Lake Anna is the second largest lake located entirely in Virginia with over 200 miles of shoreline and stretching 17 miles long. Lake Anna’s rural and picturesque setting is situated in three central Virginia counties—Orange, Louisa, and Spotsylvania. The lake is easily accessible from the metropolitan areas of Washington, D.C.; Richmond; and Charlottesville. The lake offers a vast array of recreational opportunities, from quiet contemplation to thrilling watersports.

Virginia Power purchased 18,000 acres of rural land in three counties along the North Anna and Pamunkey rivers in 1968. The lake was needed to serve as a supply of cooling water for the North Anna Power Station. By 1972, the soon-to-be lake bottom was completely cleared of all timber. A 90-foot-high dam was constructed on the North Anna River, and all that was needed was more water. Based on the flow rate of the river, it was estimated that it would take three years to bring Lake Anna to full pool. With help from Hurricane Agnes, the lake was at full pool in only 11 months.

Lake Anna is actually two lakes in one. The “main lake” is comprised of 9,600 acres, and the “private side” is 3,400 acres. The two sides are separated by three rock dikes. The water intake is located on the main lake, and the warm water discharge empties into a series of three cooling ponds, which make up the private or “warm side.” After the water cools, it returns to the main lake at dike three.

The private side is private in the sense that there are no public boat launch facilities. Many beautiful homes adorn the serene, wooded landscape on both sides. You’ll find Lake Anna is a proven year-round fishery and one of the best lakes to fish for largemouth bass on the eastern seaboard. The lake contains over 30 species of fish, including largemouth bass, striped bass, walleye, catfish, crappie, bluegill, white and yellow perch, and threadfin shad. Certain non-reproducing species of fish are restocked annually. Fishermen generally prefer the spring and fall months but also take advantage of the excellent winter fishing Lake Anna provides.

Lake Anna is equally as popular with pleasure boaters and watersports enthusiasts. Here you can enjoy power boating, sailing, water skiing, tubing, wakeboarding, wakeskating, wakesurfing, jet skiing, and swimming. Boating typically peaks in July; however, many veteran boaters and lake residents pick September and early October as their favorite time for lake cruises as spectacular fall colors are being unveiled. Lake Anna is a great spot for weekend getaways, summer vacations, and year-round residents.


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