly if crowds are low, so she did her thing all the while keeping up with our pace.

Glenora Trail

We were happy to note the wide trails at the park, normally shared with horseback riders, and while we saw a number of horses today, generally we had the network of trails to ourselves. The trails here are clearly marked and easy to navigate, which makes for comfortable hiking as you don't need to stay single file.

The Old Smokehouse
Glenora trail took us out on a peninsula that was the former location of Pigeon Plantation. Only one structure remains standing, and that is the smokehouse - used to cure and smoke hams. Smokehouses were a sign a wealth, for they were a sign of the meats they housed. It was interesting to think of this area being on the North Anna River prior to the dam being built, and the resulting lake resting there today.

To the lake! Railroad Ford Trail

Alas, it was off to see the 13,000 acres of lake - 17 miles from tip to tip! We headed up an old railroad trail,which turned out to be a beautiful loop path along the lakes shores. At the same time, our sun was lost to the incoming clouds, and a cool breeze kicked up, as the initial front of the looming snowstorm made its way in.

Riley - Lake Anna

Lake Anna

The Beach at Lake Anna
All in all, we logged 6.7 miles, and Riley got a couple of swims in. Having the trails to ourselves really made for a great hike. The surrounding area of farms, vineyards, and antiques makes this a nice get-away.

Pick a day and head to Lake Anna for a day of fun. Pack a picnic, plan a walk through the wooded trails, get your feet wet at the lake's beach, and couple it with one of the many year round festivals. I think you'll enjoy it as much as we did today.

Happy Trails!


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